Michael Jones is a leadership educator, author and Juno-nominated pianist/composer. His most recent book, The Soul of Place: Re-imagining Leadership Through Nature, Art and Community, is the third in a series asking how leaders can re- imagine places as living systems inspired by nature, art, community and our deepening humanity.
Horizontal leadership and the spaces in between
11 Aug 2017
Horizontal leaders donít just think outside the box, they think outside the building, seeking answers and opportunities in the ill-defined, ambiguous spaces at the boundaries of sectors, disciplines and capabilities.
Leading from the heart
30 Jan 2017
In a future of intelligent machines, the fastest growing segment of the economy will be the emergence of artist-leaders who build value through experiences that connect people with their hearts.
The magic of festival
22 Dec 2016
As we enter into this festive time of year, its worth remembering that Festival often comes during times of great disruption - a surge of energy so strong that it acts as a counterpoint to the world of official and hierarchical order.
Leadership and the power of the imagination
11 Nov 2016
At the core of our existence is a pool of energy that has very little to do with personal identity. This is the world of the imagination, a world in which we play only a small part in the whole marvellous act of creation.
Creating your corporate narrative
29 Aug 2016
Life unfolds according to the stories we tell ourselves. So one way of building a resilient and engaged enterprise is by creating a powerful, shared narrative of purpose and place.
The music of leadership
26 Jul 2016
Music is a powerful vibration. Too often our world seems filled with bits and fragments that donít make sense. But then we hear the music that tells the story and our world feels coherent and whole again.
The art of speaking well
29 Jun 2016
In times of crisis, fear and uncertainty, we need to pay attention to the art of speaking well and remember that when used carelessly, words can easily transform a community into a mob.
From leadership to 'communityship'
27 May 2016
Community lies at the core of human existence. Yet in our hectic, individualistic world, the sense of being in fellowship with one another has been lost and replaced with a language that implies that life is our adversary.
Leadership and the art of minimum force
21 Apr 2016
Sometimes by forcing less, we accomplish more. It is when we are at ease that life rushes in. So for leaders, instead of trying to impose their will based on what they believe ought to happen, perhaps they'd be better off going with the flow.
Regenerative leadership: learning from craftwork
30 Mar 2016
Every leader has some sort of theory being the way they lead. For some it might be military strategy or competitive sport. But for others, it is the regenerative and transformational notion of craftwork.
Four ways to create a culture of well-being
01 Feb 2016
Businesses are most successful when they create an environment that helps people feel good and view themselves as human enterprises.Here are four ways to develop that sense of well-being.
Leading in an unpredictable world
26 Nov 2015
We canít predict the future, but we can imagine and feel it. So rather than avoiding surprise, leaders can embrace uncertainty and learn from the unexpected by being open to subtle signals that they may not fully comprehend.
Respecting the moment
28 Oct 2015
Some leaders are so focused on outcomes that they canít leave space to listen to other points of view. They could learn a lot from artists about respecting the moment and the importance of the spaces between the notes.
Leading through stories of place
25 Sep 2015
Too often, we try to change things without taking into account the narrative that holds everything together. At the heart of that narrative is a sense of place, because place is not an object or a thing, but a power and a presence.
17 Aug 2015
If we want to create meaningful change within our organizations and communities, we need to go beyond mechanistic, behavioral or even human potential thinking and embrace a living systems worldview.
Leadership and the art of the impossible
18 Jun 2015
In times of volatility and change, we need to dig deep for fresh responses. That is a leaderís work now, to master the art of the impossible and, in so doing, to achieve what we did not think it was possible for us to do.
Four mythic leadership stories
07 May 2015
Behind our rational and analytical world, where everything is measured and quantified, there exist powerful archetypal narratives that shape who we truly are and offer us the the wisdom to wisely navigate a complex and changeable world.
From factory to farm: the future of leadership
13 Apr 2015
Leaders often donít have the answers weíre looking for. So what is leadership for and what should leaders think, do and imagine to address the new challenges we face? Perhaps the answer is not about knowing more, but about becoming more.
Leading by candlelight
16 Mar 2015
The difference between management and leadership is like the difference between flashlight and candlelight. In the focused, flash-lit world of management, we try to bend others to our will. But in the candle-lit world of dialogue, we blend with others in order to see a greater whole.
Leadership and the beauty principle
19 Feb 2015
For Steve Jobs, Apple's products had to be beautiful as well as functional. His pursuit of beauty highlights that while power may inspire the mind of a leader, it is beauty that inspires their soul, grips the imagination and inspires what needs to get done.
Soil, growth and the art of conversation
20 Jan 2015
Like seeds, ideas can only germinate when conditions are right. And while most organizations arenít short of ideas, theyíre much less adept at enriching the soil to enable these ideas grow. What builds this soil is conversation. But not all conversations are the same.
A new leadership renaissance?
29 Dec 2014
As we move into a new year, we are also moving from seeing our world as a machine to seeing it as a garden - a living ecosystem. And thatís a shift of mindset that will bring with it a new leadership renaissance.