Paradoxes and Polarities

A NewStories Teaching and Dialogue on Regenerative Leadership With Gayle Karen Whyte and Bob Stilger

We will hold two sessions on this same teaching:

Wednesday, April 8th 9:00 AM Pacific Time Register in advance for this meeting:

Saturday, April 11th 5:00 PM Pacific Time Register in advance for this meeting:

Following each session will be an “add on” 30 minutes for further exploration of how to use this thinking in your organizations and communities.

COVID-19 is a disaster on steroids in an interconnected world. It presents challenges, questions and opportunities for those of us who offer our leadership to our communities and organizations. In our next NewStories Teaching & Dialogue on Regenerative Leadership, we’ll be joined by Gayle Karen Whyte. Gayle has worked in the field of leadership for the past two decades. Her work  emphasizes caring for the spaces between people, seeing complexity and interdependencies, understanding relationships and power and all the ephemeral things that still exert tremendous influence on the day-to-day behaviors of people.

One of the models Gayle uses in teaching organizations how to deal with complexity and ambiguity is Barry Johnson’s Polarity Management. His thinking is deeply relevant to COVID-19 and its manifold ramifications. It fundamentally offers practitioners a way to hold the many contradictions that we have to try to hold: planning for now and planning for the future, being individualistic (self and family) and collectivistic (tending the commons), seeing the unfolding scale of the tragedy and seeing this as an opportunity to learn. On one level, Polarity Management is a way to map the polarities so that we can see these dynamics and talk about them, and on another level, it’s a core way to understand the human dynamics of fear, aspirations, and values and how they play out when we are faced with crisis. Gayle will join NewStories to help us explore how to use Polarity Management in our current pandemic context.

In addition to registering for this dialogue, above, please make a contribution to NewStories for this seminar. Standard fee for these is $20. You are free to choose any amount that is appropriate for you!

Gayle Karen Whyte

Gayle Karen Whyte is a cultural architect and a catalyst for human and organizational development. She comes from a rich organizational consulting background with both corporate and nonprofit clients. She was in process of becoming a Zen monk when she became an executive instead, taking on the role of Chief Culture and Talent Officer at the Wikimedia Foundation (CHRO for Wikipedia and its sister free-knowledge projects) until early 2015 when she joined Cultivating Leadership. From high-level strategic thinking to practical implementation, her skills include leadership development, change management, facilitation, training, strategic communications, speaking, team building, and personal and organizational transformation. She holds a Masters degree in Organizational Psychology.

Gayle believes the world needs more leaders who are “able for” what lies ahead, who have developed the capacity to meet the complexity of global challenges. It is the invisible work of leadership, the work of showing up, setting culture, and creating spaces for others to thrive that is the focus of her work. She believes in meeting people and systems wherever they are, and then developing people to work with the full range of who they are to meet the full complexity of both the organizational system and the operating ecosystem, working with the intangible but critically necessary human substructures to move a strategy forward.

Gayle is passionate about global women’s issues and supporting women in leadership. She is also very much a geek that loves attending Comic-Con and reading science fiction, which inspires a passion for technology and its leverage for societal change. She is keenly interested in the intersection of technology and human rights and supports futurist humanitarian causes. She lives in both San Francisco, California, and Whidbey Island, Washington.