What I’ve noticed.
The steady evaporation of centralised authority. It’s becoming very evident as politicians bicker over which regions should lock down to what extent, “following the science” becomes clear as a marketing tagline, local leadership asserts itself in the North, and the only response is to co-opt track and trace data and threaten people with punishment.
If this was a football team, we’d be saying the coach has lost the dressing room, and we’d be looking in the market for a replacement.
Everyday the business press is full of lectures on leadership and the fact that centralised doesn’t work in times of rapid change, but somehow we seem not to think that it applies to politics. People are elected on a condensed centralised quasi promise called a manifesto, but without any clear indication of the qualities needed to operate in a complex leadership environment. A degree in the other PPE (politics, philosophy, economics) combined with an extended internship somewhere is often deemed enough. It’s not. We need more from those who would lead us.
Democratic Capitalism is probably still the best route forward, but right now we seem poverty struck in the exercise of democracy, and out of control in our capitalism.
Leadership capacity at all levels has never been more important. This will be a long winter.
What is shaping my reflections?
People who are exploring options, and challenging the status quo.
Thinking Differently. I’ve always been stimulated by Alex Wahl’s writing, and this interview with Alex Pryor is no different. You may not agree with it, but it’s most definitely food for thought.
How stress encourages old habits. Markham Reid. I think this is very relevant right now as we enter winter having to find our own way. Einstein said that we cannot solve problems at the same level of complexity as when they were created. This article explores why we try and do just that.
The rise and rise of creativity. Steven Shapin. not the usual yadayada on creativity, this 20 min read is a well considered reflection on creativity, and where it sits right now in our needs.
Ethan Hawke on Creativity. Brought to you by the people who I think make the best jeans you can buy. Made in Wales.
How many things have to change before you change? The best way to confront uncertainty is to make it explain itself. Change is not a virus, it’s much more complex. something to think about.
“Yesterday we obeyed kings and bent our necks before emperors. But today we kneel only to truth, follow only beauty, and obey only love.”
Khalil Gibran. The Vision. Reflections on the Way of the Soul.
What’s on my mind.
It’s easy to get down right now, and I think that’s looking at things through the wrong end of the telescope. This may be uncomfortable, painful even, but I think it’s a necessary jolt to get us out of a period of mindless, pointless consumption and too many soul sapping jobs with no regard to consequences. We can do so much more.
That no matter how convenient it would be to have some “solution” to the current challenges, there isn’t one. No Knight in shining armour, no single leader, no technology. Nobody is coming to rescue us.
We have to rescue ourselves, and we can do that through small act upon small act. By paying attention to the consequences of our small actions. What we buy, where it comes from, who made it, what will happen to it when we’ve finished with it. It will take time. We need to start.
Every penny we part with is going somewhere, to someone, who will use it to do what? We need to make sure we are happy with where we send our money and what it does when we lose sight of it.
We have an opportunity to reframe how we live, and that’s huge.
Have a great week.