[Springboard] Transformational Leadership Lab (TLL)

Jack Gilles icabombay at igc.org
Sun Sep 30 09:15:04 EDT 2007

Larry, Randy & Carolyn (and others),

I will attempt to summarize our Transformational Leadership Lab and  
share some of the models we work with.  The TLL was originally  
designed to create effective change agents within organizations.  We  
found that when we worked with companies that had, what we would call  
"Spirit People" we got results.  When we were working with people who  
just wanted to improve their organization we were less successful.   
So we decided to create a program that would help produce the  
effective change agents.

We built the program as a three module, 10 day (3-3-4 but actually  
starting the evening before the first day) format with at least one  
month to six weeks between modules.  The first module focused on  
Personal Transformation as a necessary criteria for understanding and  
executing organizational transformation.  The second module focused  
on working with others and creating the change team.  The third  
module was about the "hows" of transformation, the practical tasks  
and strategy of change.  Another way we viewed the three modules was  
"Head-Heart-Hands", the first module was more about understanding  
what transformation is, the second about the spirit/courage to being  
a change agent and the third is the practical work one has to do.

We have used many different tools and resources over the years in  
each of the modules.  Each module used movies and training videos  
where appropriate.  For instance, for many years we used Covey's 7  
Habits training videos in modules I & II.  Habits 1,2 & 3 in module 1  
and 4,5,6 & 7 in module II.  We would show them and then have small  
group discussions and have created workshops for each Habit.  But we  
no longer use them, although we still share some of the concepts in  
the first two modules.  Each module would have a full length  
hollywood film and discussion in it.  Again, these have varied, but  
some of those we have used are: Gung Ho (people love it and it is a  
great teaching tool for teamwork, motivation, goal setting,  
projects), The Doctor, Apollo 13, Bruebaker, Man of La Mancha,  We  
used training videos including several Tom Peters ones (Germany's  
Quality Obsession, Go Fast or Go Broke), Blanchard's One Minute  
Manager, Even Eagles Need a Push,  In the last module we often used  
Campbell's Power of Myth tapes (1,2 & 6) along with The Global Brain  
or A White Hole in Time.  We have watched Margaret Wheatley's video  
on Leadership & the New Science.  We would bring a table full of  
books from our library for each module and each participant was  
expected to read one during the month interval.  We collected a  
series of papers for each module that we would pass out and have  
people read between modules including copies of The Image Journal.   
We also used chapters of books for a seminar in each module.  We have  
used Syncronicity, Covey's 8th Habit, Katzenbach's Real Change  
Leaders, Senge's Fifth Discipline, Mahesh's Thresholds of Motivation,  
and several others.   Each participant selects a "Change Project" and  
reports to others on progress and learnings each module.  In the 2nd  
module we do our ORID and Workshop Methods work.

Each module would start with early morning Body Work led by Judy.  We  
did yoga, The Five Rites of Immortality, Body Poem and used a lot of  
Depak Chopra as context (Ageless Body, Timeless Mind).  We read  
poetry at each session, create rituals, sing, and do something  
different with the seating arrangements.  We did a lot of short  
courses on the role of Space and Spirit, as illustrated in our  
setups.  For example, we always have something living in our space,  
lots of plants.  We would create different spaces for different kinds  
of work.  One is Square Time versus Circle Time.  Square time is when  
we are sitting at tables dealing with temporal dimensions.  Circle  
time is when we would sit in a circle, usually on pillows/mattresses  
on the floor and we would talk about more eternal things.  We also  
had a celebration on the last evening of each module.  Great times  
for creativity and always a highlight.

The last day of module III was always a great happening.  We (much of  
the whole TLL design was done in a creative partnership with  
Marguerite Theophil and Homayun Taba) created a closing ceremony that  
was very powerful.  it involved each person writing and then reading  
a statement of personal intent, a sharing of affirmation of someone  
who's name you drew, a quote you selected from a large number placed  
on beautiful paper and a symbol of transformation which we gave  
them.  The symbol was a geod, representing the power hidden in the  
center of ordinariness.  The program changed a lot of lives and led  
to some very profound life decisions, including leaving one's present  
line of work.  We have put hundreds of people through the program  
over the years, but recently I and Judy have been doing it in a  
slightly shorter version as an in-house program.

Now what I have outlined is but the framework on which the real work  
of transformation is done.  We are about doing two things: one,  
getting people to grasp the power of Spirit, the implicate order (OW  
in the midst of TW) and the source of Spirit found within oneself and  
within the situation.  We are about allowing people to affirm the  
gift that their life is, the situation they find themselves in and  
the people who are part of their lives.  We are about allowing people  
to re-source the depth dimensions of their lives.  We do all of this  
in dozens of different ways, but mostly in reflections on personal  
experiences and short courses.  The second power center is pulling as  
much as possible through the Indian ethos.  This is crucial to  
transformation in India.  It is the source of their empowerment and  
unless they grasp their gift of humanness, they will always be  
"importers" of someone else's insight, be that HBS or Tom Peters or  
the Japanese quality models.  So we have worked hard on this.  I  
won't try and share these with you but you will see terms like,  
Vahana, Sahaja, Sewa, Sadana and Paunchabuta throughout our work.  It  
is always an address for a westerner to reveal depth meaning in their  
spirit dimension to them.  We see the Indian ethos as a depth  
understanding of Spirit and Energy.  We drill these dimensions into  
them in many different ways, including the poetry and singing.  We  
are about enabling them to become a gift of that ethos to the world,  
on behalf of all.

We are about to conduct the first module of a TLL starting this  
Tuesday for an aluminum factory belonging to the Birla Group.  Here  
is what we are doing during the three days, although we don't have as  
much time as it is not residential.  The first day we have an  
exercise in individual affirmation (having two people introduce each  
other to the group and then we have them draw each other's picture.   
This is always a big hit and a bit of transparency.   We then  
encourage people to write statements of affirmation on other's  
pictures during the program (based on ORID - four different types of  
affirmation they can choose from).  I will then do an extensive  
context on what is transformation, some work on Spirit and Energy and  
outline our time for the three modules.  After the lunch break we  
will be watching An Inconvenient Truth and having a discussion on  
it.  The company has agreed to have everyone work on transforming the  
plant into a "green" model, so this will be the common project.  We  
will brainstorm work areas, divide into teams and set 6 month goals  
for each area.  The second day we will be doing Learning Styles,  
Signs of Life exercise and then in the afternoon we will work on life  
journey (creating one's life timeline) and then an extensive  
conversation in circle time.  This is always a very powerful event  
for people.  The third day we will work on Motivation using VS  
Mahesh's east-west model and exercises.  We will conclude the first  
module with Blanchard's Situational Leadership model and exercises.   
Not sure we will be doing any singing, but we will be playing some  
music and of course lots of poetry, incense and meditation.

Attached is one of the models we created some years ago that we use  
in module III.  I won't go into the meaning of each of the terms of  
the Transformation Tasks Triangles, but there is a trans-rational  
flow to them.

Finally, after conducting many of these modules with people of  
different levels, Managing Directors down to Dept. Heads, we are  
convinced we have the core of a new program that needs to be put  
together on transformation and vocation.  That is why I am so  
passionate that we work together to create a program like an Academy  
that is based on our historical wisdom and combined with our years of  
working on new models and insights that make all of that wisdom  
relevant and applicable.

I hope this gives you a feel for what we have been doing here for the  
last 10-15 years.

Grace & Peace,


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