Systems Change: A Time For Unlikely Leaders

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Charlotte Millar one of the co-founders of The Finance Innovation Lab shares insights from her TEDx talk on leading for systems change:

In the Finance Innovation Lab, we’ve come to learn that in leading systems change, our state of being is as important as the things that we do. I gave a TedX talk recently about this – reflecting on the qualities of the people leading change that we work with in the Lab. We have consistently found that these leaders exhibit three main qualities:

  • Systems thinking: they think like outsiders – often because they are! They ask why things are the way they are and how they could be better. Importantly, they apply this same critical thinking to themselves as well as the financial system. They question their own assumptions and are open to shifting their perspective.
  • Higher purpose: they are motivated by a cause bigger than their own self-interest. They also know themselves well and what drives them. They are able to articulate this authentically and this inspires others to join with them in change.
  • Inspired action: they start before they are ready. They work towards change in the face of others’ resistance, a lack of resources and incomplete information. They are prepared to be vulnerable, make mistakes and learn from them.

We have found these three qualities so important that we have made them the anchor points of the Lab’s culture. We do our best to infuse them into every programme, event and into our own way of being.

Watch my TEDx talk to understand more about this new kind of leadership approach in action.