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Sigue: Disruptive leaders design the future

Disruptive Mode

IT IS evident that our government leaders today failed to show strong collaboration and results-driven strategic management of the Covid-19 pandemic. Each department is competing instead of working in a synchronized manner. Our leaders miserably lack empathy such that they are unable to generate relevant solutions. These are red flags indicating a dearth of public leaders with a design mindset.

Next week, I am honored to curate a Design Thinking in Governance sessions for the Philippine Society for Public Administration (PSPA) through it first Executive Education Online.

Examining the current trends and issues in the public sector -- a human-centered, possibility-driven, options-focused and iterative problem-solving approach is necessary to generate ideas and deliver solutions in more meaningful, relevant and innovative ways.

The Certificate Course on Design Thinking in Governance (CCDTG) looks into the design thinking process which involves various tools that have proven to yield more relevant results in business. Connecting design thinking with governance, this course aims to provide innovators in the public sector an opportunity of calibrate their repertoire, enhance their knowledge and use of the different tools of design thinking, engage in enriching discussions with other public sector professionals, and review their present initiatives through the lenses of design thinking.

Participants of the program will engage in interactive learning experiences as co-learners to know the fundamental concepts, tools and process of design thinking; understand situations and circumstances within the public sector where design thinking is ideal as a problem-solving approach and apply design thinking tools to generate ideas and solutions in dealing with these situations; and develop and share case study taking off from the process of design thinking.

Design thinking requires disruptive leaders. As more next generation leaders step up to disrupt things, the cavemen of Hobbes inside majority of Filipinos that feared their own shadows as seen against the light from outside of the cave is starting to think.

The era of disruptive leadership dawns. We will extricate themselves from the thinking that chained us inside the cave -- it will never work because it has never been done before." The fear of the unknown. Of change. Now we see that new ideas are not new, newfound courage makes all the difference.

For decades, we've wallowed under leaders that think for us, unfortunately many are shortsighted, worse, dim-witted. But today, I see disruptive minds setting the pace, in all spheres. Minds that are not bound by a "one-size fits all mentality". Minds that transcend simple "carrot or stick" approach by looking at all sides -- converting beneficiaries to become genuine stakeholders.

Disruptive leadership is about active listening and presencing.

Understanding more than seeing. Listening more than hearing. A leader that is there -- at the present moment, drawing insights from all sides to develop intuitive and responsive strategies.

Disruptive leadership is bold, willing to experiment, with a clear set of alternatives should results be different, but willing to leave the shores to venture to uncharted courses. Open to adapting new solutions to achieve new results.

Disruptive leadership is about maximizing resources -- spending every cent with a clear measure of its social impact. It does not do the convenient, but only the necessary. It prepares a thorough and comprehensive plan before jumping to decisions. But it is never debilitated by philosophies and dogmas that oftentimes keep us inside the cave.

Disruptive leadership is fully aware that the power they weld comes from the people and this so-called people are not cavemen, not brutes but thinking human beings. They harness the potential of every member of their community to contribute to growth, (or not to hamper growth by being part of social ills, thus take care of them).

Disruptive leadership embraces innovation. The imperative of understanding technology not for technology sake but to address real life problems, design solutions to actual pain points that hinder development.

We've accepted the vicious cycles as norms. Politics is all business -- whatever fills the pocket of politicians becomes the project. The dangerous conditioning that when citizens verbalize their aspirations they are against development. The notion that position necessarily comes with intelligence, empathy and vision. We have long comfortably settled inside the caves of our beliefs that nothing can change.

But the Age of Disruption has long began. Soon whether we wish to stay inside the caves or not, the caves will be destroyed. How we will look as cities, as a country, once exposed into the light, will determine our future. The leaders among us will play a key role in leading us into the light.

This is a challenge to new leaders. Do not be afraid of disruption, be the disruption.


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