Making Waves: Leadership as a Social Movement

Making Waves: Leadership as a Social Movement

© Julian Stodd
 Making Waves: Leadership as a Social Movement

I’ve lived by the sea all my life, and love nothing more than to walk along the shoreline, with the waves breaking by my feet. It’s easy to imagine those same waves originating far out at sea, shaped by the tides and currents, influenced by the gravity of the moon, moving through the open sea before breaking on the shore.
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Of course, the water that occasionally outpaces me and washes over my feet is not the water that was there at the start. Because the wave itself is not water. It’s energy. It is the energy of the wave that moves through the water (and moves the water). It is not one gallon of water that travels from the open seas.
Like so many seemingly simple things, when one deconstructs it, it becomes multi layered and complex. Waves flow through the water, and break upon the shore, the energy moving into sound, and imparted in the water, sand, and occasional crab, that washes up upon the beach.
I’ve been thinking about waves this week, when considering change as a social movement, and the ways that leaders operate in this space. Is leadership about the energy, or the wave, or the noise it makes when it breaks? Do leaders make the waves, or ride them? 

It’s probably a fundamental question to ask as we consider what leadership means within a modern Organisation. Do leaders drive change, or ride it. Do they read the sea, like a sailor, or try to withstand it’s might, like a lighthouse or harbour wall? And when we think about waves of change, are we thinking about the crash of surf upon

the beach, or the tiny flow of forces through a community that may eventually build to a peak?  I’m playing around with some new language this week, exploring social movements and how they are held, and grow. The role of stories, of leadership, and their role in delivering change. If you cannot change an Organisation by formal power alone, then social movement will be key. And if leadership extends beyond the formal space, then an individual leader will need to understand their role in riding, or making, waves.
The Author: Julian Stodd 
                                   Julian Stodd

My work explores the Social Age, and the contexts of leadership, learning, culture, and change, at the intersection of formal and social systems.  I am an evidence based practitioner, proud to work with some of the most incredible organisations in the world, supporting them in finding their way, and building practical capability, in this new space.  I am an author, with 14 books, and over 2,000 blog posts and articles to my name: i #WorkOutLoud, which means that my work is evolutionary and adaptive, and i am unafraid to be wrong, if i am open minded enough to learn how to be right, through research and prototype

I founded Sea Salt Learning in 2014 as an enterprise level partner through change:  
* We provide strategic consultancy and form Navigation Partnerships at exec level.  
* We build capability in teams through a broad Certification programme and immersive Experiences.  
* We partner on the design and delivery of global solutions around leadership, culture, learning transformation and change
I have written 14 books so far, including:
1. The Social Leadership Handbook 
2. The Trust Sketchbook
3. Social Leadership: My 1st 100 Days 
4. To the Moon and Back: Leadership Reflections from Apollo 
5. The Community Builder Guidebook 
6. The Trust Guidebook 
7. The Social Learning Guidebook

I help organisations adapt to be fit for the Social Age, to understand the notion of a Socially Dynamic Organisation, and to take practical steps to evolve.  I am a passionate advocate for social justice and willing to fight for fairness.  Awarded the Learning Performance Institute 'Colin Corder Award for Services to Learning', 2016.  I write widely around all aspects of the Social Age: Social Learning, Social Leadership, Collaborative Technology, Social Justice and Equality, Dynamic Change.  Sometime artist and poet. 
Occasional thinker. Accidental futurist.  Academic background in communication theory, psychology and neurophysiology, learning design, educational psychology, and philosophy.  Proud global mentor with the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women.  Proud Trustee of Drake Music, a charity that works to break down disabling barriers to music through education and research

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