The reason I went to Berlin was for an appointment with Oliver Triebel, a person to whom I was referred by another colleague who is an executive coach, member of ILA, and devoted to "integral theory." I discovered integral theory last summer as a result of a gift certificate from Jon Kroll (I will forever be thankful to Jon for the introduction). If you are not familiar with it, the main guru is Ken Wilber and a growing number of people around the world are devoting their energy to understanding integral theory and how it can be used to help transform the quality of organizations, our relationships, and eventually the future of the planet. Wilber's most recent book is "A Theory of Everything" so you might assume that the ideas he communicates have more than lofty aspirations.
My meeting with Oliver was nothing short of transformative. Because education circles have not embraced integral theory as yet, when you mention it, you either get a blank or questioning look. Oliver is a McKinsey Consultant and actually on his second stretch with them. He joined them immediately after graduating with his masters. He worked for them for several years and then thought that he would pursue more lucrative work in banking. He tried the banking industry, stopped out to re-center for a year, and returned to McKinsey when they urged him to come back. He came back because he saw more opportunity of transforming the world through having influence on organization culture and climate and helping leadership in corporate and non-profit settings better understand the dynamics of the world within which we live.
I am always amazed at how small the world really is. Oliver is German and completed his undergraduate studies in Germany. He went to Med school but didn't find fulfillment their. As a result, he looked at other avenues to make a difference and landed on attending the JFK School of Government at Harvard for his masters. Oliver studied with both Robert Kegan and Ron Heifetz and the influence of each is very obvious in the way Oliver sees the world.
There's is so much I want to capture about the meeting with Oliver but I need to sort it out a bit more before posting it to the blog. So, those of you interested in more details about Oliver, integral theory, and the implications for the study and practice of leadership should come back a bit later. The realization is that some of the things that we've been doing, or have considered, at Miami are very much in line with the latest thinking but need refinement. I learned so much about new and exciting possibilities about how to enhance our leadership focus. And, what McKinsey Consulting is doing provides some support for the possibilities we might pursue.