The Synergy of Poetic Leadership – How Leading Poetically Bridges the Gaps


We live in a world of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA), where the disparate needs of individuals, communities and society are at times in conflict. There is a growing recognition that traditional styles of leadership are no longer adequate for such a world. Interdisciplinary practices can give us a new perspective on our challenges; new ways to build synergy. This presentation will consider how a poetic leadership can help us reach common ground, and find meaning and purpose in our places in community or society. Poetry deals in the currencies of passion and truth; its language is open and non-directive. Poetry connects emotionally whilst allowing us the freedom to make our own interpretations. It provides a space for reflection. These are vital skills for engaging with others in a noisy and complex world. The music of poetry can wake up our senses. It can develop our lateral thinking capabilities, and may help us to manage better in ambiguity and uncertainty. Poetry sits with not knowing. Leadership with these qualities can build resilience in a VUCA world. A poem should also be “a field of action” *, knotting together knowing and doing. The poetic leader makes change and supports others to do the same. Using poetry, metaphor and example, this session will explore how poetic leadership can bridge gaps between individual, community and society; how it can help to address conflict, and build synergy, meaning and purpose. * William Carlos Williams, 1948

Author Information
Sam Chittenden, Different Development, United Kingdom

Paper Information
Conference: EBMC2014
Stream: Other Special Topics

This paper is part of the EBMC2014 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon