The Santa Fe Sabbatical alchemical-design approach integrates four elements:
Confronting Your Messy Reality
To act and lead from an emerging future, you must remain painfully aware, honest and accepting of your current state of discontent. It takes effort not to indulge or internalize this dissatisfaction and project it onto others. Accept it, engage it, but then transcend it—this is what you need to do in order to open up the space necessary for your future to emerge.
An encounter with self can be messy. It is hard work to examine, unpack and shed perceptions and structures which may have become obsolete and no longer serve good purpose. This type of encounter encourages perspective changing and confronting blind spots that arise.
Through work in this element, discontent is embraced and blind spots acknowledged—leading to the creation of spaciousness and the ability to foresee and consider an array of future possibilities.
Decluttering Inner Intent
To energize the creative capacity of followership, leaders and change makers must become more authentically present and internally congruent. Individuals who go this route are courageous, optimistic and motivated by a deeper resolve to leave their organization and its constituents better than they found it.
In contrast to these above future-focused individuals, less aware leaders and change makers deplete organizational focus and energy by pursuing narrow, often competitive and self-serving goals and strategies. These leaders maintain the status quo, protect vested interests and are quick to start new projects—but lack the fortitude to end those that no longer bring value.
A good starting point here is an honest inquiry into your current quality of effort and attention. Implicit in this inquiry is a willingness to identify and detach from your personal and professional clutter and the non-value efforts that distract you from your deeper purpose and aspirations. These distractions may be self-created, consciously or unconsciously designed to reinforce a current sense of stature, value and success.
Through work in this element, clarity emerges around your current intent, allowing for a reordering of your attention and resolve toward what matters.
Illuminating New Intelligence
Holding space for the future requires the creation of personal and professional time—Sabbatical Time. Sabbatical Time gives you the room needed to more expansively consider your emerging future. This future holding space, however, must be free of nonessential busyness, information overload and habitual distractions.
However, once you commit to this time of strategic introspection and inquiry, you’ll find that it leads to significant changes in perspectives, changes that then lead to and initiate emergent possibilities.
These Sabbatical Time encounters are designed to create moments of insight, to break down old filters and mental models, to illuminate dimensions of a future that may fall outside your current awareness and comfort zones.
Through work in this element emerge strategic scenarios and social architectures that will give shape to—and even provide you a prototype for—future possibilities.
Designing from the Edges
The future—your future—is emerging at the edges of the structures, divisions and organizations that make up the ecosystem that is your personal life, your work life and your organization’s life. This future also resides within the white spaces in this ecosystem that separate structures, divisions and organizations.
These white spaces are places of greater contact and sensitivity to the changing perceptions and needs of you, your organization and your constituents. When properly empowered, these white spaces become arenas for enacting local actions—actions that lead to systemic transformation.
Legitimizing these white spaces liberates and focuses your internal entrepreneurial energy and that of your organizations. But empowering this organic network requires mobilizing, connecting and resourcing change makers to sustain transformative possibilities. It requires you to lead from the future.
Through work in this element, you lay claim to your authentic citizenship in the future and lead from that space. Followership is untethered releasing the internal disruptive force and energy capable now of reordering and shaping the possibilities that will emerge.