It was 2015, when I was at the Wisdom 2.0 business conference that I heard Otto Sharmer talk. In his keynote "from ego system to eco system", he introduced the idea of the emerging future. It's had an effect on me ever since.
The emerging future is beyond what has been, or what is currently. In essence, you sense that something is going to happen, you don’t know what it is, but you hold the space to allow it to happen.
Each of us and each of our teams has a potential future - something that may happen - and we need to imagine it to make it so. We can each create a future for ourselves and our organisations. Once we imagine it, anything is possible.
Holding the space is one of the most important things you can do as a leader. But what does it actually mean?
Holding the space in a practical sense involves:
This is only possible with what Otto Scharmer describes as "generative listening". That is, listening with all parts of you, including gut feel and instinct. This allows you to sense what is going on not only "out there" but also within the inner landscape.
As a leader, generative listening happens when we:
The key takeaway from this, is that as a leader it pays to not look at what is, but what could be, and then hold the space for that reality to emerge.