Standing on the steps of a parking lot in Davos, Switzerland Colin Price, Executive VP at Heindrick and Struggles talked about leadership, mindset and accelerating performance in complexity by not running faster. Any of you who have felt overwhelmed, fatigued or out of work/life balance will appreciate the insight from our conversation which sheds light into what is going on imperceptibly. Behind those feelings is a world rising in complexity and choice at exponential rates. Most companies are unprepared. Most leaders are ill-equipped.

Decisions like Brexit and the election of Trump along with simple answers to complex issues arises, in part, out of a desire to return to simpler times when life was black and white; more concrete and controllable. Companies with a heavy reliance on operational decisions will face the same challenge: to fall prey to oversimplifying complexity or to update leadership skills to match the challenge.

Do employees really resist change?

Colin says they resist change that does not benefit the customer.

His point is well taken given that many companies indulge in rearranging business process to substitute for a shift in perspective and worldview on what is going on in the world. One of the mind shifts is from linear thinking to seeing from a broader perspective, a more holistic landscape. From that point of view, complexity is not a passing trend much like forestry companies hoped environmental concerns were a ‘fad’. It is here to stay and ramping up fast.

What does this mean to you?
If you are feeling overwhelmed or out of balance know that there is a massive split in the trajectory of human evolution underway. Ervin Laszlo explained that in Mastering the Split in Human Consciousness otherwise known as a ‘bifurcation’ in systems science terms. A bigger systemic shift is playing out behind the scenes. Paying attention to where and what you are focusing on, then correcting and adjusting in the moment gives you the self-control and discipline to adjust with emerging conditions.

If you are relying on linear thinking to perceive reality or if you are attached to fixed beliefs about how the world works, it will be a bumpy ride. Start exploring how one thing is connected to everything else and you’ll soon build a mindmap that gives you access to another level of perception. Complexity can not be oversimplified or reduced down to analytical terms in order to cope. It runs on the principles of physics, and so applying principles works. Oversimplification makes for Donald Trump decisions that negatively impact everyone. To be clear, I am not against Donald Trump. I am very mindful of the effect his thinking has on society and the unconscious. It is a opportunity to evolve past the separation and fear.

More thoughts will be in my next Huffington Post article due this week on Great Workplace Cultures.

I look forward to your comments.


The global and business issues we face today require full employee engagement and a different thinking. Dawna loves to work collaboratively to evolve and transform workplaces to be more ‘fit’, agile and inspiring. By shifting perspective to expose the invisible elements creating routine results, clients gain the strength and clarity needed to remove barriers to growth. Intelligent and intuitive insights strengthen leadership capacity to use complexity fluently and grow beyond the limitations of profit to achieve greater prosperity and value. To activate a quantum leap in leadership, Dawna started the Evolutionary Provocateur podcast in 2008. Author of Decision Making for Dummies, a speaker and a tad nomadic, Dawna is currently working on using Virtual and Augmented Reality to accelerate business culture change and human potential. An original thinker, she brings personal experience with resilience and transformation to her leadership.

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