Living with change, leading with liminality

It was great to spend three days in Tangier at House of Beautiful Business with leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, philosophers, activists, game-changers and more.

Next to great input on AI, Climate change, impact business, peacemaking and belonging, my main takeaway was around liminality.

” . “, John Fullerton said during the conference.

I couldn’t agree more.

Many of the leaders I work with are seeing multiple – often dizzying -coinciding transformations – from dealing with radical new technologies, changes in market dynamics, to the need to completely re-think and adapt their organizational purpose and design.

⭕ The nature of this transformation is more difficult to define than what we typically call “change.” Old solutions, logic and analytical approaches no longer work. Indeed, there’s very little familiar (and comfortable) ground to stand on amidst this sea of change.

So maybe it is time to get lost. To get comfortable with the unknown. To step into liminality.

⭕ Liminality is a powerful yet scary space. It means we have to deal with dualities that are shaping today’s world. Destruction and construction. Disorientation and re-orientation. Unmaking and re-making. Unlike the old “change” we know, where it is all about “surviving” in the change until the new state arrives. The skills needed are no longer about managing ourselves and our people to get through it more quickly. Liminal time requires leadership who themselves experience liminality.

Liminality is about how we grow and are transformed by the time spent in liminal space. It is in liminal times leaders can have their greatest impact. But for that we actively participate and play our part in shaping the future. I believe that we often find change hard because we cannot see ourselves in the future.

So maybe it is time to ask some tough questions:
✔ How do we want to live in 10 years?
✔ What business landscape do we want to have?
✔ What is your part in a corporate world for creating a desirable future?
✔ How do we want (or even need) to balance contribution vs. profits?
✔ What does luxury and status mean for us? What matters most?

Of course, we can choose to sleepwalk through this time and avoid the feeling of chaos and discomfort. But then again, we will stay in situations that no longer serve us, missing out on the experience of working inside this powerful time, the change of era, alongside those forces that help to shape us, as individuals and leaders, into the more evolved versions of ourselves.

What tough questions are you asking yourself?

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