Leading into the Future XIb: Holding the Center While Innovating and Opening Boundaries

Leading into the Future XIb: Holding the Center While Innovating and Opening Boundaries

It should therefore be proposed that hurdles become even higher and stronger if efforts are being made to leap over them, reduce them in size or simply go around them. While we might take some measure of pleasure in knowing that our initiative is being taken seriously, it is also critical that we plan from the first regarding ways to overcome the opposition. The noted behavioral economist, Daniel Kahneman (xxxx), suggests that we engage in a Premortem prior to the initiation of major new project. This would mean that we consider not just the upside to be found in possible success, but also the downside to be found in possible failure. How might we modify and adjust our plan if it isn’t working as we would like—at the very least we should set up a mechanism for critical, unbiased review regarding how we are doing. This might mean bringing in someone who is skeptical about our work, yet hoping for our success (the “friendly critic”). This might also mean doing some backward design work – tracing back various causal events that could lead to hypothetical failure.

This backward design often means gaining a clear assessment of our “opposition’s” strategy and strengths. What do we do to overcome the initial onslot of opposition? Can we anticipate what the counter arguments will be (usually we can) and prepare our response. Perhaps we conduct a moot court session where one of us presents an articulate statement of the opposition and another of us prepares the response.



Bergquist, William (1993) The Postmodern Organization. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Boulding, Kenneth (1973) “Intersects: The Peculiar Organizations.” In The Conference Board. Challenge to Leadership: Managing in a Changing World. New York: Free Press.

Drucker, Peter (1989) The New Realities. New Realities. New York: HarperCollins.

Friedman, Thomas (xxx) The World is Flat

Johansson, Frans (2004) The Medici Effect: Breakthrough Insights at the Intersection of Ideas, Concepts and Cultures. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

Kim, W. Chan and Renee Mauborgne (2005) Blue Ocean Strategy. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Review Press.

Lewin, Kurt and Gertrud Weiss Lewin. (1948)  Resolving Social Conflicts : Selected Papers on Group Dynamics. New York: Harper and Bros.

Page, Scott (2011) Diversity and Complexity. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Senge, Peter (1990) The Fifth Discipline. New York: Doubleday.



Share this:

About the Author

William BergquistWilliam Bergquist, Ph.D. An international coach and consultant in the fields of psychology, management and public administration, author of more than 50 books, and president of a psychology institute. Dr. Bergquist consults on and writes about personal, group, organizational and societal transitions and transformations. His published work ranges from the personal transitions of men and women in their 50s and the struggles of men and women in recovering from strokes to the experiences of freedom among the men and women of Eastern Europe following the collapse of the Soviet Union. In recent years, Bergquist has focused on the processes of organizational coaching. He is coauthor with Agnes Mura of coachbook, co-founder of the International Journal of Coaching in Organizations and co-founder of the International Consortium for Coaching in Organizations.

View all posts by William Bergquist

Leave a Reply