EBBF keynote on Evolutionary co-leadership

Alain Gauthier will deliver a keynote and facilitate a learnshop at the EBBF Forum on May 29 in Lisbon, Portugal, on the theme: Evolutionary co-leadership: The next stage in leadership and organizational development?

In the Keynote, I will highlight the key changes in the environment and the aspirations of the younger generations that call for new forms of organizational leadership which enable people to be co-creative in influencing the system they work in. Building on the key concepts and practices presented in my book that are relevant in the European context, I will show how evolutionary co-leadership responds to these new needs.

In the Learnshop, I will engage participants in an experiential exploration of the characteristics and practices of evolutionary co-leadership. We will first explore in further depth the leadership implications of the profound shifts that are occurring across all sectors of society. We will then identify specific conditions and experience integral practices for developing and nurturing the qualities and competencies of evolutionary coleadership – at the personal, interpersonal, and systemic levels. In conclusion, we will examine how to scale up evolutionary co-leadership. The target audience is actors of transformation from all sectors – particularly those who want to deepen their understanding of the “evolutionary call” and are experiencing the limits of focusing mainly on individual leadership development.

The learnshop will be structured around four key questions:

  1. Why is co-leadership needed in meeting our evolutionary challenges?
  2. What new forms and qualities of leadership are emerging at this time?
  3. What perspectives, agreements, and practices generate a shift to evolutionary co-leadership?

Educating evolutionary co-leadership to embody a radically new development paradigm

(Published in  World Futures, The Journal of Global Education  – December 2012)

The purpose here is to explore why and how to develop an emerging form of integral leadership – called evolutionary co-leadership – that is responsibly dedicated to the co-evolution of life and humanity on Planet Earth. After offering some fresh distinctions about leadership, this article calls for a shift to a radically new development paradigm, and identifies key qualities and practices of evolutionary co-leadership. It then shares some views on the multiplying effects of an integral approach to co-leadership development – in the context of transforming education – and conclude with some avenues to disseminate this emerging leadership form, mainly to deal constructively with what Barbara Marx Hubbard 1   calls the current “birthing pains” of a new civilization.

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A call for evolutionary leadership to embody a radically new development paradigm

(Article published in Presidency Key Brief – Summer 2012 issue)

We are witnessing, as some have identified it, “the end of a world” – as three great waves are now ending simultaneously: 1) A 30-year wave of ultra-capitalism and hyper-consumption that has been characterized by damaging economic excesses at the expense of social and environmental well-being of countless people, as well as the mindless pillage of the earth. 2) A 300-year wave of modernity that has brought multiple freedoms and human/social rights, but also an objectification of nature and humans, including new forms of inhumanity. 3) A 3000-year “mental age” – that has resulted in an imbalance between mental intelligence and body-heart intelligence. The conjunction of these three cycles has produced leadership forms that have inhibited the development of individuals, their communities, their harmonious relationships with nature and the meaning of their life. Continue reading

Emerging concepts and forms of integral leadership: Embodying a radically new development paradigm

(Published in the Integral Leadership Review [1] – October 21, 2011)

My intention in this article is to explore emerging concepts and forms of integral leadership, pursuing how they can be scaled up to bring humanity – across the planet – onto an evolutionary and sustainable course. After offering some fresh distinctions about leadership, the article calls for a shift to a radically innovative development model and points to key qualities and practices of evolutionary leadership. I then share some views on the multiplying effects of an integral approach to leadership development – in the context of a transformation of education – and conclude with some avenues to disseminate these emerging leadership forms, so as to deal constructively with what Barbara Marx Hubbard 1 calls the current “birthing pains” of a new civilization. Continue reading

Generative leadership development programs: A global exploratory study

This paper summarizes the key findings, interpretations and questions that result from a twelve-month exploratory study of the emerging field of ‘generative leadership development’ (GLD) that took place in 2007 and 2008. The study was based on interviews with observers of the field and program directors on five continents, as well as on analyses of websites, articles, and books. It benefitted from the extensive experience that the research team gathered in decades of founding and leading diverse leadership networks as well as educational and training programs. Continue reading

Stages of leadership development

(Article[1] published in Handbook of Top Management Teams Edited by Frank Bournois et al, Palgrave Macmillan, 2007)


Current global trends and crises call for executive leaders who demonstrate a high level of maturity in dealing creatively with increasing complexity, uncertainty, diversity, and paradoxes, and who engage in generative collaboration with leaders from other sectors (public, private, and civil society), thus enhancing organizational and societal learning. These leaders accelerate their own development through personal and interpersonal practices, as well as by being open to learning and showing vulnerability in their leadership role.  Continue reading

Developing Collective Leadership: Partnering in Multi-stakeholder Contexts

(Published in Part IV – Bridging Sectors and Communities of the book Leadership is Global, Global Leadership Network, 2006)

Executive Summary: In this chapter, Alain Gauthier, a senior leadership coach and facilitator working worldwide with the top management of major corporations, the United Nations, and other international institutions, describes in detail the application of the partnership paradigm in multi-stakeholder context. Based on his experience in facilitating the emergence of sustainable local and global partnerships, the author discusses multiple approaches and tools that can be applied to help diverse leaders mature together as “boundary crossers”, while addressing critical issues that cannot be solved within a single organization or sector. Continue reading

The challenge of stewardship: Building learning organizations in healthcare

( Published as a Chapter of “Learning Organizations – Developing Cultures for Tomorrow’s Workplace”, Edited by Sarita Chawla and John Renesh, Productivity Press, 1995)

My objective in this chapter is to illustrate the challenge of building learning organizations in a service industry that has to reinvent itself amidst drastic and multifaceted changes. This challenge calls for stewardship among healthcare leaders – the ability to see a broader picture and to take a long-term view. As Peter Block defines it, stewardship is also the willingness to be accountable for the well-being of the larger community, by operating in service of those around us. Continue reading