Leading in a hyper-diverse and interconnected world

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Leadership 2012/2013 – Reflections

With the close of 2012 and the beginning of a new year I always


  • Background image - "Fire", Methow River Valley, Washington, United States (2006, Zacko-Smith).
  • What is a Catalyzed Leader? In brief, it's a leader who facilitates our natural diversity and uses it to create change.  One definition of a catalyst is "a substance which stimulates change, yet is not directly altered." For our purposes, the "substance" is the leader or leaders, who facilitate (catalyze) diversity and create new outcomes; as facilitators of processes, Catalyzed Leaders are not directly involved in the change (not directly altered).  Catalysts also "speed up reaction rates", "accelerate change processes", and "initiate or cause important events to happen".  Catalyzed leadership is another metaphor that we can use to understand leadership, and we believe it is one best suited to the hyper-diverse 21st Century and beyond. It is NOT a theory or set of skills, but a multifaceted way of understanding that naturally alters practice.
  • Exciting guest bloggers and topics are coming to The Catalyzed Leader in the coming weeks!  Expect writing that looks at self-organized work groups and collective work-space, Transcendent Leadership (and what we believe comes after it), and new ideas about what it means to lead authentically in the 21st Century and beyond. Stay tuned!

Featured Book


Us-versus-them is the costly mind-set in which organizations, communities, and whole nations too often find themselves trapped. In fact, recognizing difference as a positive force can bring astonishing value to even the most diverse organizations.

In Us Plus Them, leadership scholar Todd Pittinsky introduces a groundbreaking new science of diversity that:

• Debunks the assumption that wherever there is difference there will be inherent tension and animosity
• Challenges the effectiveness of our standard attempts to fight prejudice and combat hate in our schools and workplaces, our civic and religious lives
• Reveals how we benefit from the mixing of different ethnic, racial, national, social, and religious groups in a globalized world

Through a wide range of examples—from Maine and Michigan to Rwanda and Bhutan, and from small-town classrooms to corporate boardrooms—Pittinsky opens our eyes to misunderstood yet useful aspects of us-and-them relations, including many of the neglected positive dimensions of difference. He provides a bold new assessment of the popular and scientific approaches to the issue, proving that it’s time to move beyond mere tolerance to build communities in which the two sides of the us-and-them equation engage each other because they both want to.

Much as Martin Seligman and positive psychology have shifted the focus from mental illness to mental healthiness, this book shifts our mind-set to diversity as a positive force. Understanding the science and practical use of that energy will help us build the schools, neighborhoods, companies, and nations we want, and not simply avoid the ugliest problems of the past. Pittinsky shows us that our great diversity experiment hasn’t failed—it hasn’t even begun.

It’s our DIFFERENCES that most connect us (not our similarities) in the 21st Century and beyond!

“Dominator culture has tried to keep us all afraid, to make us choose safety instead of risk, sameness instead of diversity. Moving through that fear, finding out what connects us, revelling in our differences; this is the process that brings us closer, that gives us a world of shared values, of meaningful community.” ~ bell hooks, "Teaching Community: A Pedagogy of Hope".

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It is better to travel well than to arrive.

Catalyzed Leadership Starts at the HEART


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  • “Thou shalt not be a victim, thou shalt not be a perpetrator, but, above all, thou shalt not be a bystander.” ~ Yehuda Bauer Catalyzed 1 day ago
  • lnkd.in/3HH-za Considering that I work for the International Center for Studies in Creativity -- the first formal academic study... Catalyzed 1 week ago
  • We live in a civilization that continually sacrifices the present moment for the promise of some future fulfillment that never arrives. Thi… Catalyzed 1 week ago
  • I think human beings make simple things more complex as a way to distract themselves from the real issues; those related to that humanness. Catalyzed 2 weeks ago


A Hyper-Diverse World Requires a Different Kind of Leadership

Source: International Center for Studies in Creativity, CRS635 - Creativity and Change Leadership (M.S. Capstone Course).

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. . . only lists websites, ideas, people and institutions that represent something important to Catalyzed Leaders.