Leading in Extraordinary Times

Session 4: Change & Innovation Leadership Dr. John Lewis

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

12:00-1:00 pm USA EDT (1600-1700 UTC)

Extraordinary times call for a paradigm shift, which requires a change in our underlying mental model, and requires transformational leadership to shift the organization’s focus towards innovation management.

About Session: 04

Thomas Kuhn showed us that learning involves periodic “revolutions” in our underlying models. This is a difficult process of recognizing that our underlying models, which have been in place for some time, are no longer serving us and a paradigm shift will be required. This is when we realize that what we think is not as important as knowing what we think. It requires that we stop asking how to maintain the existing system, or even how to optimize the current system. It requires time to do fundamental research toward designing a new system. It is not about stopping to sharpen our axe, or even stopping to invent a chainsaw – it may require finding another form of energy beyond wood.

Recognizing that change is the constant, innovation is learning, and learning is through story structure, we begin to rebuild our capabilities to transform, innovate, and lead. Arie de Geus said, “For an organization in the knowledge economy, the ability to learn faster than your competitors may be the only sustainable competitive advantage.” At a fundamental level, our definition and practice of learning will need to change. Instead of developing an employee from a novice to an expert, we will need to develop experts into pioneers and pioneers into thought leaders. Organizations today are beginning to understand that they are either becoming Thought Leaders, or they are becoming obsolete.

About Speaker

Dr Steven Hausman photo

Dr. John Lewis

Dr. John Lewis is a consultant, keynote speaker, and coach in Knowledge Management, Learning, and Leadership.  He is founder and president of Explanation Age LLC, a management consulting company focusing on thought leadership, organizational change, and KM.  He is an adjunct instructor for Organizational Learning and Innovation Management at Kent State University and the Knowledge Management Institute.   John has worked for several leading global organizations and his career highlights include launching GPS satellites and being recognized by Gartner with an industry Best Practice paper for a global knowledge management implementation.  John is a scholar-practitioner who has pioneered new business and learning models.  He has authored the books, “The Explanation Age“ and “Story Thinking,” which provide tools for the coming age of knowledge and decision transparency, with implications for business, education, and government.

John holds a Doctoral degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Southern California, with a dissertation focus on mental models and decision-making.  He is a certified coach in Collaborative Change Leadership from The CoHero Institute, with a certificate in Leadership Coaching from The John Maxwell Team.  John is a Senior Research Associate
of IIKI, an associate editor for Leadership and Organizational Behavior with the Journal of Innovation Management, is on the review board for the Journal of Knowledge Management, and is on the advisory board at The Lifeboat Foundation, an NGO dedicated to encouraging scientific advancements while helping humanity survive existential risks and possible misuse of increasingly powerful technologies.