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Leading changeA guide to whole systems working$
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Margaret Attwood

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9781861344496

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861344496.001.0001

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Leadership: keeping the big picture in view

Leadership: keeping the big picture in view

(p.57) Four Leadership: keeping the big picture in view
Leading change

Margaret Attwood

Mike Pedler

Sue Pritchard

David Wilkinson

Policy Press

This chapter contends that ‘hero leadership’ cannot be successful in tackling ‘wicked’ or intractable problems. It suggests leadership as something for the many rather than the few ‘top’ people. The chapter explores the processes involved in leading across ‘whole systems’ – assisting sense-making, establishing ‘holding frameworks’, using collective intelligence, and so on – and some of the paradoxes with which leaders must grapple. It also suggests that images of organisations – as machines, networks, jazz groups, or flocks of birds – have significant influence on the expectations of leaders. Lastly, the chapter points the way to the link between leadership and whole systems ‘public learning’ processes.

Keywords:   hero leadership, public learning, whole systems, sense-making, organisations

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