Many of us hold a vision: of bringing inspired solutions to complex challenges, of building teams that thrive, of a more fulfilled personal live, a happier family, a world that benefits many. And while the vision is a great source of energy to keep us going, it sometimes gets truly challenging to bring it into reality. How do you hold both the now and the future? How do you span a bridge between them? Where do you find courage & clarity to make the decisions you wish you never had to make? How do you inhabit the now and part-take with others? I committed my private and professional life to figuring it out, by myself and in groups. I am happy to share my tiny tricks and big insights with you.
I am a Social Innovator, Large Group Facilitator, Intercultural Psychologist, Theory U Practitioner. In my work I supports systems and individuals in societal transformation and complex challenges.
I am committed to advancing my practice by deep dialogue & collective action. To support this I became Member of Advisory Board of the Global Learning & Exchange Network, CEO of a collective housing project in Berlin and an active member of many global OD communities driving positive change in the world. I am also a researcher & book author in the field of functional creativity.
In 2017, driven by a need for a place, where we could share what it means to live driven by a vision of future that benefits all, and the road there, I co-founded the Leadership Festival – a collective effort committed to exploring & manifesting the new paradigm(s) of leadership.
As performance artist I travel to places of tension between collective and individual, where fear and vision meet, building bridges and learning how to keep these connections alive.
I am an avid mountaineer both in summer and winter and a sailor. I enjoy the theory and practice of solarpunk.
Large Group Facilitation
Structures for Inclusion & Diversity
Purpose Driven Leadership
Organisations as Living Systems
Open Space Technology
Leading as Sacred Practice
Clarity in Complexity
ON INVISIBLE LEADERSHIP
OF NEW COMPANY LEADERSHIP CULTURE
ON- & OFFLINE
On commitment to New Leadership
"Because we’re shooting for the moon, some of the things we do are going to be a mistake. Some of the things we do are going to turn out less meaningful than we hoped them to be, so we need a different quality of relationships in our communities. We need our communities to be there to hold us, even when what we do is not shiny or an absolute success. We need our communities to forgive us, to truly learn with us, and to be there with us when we’re learning to forgive ourselves, when we don’t achieve the quality we want. We’re finding out that this is kind of work is about being there for one another in the long run."
On bringing spirituality to work
"We have globally been living embedded in agreements that the majority of us knew were fraud. Many things have not gone the way probably anybody would have intentionally created. They happened and then we haven't made that break to say "let's think about what's happening and what's needed. And - where needed - let's sit with the hurt that has happened and see how we can learn how to not perpetuate it”.
Read full interview by:
Agota Biro, Hungary
Thank you so much for sharing, this is the wisdom and love we need in our work.
Michaela Wegener, Germany
Read & liked your post. It inspired me to dig into decision making process.
Kristine Asatryan, Armenia
This is a beautiful blog post and a reminder of how we interact, maintain, sustain, and build our groups and communities.
Wendy Moomaw, USA
I love how Karolina Iwa approached this by creating her own model! Besides the question with whom I want to spend my time and how, I also often consider the question as who I want to spend my time (the explorer, the carer, the channel, etc.)
Angela Zinser, Germany
Thank you for sharing Karolina! Leadership and followership, like day and night. There is no one without the other. When it comes to shared leadership, I feel that we need to talk more about the possible triggers which can cause power to 'go bad', like milk can turn sour. In stead of seeing someone as good or bad, let's use the time to explore our own relationship with autority/power/leadership, so we can suport each other in achieving common goals, in stead of projecting blames and should haves to each other.
Sara Huang, USA
Inspiring! Plus I love the scarcity disclaimer at the end.
Pola Matuszewska, Poland
RECENT OPEN PROJECTS
At the beginning of 2023 we released our Kinetic Method - A Playbook for solving Problems, co-written with Tracie Farrell, PhD, social data scientist & Zora Csalagovits, Gestalt Therapist.
Kinetic is a transformative framework using functional creativity for expanding groups’ ability to engage with complexity and advancing their purpose at work. It is composed of a set of practices around:
- Skills: Observation, Inquiry, Interpretation
- Mindsets: Curiousity & Openness, Comfort with Ambiguity, Risk Taking
- Environment: Communication: Diversity, Decision making
If you are curious to know more, you can:
- download the book for free,
- listen to a series of podcasts presenting our flagship methods, as well as practitioners sharing
- test your Kinetic Creativity by taking an online assessement.
In 2018 I had the honour to facilitate the three-day-long event, crafting participatory dynamics for a group of 250, including work sessions, networking, fun and community building. The key to the success here was deep trust we received from organisers & a team of committed, creative & experienced in self-organisation people. This allowed us to create a beautiful event with a distinct atmosphere, that stays in people's memory for a long time.
This was done with an amazing team of Mara, Christina, Anna, Mona, Kelvy, David, Mathias and many more.
We have acted from the invisible and witnessed others doing so. Invisible can mean “hidden” or “unable to be seen” and at times may even be treated as “not worthy”. We know that recognition and affirmation depend on personal perception and the culture of the system. In this Exchange Karen Wilhelm Buckley and Karolina Iwa want to honor the ways in which our own leadership can be invisible and grow our understanding of invisible leadership in a variety of situations. Let’s explore: What does invisible leadership contribute? What happens when those who benefit don’t recognize invisible leadership? What does holding back look like? Do we go underground, or dismiss our own contribution, or become more assertive? What does the system lose? What else might be possible as we acknowledge and affirm the continuum of less visible leadership?