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Purpose of AssignmentThe purpose of this assignment is to provide you with the opportunity to examine an existing organization and apply research to identify opportunities for strategic change. Assignment StepsWrite a 1,050-word or more essay to identify one global creative organization, as defined in Ch. 10 and 11 of Mastering Leadership. Analyze the opportunities for strategic change that are evident, citing evidence. Explain the impact of culture and structure in relation to strategic change. Include the following in your essay: Identify one organization that could be considered creative according to the definitions in Mastering Leadership.Explain whether or not you believe the organization meets the criteria.Discuss the impact of organizational culture and structure on opportunities for strategic change.Formulate a conclusion that includes your personal analysis of the organization’s potential for strategic change. Format your assignment consistent with APA guidelines.

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Chapter 10
Creative Leadership
Fulfilling the Promise of Leadership
The transition from the Reactive to the Creative Mind is arduous. Only about 20% of adults fully
make it. It is the major transition in most adults’ lives. In the Mythic literature, it is called the
Hero’s Journey or the Heroine’s Journey. It is not for the faint of heart.
Before we launch into the nature of the Creative Mind and how it devel- ops, let’s summarize
briefly what we have said about its effectiveness (Figure 10.1).
While Reactive Leadership styles are strongly inverse to Effectiveness (−.68), Creative
Competencies are very strongly and positively correlated to Leadership Effectiveness (.93). In
the highest performing businesses, those evaluated in the top 10% compared to industry peers,
Creative Competency scores average at the 80th percentile compared to the world- wide norm
base of 500,000 rater surveys. Reactive Leadership styles are well below the norm at the 30th
percentile. The reverse is true in under- performing businesses (bottom 10%).
In our Stage of Development study (Figure 10.2), those people assessed as living and leading
from a Creative Structure of Mind had average Leadership Effectiveness and Creative
Competency scores at the 65th percentile compared to norms. This constitutes a Leadership
Quotient of nearly 2.0, suggesting the leaders who function out of a Creative mindset create a big
competitive advantage.
The Creative Mind is much more capable of leading in today’s com- plex organizations. Since
only 20% of leaders operate out of a Creative mindset, the Development Agenda in most
organizations should be to accelerate the development of Creative Leadership, individually and
col- lectively. This is a leadership imperative.
To execute this Development Agenda, senior leaders and HR execu- tives need to lead the way
by developing Creative Mind themselves and then by developing it within the organization. For
that to happen, we need to understand the nature of Creative Mind, how it is different than
Reactive Mind, why it gets a different pattern of results, and how Cre- ative Mind develops—
what needs to happen to support its development. The metamorphosis of Reactive Mind into
Creative Mind is the major transition in most adults’ lives. It is a profound development, and
those who make the passage into Creative Mind seldom, if ever, go back.
In his book, Hero With a Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell describes this transition as the
Hero’s Journey (Campbell, 1949). In the Mythic
stories of many traditions, the hero goes on a journey in pursuit of a deeper call or aspiration.
Usually the kingdom is in peril; the land is in famine, war is rampant, the kingdom is under a
spell, and there is much suffering. The hero takes the journey to heal what is broken. At the start
of the journey, heroes may not be aware of the relationship between the kingdom’s need and
their aspiration. They respond to the call of the soul from a deep place of longing without fully
understanding why. The movement from the known to the unknown makes no sense. The
journey only makes sense at the end, looking back.
Shortly after the heroes cross the “Threshold of Adventure” (code for leaving behind the
conventional mind, with all its socialized assump- tions and well-worn solutions that are
reaching adaptive limits), they get thoroughly trashed—abducted, lost, swallowed by a whale,
attacked, dis- membered. Mythologically, this is the way of expressing the arduousness of the
passage and the reality that the one who starts the journey is not the one who finishes it. The
person who starts the journey is too small, too reactive, too full of themselves, too scared, too
controlling, too cau- tious, too protected, too subject to conventional wisdom, and too caught in
an unseen play-not-to-lose game to be ready to lead with the neces- sary uncommon wisdom.
The old self, the Socialized, Reactive Self, is too much on autopilot and can only replicate what
is, not lead with courage and clarity into a new and thriving future. That self must die. It must
come apart and be reconstituted into a new self, one that marches to the beat of a different
drummer. What makes this passage so disorienting is that the hero is shedding all the known and
familiar ways of knowing that have worked well. The old self is being shed for a new self that
has not yet been discovered. It feels like death, and when the hero/heroine goes through this
transition, they are not gifted with the certainty that it will all work out. There are no guarantees.
There is only the pull of the unknown longing to contribute.
This transition is “Spiritual Boot Camp.” It is hard but required if we are to move from the old
conventional reality to a new creative reality. The spiritual traditions refer to this process as
Metanoia—a profound shift of mind, a transformation in the Structure of Mind. The butterfly is
the symbol for this transformation. The caterpillar, following some unknown impulse, spins a
cocoon, crawls inside, and disintegrates. Halfway through the cocooning process, there is no
form, only gelatinous goo. Disintegration precedes integration. Death precedes resurrection. As
the butterfly gives itself over to the metamorphosis process, a new, higher-order structure begins
to take form. When the transition goes “full circle,” the butterfly emerges. No longer limited to
crawling, it arises to a winged life. This life is more free, more agile, more fluid, and capable of
going farther and faster and doing so from a higher perspective.
In this transition, the tension between purpose and safety is re- optimized. The self that was
previously playing-not-to-lose (in a Comply- ing, Protecting, and/or Controlling game) reorients
on higher purpose. It orients on the question, “What would you do if you could?” The outside- in
identity is traded for an inside-out identity. The Socialized, Reactive self moves from subject
(operating unseen) to object (seen and capable of being reflected upon). The emerging Creative
Self can now take a perspec- tive on the old Reactive Self, which no longer runs the show on
autopilot. It is incorporated and utilized from the higher perspective of the Creative Self. This is
the shift from an External Locus of Control to an Internal Locus of Control, from a Dependence
to Independence (Covey, 1989), from the Socialized Self to the Self-Authoring Self (Kegan and
Lahey, 2009). If it happens, it is often seen, and experienced, as a crisis.
When we first met Joe, he was the Chief Technology Officer for one of the largest U.S.-based
telecommunications companies. It was the morning before the first day of a public workshop.
We were in the meeting room preparing for the day. We had arranged the tables and chairs and
were writing on the flipchart when we heard the door open. We did not turn around, but
continued writing. We heard Joe say in a loud gruff voice, “This room arrangement sucks! I do
not think I can find a seat in this room.”
We were surprised by his outburst, but continued to work.
You can imagine what Joe’s 360◦ feedback might look like, given the way he entered the room.
It showed, among other things, low scores on Creative Relating competencies and high scores on
Reactive Controlling and Protecting. His feedback, handed out on the afternoon of the first day,
sobered him. He became quiet and reflective.
The next day, we asked the group to write down the results they would commit to create going
forward. We looked at Joe and noted that he was not writing anything. He was simply staring at a
blank sheet of paper. Our first assumption was that he had checked out of the workshop.
However, we noticed that this judgment was our reactivity to him, so we walked up to him and
asked, “We notice that you are not writing. Is there anything we can help you with?”
He looked up, aggressively jerked his thumb in the direction of the door and said, “Let’s take this
outside.” We were not sure if he wanted to talk or punch us out.
When we stepped outside the room, he said rather aggressively: “Let me tell you what I got from
this workshop. If you want me to write down on that sheet of paper a list of results, that is a nobrainer. I do that every day. But, if you want me to write down what I really want, I don’t know.
That is what I got from this workshop, and I got it from the 360◦ feedback and from the stories
you told about your own lives.”
What he next said is a vintage example of the Socialized, outside-in, Reactive Level Mind in the
form of Controlling-Protecting, being seen perhaps for the first time. You can also read, in what
he says, the Creative Mind starting to boot up. Joe’s next words to us are an example of the
vulnerable and courageous inner work that goes on in this transition.
He continued: “When I was a boy, my dad told me to go to college. So I did. When I was in
college, they told me that the highest job availability was in engineering, so I became an
engineer. No one asked me if I wanted to be an engineer, but I did so. When I started working as
an engineer, they told me that I should be a manager, so I became a manager. When I became a
manager, they said I was better off if I moved up the ladder, and so I began to climb. Now I sit at
the top of a very large organization and I can chase results with the best of them. So, if you want
me to write on that sheet of paper a list of results, that is no problem. I do that every day. But, if
you want me to write what I really want, I don’t have a clue. What do I do with this?”
Joe was now looking at us, wide-eyed, like a deer in the headlights, and his eyes were misty as
he said, “What do I do with this?” Needless to say, we worked with him to create a supportive
plan going forward.
In this story, you can hear Joe describe his Socialized Mind and how it was formed. You can
hear him describe the core of his identity, “I can chase results with the best of them,” which is
code for, “That is who I am. If I am not that, who am I?” Given this self-definition, you can
understand the source of his aggressive and autocratic way of leading. It makes perfect sense.
You can also see him start to take a perspective on the limitations of his externally defined and
driven Reactive Structure of Mind. “I can chase results, but I do not know what I really want.”
You can hear in the core organizing questions of the Creative Mind. “Who am I if I am not my
ability got get results? What do I really want? What would I do if I could?” You can also hear the
courage and vulnerability of a leader facing these questions.
This is the Hero/Heroine’s Journey. In this story, you can hear the old self disintegrating and the
new self that has not yet emerged. This is what makes the transition so scary, a crisis. Joe is
messing with the core of the operating system that has brought him the success he has achieved.
He is not sure that if he dismantles this way of being it will work out well for him. He does not
yet have any experience with the new Creative Mind. He will not know the benefits of Creative
Mind for some time. All he has is the question that naturally arises from the Creative Mind to
initiate the transformation, “What do I really want?” While Joe does not know where this
question will lead, he intuitively knows that this is the right question. Joe does not yet know that
this transition is not asking him to give up his hard-won capability to get results. He does not yet
realize that he is hanging that gift on a Reactive Structure, and that in doing so is limiting the gift
and introducing liabilities (evident in his 360◦ results). Joe has not yet experienced that, in the
transition to Creative Mind, you keep your gift and jettison the liabilities. As a result, you get
your gift in a higher form. The Creative capacity to achieve far outperforms what can be
achieved from his Reactive Controlling-Protecting mindset. Joe does not know any of this yet.
All he can say is, “What do I do with this?” So he is faced with the courageous choice to go
forward on a journey with no guarantees, or to retreat back into his Reactive Mind. That choice
will define the future of Joe’s leadership.
The leadership literature has described Creative Leadership for decades, but without the
framework of Adult Development. This has limited our ability to understand what it is, what
makes the Reactive and Creative Mind so different, and how to support the evolution.
Robert Fritz masterfully described the difference between the Creative and Reactive orientations.
However, he did not place each orientation within a vertical development framework. Larry
Wilson did the same thing. He described these same two orientations as play-not-to-lose and
play-to-win, but did not see these as progressively developing structures of mind. This is true of
most of the good leadership theory and research.
In the work that led up to his book, The Empowered Manager, Peter Block started out trying to
get the bathroom conversation into the meet- ing room (Block, 1987). In the bathroom, people
say how they are really experiencing the meeting. When the meeting reconvenes, everyone
agrees that things are going fine. This is usually not the conversation that hap- pened in the
bathroom at break. To address this, and to get the truth to appear in the meeting room, Peter
began to work on teaching the neces- sary authentic “political” skills.
As Peter engaged leaders in the skill-practice of telling the truth in meetings, he ran into caution.
Peter constantly heard leaders say, “If I stand up, I will get shot.” In order to address this
cautious, play-not-to- lose game, Peter realized that he needed to help leaders discover a vision
or purpose that was bigger than their fear—worth the risk. This led him to challenge leaders with
the question of vision: what would you do if you could? These questions (How am I playing notto-lose? How am I getting in my own way? What do I really want? What would I do if I could?
How would I lead if I knew I could not fail or would not be fired?) are key developmental
questions for the evolving Creative Mind. If asked frequently and with searing honesty, they
reliably boot up the Creative Mind.
Peter was on to something. He and others were describing Creative Mind and how to develop it
without seeing or describing the vertical process of development. The Leadership Development
field is a random collection of great stuff—models, frameworks and research. Each is use- ful,
but partial. Most of it describes the leadership that emerges at the Creative Mind, without
attributing it to a natural, sequential process of development.
In his book, In Over Our Heads, Bob Kegan made a game-changing statement. He said that most
of the leadership literature describes the kind of leadership that naturally emerges on Creative
Mind (Kegan, 1998). The leadership literature and competency research is quite clear in
describing effectiveness. Effective leaders are purpose driven and trans- late their deep sense of
purpose into a clear and compelling vision and strategy, which become the focus of execution
and decisions. Leaders are systems-aware, redesigning systems to produce higher-order results.
They are authentic and courageous in their conversations, lead with integrity, and are self-aware,
emotionally intelligent, interpersonally skillful, and relationally competent—fostering high
teamwork and trust, as well as mentoring and developing others. Kegan says that such leadership
is vin- tage Creative, Self-Authoring Mind (Kegan and Lahey, 2009). He con- cluded that these
leadership competencies arise naturally on Creative Mind, but do not reliably boot up on
Reactive Mind. Our research cor- roborates Kegan’s conclusion.
The leadership literature has described Creative Mind without know- ing it. This has led us to
approach Leadership Development primarily as an outer game of skill development and ignore
the maturity of the inner game. Meanwhile, a well-researched understanding of the process of
development, and the vertically sequential structures of mind, was being incubated in the field of
Developmental Psychology, outside the main- stream of the Leadership Development field.
Stage Development theory needs to move to the center of the Leadership Development conversation. It is at the center of the Leadership Circle Profile and the Universal Model of Leadership.
The Reactive Mind creates an oscillating pattern of performance over time, the natural tendency
of which is to seek equilibrium and return to normal (Figure 10.3).
The natural tendency of the Reactive Mind is to establish hierarchical, patriarchal structures,
dynamics, and cultures. Such organizations do not perform as needed today.
The Creative Mind creates a different pattern of results. In the story of the insurance salesman,
we mentioned that he talked about the prob- lem, his disgust with himself, and his swinging into
gear, but he never talked about his vision or why he cared about selling. He expressed no
overarching passion, which is the heart of the Creative Mind. Cre- ative Mind orients on
Purpose. The core of the Creative IOS is a con- stant focus on a desired future vision, and amid
the current reality (with all its mixed messages and hurdles) taking authentic, collaborative action
to bring that vision into being over time. Creative Leadership is about creating an organization
that we believe in, creating outcomes that matter most, and enhancing our collective capacity to
create a desired future. It is designed for change, to bring into being
The Creative Mind starts from purpose and vision, not with a problem. There are plenty of
problems to deal with as we create the futures we want, but the driving focus is on creating a
vision that we care about, a vision worthy of our deepest commitment. Not any vision will do. If
it does not matter, it generates no energy. The energy that fuels the Creative Mind is passion.
Love is not too strong a word.
While fear is naturally present when creating what we want (the spark behind fear), fear is not
running the show. The focus on purpose and vision generates a passion, love, and commitment
that is bigger than the fear. Love is superordinate to fear. It is more powerful, and, thus, Creative
Structure supersedes the Reactive play-not-to-lose game.
The focus on vision, fueled by passion, results in action, not reaction. In Creative Structure, we
do not take action to eliminate what we do not want. Nor is action a reaction to fear—trying to
attenuate it. In the Creative Mind we do not react, but we act to bring into being what we most
care about. This mind structure is fundamentally different from Reactive Mind and gets a
different pattern of performance over time.
The Creative Structure is not a balancing loop. It does not seek equi- librium or have a natural
tendency to oscillate. In System Dynamics language, the Creative Structure is a growth loop—
each time you cycle through the loop, it grows (Figure 10.5).
As we get clearer about our purpose and translate that into a clear picture of the future we want,
passion naturally grows. As passion grows, the tendency to take the action necessary to creating
our desired future also grows. As we take action to create what we want, we either get closer to
our vision or clearer about it. Then our passion grows again (or stays high). As passion grows,
the tendency to take additional action also grows, which takes us farther in the direction of our
vision. This is a virtuous growth cycle. Each time through the cycle, it grows and funds future
growth (unlike the Reactive Mind, where each time through the loop, it reverses the direction of
results, thus oscillating). Creative Mind is designed to seek visio …
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