The New Work of Leadership

Seeing people and organisations as living systems turns the role and purpose of leadership on its head.

Gardening is our metaphor because it best describes the new work.

After all, the gardener doesn’t grow the rose. The rose grows itself.

The skillful gardener cultivates the conditions.

In a complex webby world you can’t manage in silos. 

Or lead in a top-down way.

Or change in a linear way.

And you can’t change a system that makes and changes itself.


But you can positively disturb it. You can nudge it in a new direction. Take down walls. Open windows. Create space. Make new things possible.

By disturbing the ecology of relationship – the way people meet, communicate and organise – you can help them join the dots and make connections across functional and organisational boundaries.


You can help people build new relationships that make new things possible.

You can help them change how they work by discovering new approaches and learning about their own impact.

New information. New relationships.

These are the seeds of renewal.

This is how life really works.

This is how change really happens.


And this is the new work of leadership…

Create new spaces.

Convene new conversations.

And cultivate the conditions in which people change by learning their way into the future. Together.

We call it CultureWork – Working the Way Life Works.


What People Say


“This was a way of helping many of us (with vastly different experience, cultures, expertise) work together to find a way forward. This meant changing perceptions, working together, sharing at a deep level to come to an agreed plan of action… You helped us to work differently and share equally in that work. You helped us live interdependence…”


“We do need outcomes. We do have to put the food on the table. But there’s a way of getting to outcomes that is different to the usual hierarchical top-down way of working… Outcomes will happen because of the way we hold this conversation or work collaboratively together.”

New Ideas

“We’re already starting to see people thinking “This needs to be done” and coming up with ideas and saying “How about this?” … and I think it’s because they’ve come to this space where they feel, my idea is good, nobody will judge me, I’m valued, my contribution is important. It’s amazing. Amazing!…”

More Energy

“Keeping on working this way is going to be the easy option for us because we are seeing fantastic results. People have energy they didn’t have before. And because they’ve tasted something more liberating they don’t want to go back to the old stuff. And because of that my own expectation is that there will be more co-operation…”

Want to lead differently? Let’s talk.


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What worked in the physical world can work online too. Sometimes, even better!


And what really matters hasn’t changed.


If you need a process to help people think, talk and work better together online...

Moving your meetings online?

Let's talk!