From Social Pathology to Social Emergence

by Jay Deragon on 07/25/2013

Presencing Whenever there is disruptive change there is always two opposing forces. One side tries to hang on and control the way things have been and another side wants to break away from the inadequacies of the way things have been.

The Age of Disruption is upon us. As the 21st century unfolds there is a clear tension between those using the disruption around us to further old self-centered me agendas and those seeing disruption as the means to create new us agendas.  As illustrated in the diagram in this post, from the book Leading from the Emerging Future, today we are witnessing the interplay of two powerful social fields: presencing and absencing.

The field of presencing works through the opening of the mind, the heart and the will.  The objective of presencing is to collaborate for the common good not compete for selfish gain.  The only true way in which we can learn to optimize collaboration is to change the patterns of our thinking and framing the context of solutions into us rather than just me.  Presencing requires a change from within that only begins to happen by opening our minds, hearts and wills. Presencing is an opposite perspective than the behaviors we’ve learned from institutional programming of the 20th century.  Presencing represents social emergence that facilitates economies of creation. Social Emergence arises from a renewed connection and recognition of what good the human network can do without the limitations of past thinking. Social Emergence has arisen because technology has enabled the human network to connect without boundaries, rules or limitations.

On the other hand  the field of absencing is a rigid view that there is only one view that is correct and that view is heavily influenced by hearts, minds and wills that are closed down to the idea of changing for the good of the many. In other words absencing is self-serving resistance to change.

Absencing represents a social pathology that perpetuates economies of destruction. In the industrial Era we witnessed wars between countries, companies, religions and ethnic groups with everyone competing to get something and using destructive forces to get it. From these pathology leaders of industry learned to “lead and compete” for global dominance, top corporate positions, competitive advantage and the highest ROI without regard for the cost of human capital. Hopefully we have learned our lesson but doing the right thing isn’t always obvious when motivated for selfish gain.

Shall We To Create or Continue to Destroy?

When faced with disruptive change leaders have to decide whether the past patterns of thinking are adequate to lead in the Age of Disruption. It used to be that a leaders disconnect with societal concerns was hidden behind the institutional walls and any blatant selfish act was covered up with political spin from the favored media.  Those days are rapidly disappearing and the audience is getting more and more outspoken against social pathologies that perpetuate the economies of destruction.

To adapt in the Age of Disruption leaders must transform their thinking to social emergence in order to lead economies of creation. It is a choice of the higher Self.  Lets hope they choose wisely.

{ 1 comment }

Christopher S. Rollyson July 26, 2013 at 5:56 pm

@Jay, thanks for bringing this up, I think it captures a critical choice before humanity. I also think of it as being open to adaptation, or closed. When environmental changes occur, living beings are faced with this choice. I don’t think any conscious organism likes change because it incurs risks. But it’s the key to adaptiveness! The Social Channel deals with this explicitly.

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