The 2019 Annual Dialogue

Following on from last year successful dialogue, the main theme for 2019 was: 

Re-imagining Leadership: working with our emergent questions.

You can read an account of our 2019 Event by intern Gillian Chivinge here.

What can you possibly learn at a Dialogue that you cannot search for online? When it comes to information, the answer is clearly "nothing". However, when it's about meaningful, positive change, a refreshing approach, and connecting with people in person, being in a Dialogue makes "all the difference".

This annual dialogue brought together leaders from diverse backgrounds, different approaches reflecting a rich range of perspectives. The power of the two-day dialogue is through the energy and commitment that each person brings to developing the key questions addressed over the time together. The approach provides for a safe but challenging environment while maintaining flexibility, emergence and upholding individual responsibility.

Every year holds a theme, and this year was no different, from the questions we have seen arising in so many leaders, the theme for 2019 was 'Reimagining Leadership - working with our emergent questions'.

We know the Leadership Dialogue is a better experience for everyone involved because each person who goes is invested in getting together with other leaders who care about what they do and how they do it, and to have the chance to work with great questions.

At the start of the Dialogue we generated a discussion around a number of sub-themes. Those participating chose one, two or three sub-themes to focus upon. This year we selected Seven Questions in advance which we proposed as our range of 'examples' triggered by the theme of 'Reimagining Leadership', but participants added to and expanded on these reflecting their context and interest:

  • In an interdependent collaborative world how can leaders communicate purpose and values effectively?

  • If the temptations of today's world invites 'Stone Age' leadership - what does this mean for our practice?

  • To what extent do we need to promote 'being' in a world that can't stop 'doing'?

  • Can ego be put aside completely? How can we recognise unconscious bias in our leadership roles?

  • If we acknowledge that any organisation could find themselves a customer or supplier in the morning, a partner in the afternoon and a competitor in the evening - how can leaders ethically move between modes?

  • Where have all the role models gone?

  • Given such as aspects as shifts in generational perspectives, AI, volatility, robotics and societal changes, what will leadership mean in the year 2049 and what do we need now to realise this?

Our tested and adaptive, yet ambitious, approach to the Windsor Leadership Dialogue (WLD) enables participants to consider what's really important, step back and deepen their thinking. Those present were able to determine the key themes for themselves, hear different perspectives, and take the opportunity to discover and unfold what might really make a modest or even significant difference. Not everyone gained what they hope for and expect, but that unpredictability and uncertainty can hold surprisingly rich learning.

The WLD offers an opportunity to step back from the pressures and tyranny of the urgent to explore the dilemmas, paradoxes, differences, synergies and possibilities that provide the catalyst for learning, the development of new options and the nurturing of individual resilience.

Key benefits for the 28 diverse participants relate to the nature and potential of the self as change agent, the leadership role, the leaderful organisation and/or systemic approaches to improving the environment we operate within. The world has changed fundamentally over the last 20 years and the speed and challenge of change has been accelerated by the internet and the growth of mobile communication. These in turn have impacted the speed of technology development, social change, globalisation and the emergence of the developing world.

From time to time many of us feel 'in over our heads'. Having time to slow down, take a breath and learn with and through others, can help renew and stimulate new possibilities and opportunities.


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