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Don't Fight Mother Nature—Or Your Own Time lapse of cascading water

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When: Wednesday, 24 October | 09:00 - 12:00 | HALF DAY
Where: Palm Beach County Convention Center - 1B/C
Ticket Price: ILA members - $45 | non-members - $60
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Water flows downhill naturally, so it takes a whole lot of energy to make it go uphill.  People — individually and in groups — have plenty of energy for what they are motivated to do, so it takes pushing and pulling to get people moving in a different direction. Since, humans, nature, and organizations are all living systems, leadership can be easier and less stressful when we learn two simple frameworks for working with what is, rather than fighting it.  (1)  Narrative Intelligence: The human brain makes meaning of events through narratives, which then define what we notice, the plotline that informs our actions, and what we share with one another, a process that over time reveals a shared story. When we make that process conscious, we gain a powerful leadership capacity. (2) Living Organization Intelligence: When we consciously shift our approach to our organization from seeing it as inert to seeing it as a living system, we can align our leadership to work with the dynamics of the system instead against it. Using Nature’s 3.8 billion years of experience, we can learn to shift our paradigm of leadership to lead more effectively.

For more information, download the long description.

  Who Should Attend?

People who are interested in pushing their own envelope of leadership in organizations and businesses and who are interested in learning how to get the highest possible outcomes with the least amount of energy and resources.

What Will Attendees Gain?

Participants will:

  • Gain a deeper understanding of the dynamics of living organizations and how leading with this understanding will help their organizations to be more productive, innovative, and adaptive.
  • Shift their leadership paradigm by deepening their understanding of what attitudes, habits, and narratives are holdovers of mechanistic organizational design that need to be let go of to lead in a way that causes less stress in themselves and others.
  • Have a deeper understanding of their own narratives. They will receive an assessment before the workshop of their individual narrative and a report that will help them ground this material in the narratives strongest for them.

Track: Business Leadership

Workshop Leaders & Presenters

Carol S. Pearson Kathleen E. Allen
Carol S. Pearson
Kathleen E. Allen


Carol S. Pearson is best known for books such as The Hero Within, Awakening the Heroes Within, The Hero and the Outlaw: Building Extraordinary Brands Through the Power of Archetypes (co-authored by Margaret Mark), and The Transforming Leader: New Approaches to Leadership for the Twenty-First Century (ed.) She served most recently as President of Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, CA. Previously, she was Professor of Leadership Studies in the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland and Director of the James MacGregor Burns Academy of Leadership, and, in this role, a member of ILA's Board of Directors.



Kathleen Allen is President of Allen and Associates, a consulting firm that specializes in leadership coaching, innovation, and organizational change in non-profit and for-profit organizations. She is the author of Leading from the Roots: Nature Inspired Leadership Lessons for Today's World and has written widely on leadership and change. She writes a weekly blog on leadership and organizations that describes a new paradigm of leadership based in lessons from nature and living systems. She has a doctorate in leadership from the University of San Diego.



Paul Kosempel is currently Teaching Associate Professor in leadership studies at the University of Denver (DU) as well as Interim Director of the Pioneer Leadership Program. Paul joined the faculty in 2007, and soon after received his PhD in interpersonal communication from DU. His professional experience includes over twenty years in higher education in various capacities including career development, leadership development, and operations management. He is co-convener of ILA's Sustainability Leadership Learning Community. His research interests include leadership and sustainability, assessment of leadership learning outcomes, and mentoring and leadership. He is also part-owner of the Green Bay Packers Football Team.



Charles David Tauber, M.D. is a founder of the Coalition for Work with Psychotrauma and Peace and has been its Head of Mission for Southeast Europe since 1995. He developed Pragmatic Empowerment Training (PET), a participatory course in communication, psychology, civil society, non-violent conflict transformation, and human rights for people without previous education in these fields. He has given therapy and supervision to victims of war. Previously, Tauber worked with various groups in The Netherlands, assisting asylum seekers and refugees and lay volunteers. He grew up in the USA, where he worked with environmental and peace groups starting in 1966.



Sandra Marić, grew up and studied in Zagreb, Croatia. Before joining to the Coalition for Work with Psychodrama and Peace as Deputy Head of Mission for Southeast Europe in 2006, she worked extensively with children and young people in eastern Croatia. Sandra holds a Masters in Sociology from the University of Zagreb. Her role with the Coalition includes therapy, research, writing, and a wide variety of other Coalition tasks.