The Vertical Circle


98th Annual 2016 Silver Bay Leadership Forum

We just had a great Transformations session last week at the 98th Annual 2016 Silver Bay Leadership Forum and I want to share insights and my design.


The vertical circle

A key insight is about “the vertical circle.” That is, I arranged all the Logics cards in a circle under the seven Category Cards. We used the circular tables we had in the room (4 ft diameter, I think). Photos are at the bottom of the post.

In this visually pleasing arrangement, the vertical categories form a circle rather than a list. The hierarchy of the stages is less apparent. Each stage is a pie-shaped wedge. Opportunist is next to Alchemical. The circle being a symbol of wholeness and completeness, it is easier to talk about all the stages together as forming the whole human condition.

The entire session was about 90 minutes. I used four flipchart pages to present content plus the Transformations deck as in the photos below. No powerpoint.

I began with the DAC Model and talked about leadership as a social process. There is a relational shift in thinking about leadership: From within to between.

Then I presented the Leadership Culture Model and the three stages of culture. Culture creates leadership, and leaders create culture.

leadership cultureThen a chart listing the 7 Transformations of vertical development. The three stages of culture track completely with the seven stages. Using both of those charts at the same time is powerful, they scaffold each other. The audience gathered around the round tables and we had some dialogue. We talked about the pitfalls in understanding the vertical hierarchy of stages, and the potential value of the cards as fluid, imperfect, self-projective, and fun. Watching them all browse together in circular arcs was cool.


98th Annual 2016 Silver Bay Leadership Forum

The last chart is the From Here to There Model for development. We are all From someplace and time, we are all Here, and we are all headed Toward are aspirations and fate. F –> H –> T . It’s all about our life journeys, and putting those in the middle of dialogue for insight and meaning making.

Then: Each person chooses three cards: One for when you first thought of yourself as an adult–or when other people viewed you as an adult. Second card is for Now. The third card is where your development might be headed. (Earlier in the retreat I had asked them to think about Catalysts that might Now be driving your development, and each person picked 2-3 Catalysts cards indicating their present state. They brought those cards to this final session and these were the bases to think about Now.)

The session got very positive reviews many of whom mentioned the integration of leadership (as DAC), Culture, Vertical Development, culminating in Life Journey’s From Here to There.

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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2 Responses to The Vertical Circle

  1. David Kruczlnicki says:

    As an attendee at the Silver Bay Leadership Forum last week, I can enthusiastically attest to the tremendous value of Chuck’s presentation and the Transformations exercise. The charts Chuck used (7 Transformations, From Here to There, and Leadership Culture Model) were clear and incredibly illuminating. As Chuck mentioned in his post, the circular tables helped highlight the 7 transformations as all elements of the human condition; our individual selection of cards and the resultant discussion/exchange was powerful. An exceptional experience overall, for sure.

  2. Pingback: Transformations at the Silver Bay Leadership Forum | Leadership Explorer Tools

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