“Go beyond the dominant voices to ask, ‘Who are the missing voices.’”
This little gem of wisdom came to me recently from Peter Ramsden, founder of Freiss Ltd., a mission-driven, micro consultancy specializing in social innovation and inclusive entrepreneurship. Peter enjoys an international reputation for his work, and I met him in Katowice, Poland, where he was a participant in a panel discussion sponsored by Aspen Institute Prague. The panelists, made up of some noted architects, urban planners, and thought-leaders, were discussing “Creative Placemaking”, a term of recent coinage relating to a more holistic approach to urban planning in the 21st century.
In describing the importance of inclusion in the planning process, Peter Ramsden, used the above quote to emphasize the obligation of the urban planner to diligently seek out and explore all possible input from all affected parties—all stakeholders must have a voice—in the interest of the long-term success and viability of the project.
Hearing these words about the “missing voice”, I couldn’t help but think how applicable this quote is to responsible leadership, not only in urban planning, but in politics, business, as well as our personal lives. Ponder, for a moment, the impact this advice would have on the quality of decision-making if leaders would actively seek the missing voices when evaluating and mulling-over important issues. All of which begs the question: What are you doing to identify the missing voices in your decision-making process?
Till next time…
(With special thanks to Peter Ramsden)
About the Author: Pepper de Callier is one of the most respected senior executive coaches and authorities on leadership in Europe. Learn more about him at www.pragueleadershipinstitute.com