By John Hardman, Founder, Regenerative Organizations

Regenerative Leadership presents a research-based framework that goes beyond sustainability. This new theory emerged from a rigorous, systematic qualitative study of successful leaders in corporations, community agencies, governments, and institutions of higher education. The study’s major finding, shared by all of the participating sustainability leaders, is that we cannot create a prosperous, equitable, sustainable society by focusing on the behaviors that have led to our current and often combined environmental, social, and economic challenges. The conclusion of the research is that the dysfunctional behaviors that have given rise to these challenges are symptomatic of a deeper problem rooted in human consciousness, our inner operating system.

In response to this challenge, the Regenerative Leadership Framework, and the Regenerative Capacity Index that came after it, propose a practical approach to activating the critical `inner work' we must engage in as individuals, organizations, and communities in order ‘to redefine who we are so that we can redesign what we do’. Among other things, this inner mindset shift involves reconnecting to a deeper sense of meaning and purpose in our lives, to understanding systems, to developing a global ethics, to engaging multiple stakeholders more effectively, and to designing strategies that can help us transcend ingrained assumptions about how things work. The leaders who participated in the study have found that this shift in focus has allowed them to co-create new solutions to old problems, and to integrate their personal and professional lives in ways that have made it possible for them and their organizations to tread more lightly on the planet. For more information on this work, visit http://regenerativeorganizations.com.

The companion book, Leading for Regeneration: Going beyond sustainability in business, community, and education, was published by Routledge in 2011. To read the full disseration, download the pdf.