Metaphors support reframing and strategic thinking

Here’s a way to use Leadership Metaphor Explorer for supporting strategic thinking during an online conference. Thanks to strategy and creativity mavens Kate Beatty and David M. Horth.

From: Beatty, Kate
Sent: Wednesday, April 07, 2010 12:31 PM
To: Palus, Chuck; Horth, David
Subject: LME images – electronic version

Hi Chuck and David,

I am doing some final work on my slides for the upcoming Jossey-Bass online conference. I am doing a workshop on strategic leadership, and would like to include several of the Leadership Metaphor Explorer cards in an exercise. At the beginning of the session, I will have them identify a strategic challenge they are working on. When we discuss strategic thinking, I want to give them the opportunity to reframe their challenge, and thought that showing several of the cards would be a good prompt for this.

Can you direct me to the electronic images of these cards?

Thanks for your help!


Hi Kate,
Here is the online source for one at a time downloading.
Chuck n Dave

Here’s an exercise that I will used when I have a large group e.g a presentation. I put out the LME cards one under each chair and start the session with the following question and exercise: (I’m doing a presentation on innovation leadership and culture on Saturday and using this exercise to kick off my short presentation.)
As you look at the metaphor card you have been assigned, in what ways does it describe leadership in your organization either:

  • In the past?
  • How it looks when we are at our worst?
  • How it looks now?
  • How it looks when we are at our most innovative?
  • How it needs to look like in the future?
  • How it needs to look like to resolve the major challenges we face?

Discuss with your neighbors

David Magellan Horth
Senior Designer
Center for Creative Leadership

About Charles J. Palus & David Magellan Horth

Charles J. Palus & David Magellan Horth are Senior Fellows at the Center for Creative Leadership. Many thanks to Steadman Harrison III, CEO of GO, and Senior Associate for the Center for Creative Leadership.
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