INsight/ Worldviews in Colors

Photo by Francesca Saraco on Unsplash

Photo by Francesca Saraco on Unsplash


Ubud, 11 September 2019 — Working with worldviews is like playing with colors.

Spotting Worldviews

In our Community of Leaders this month, we’re exploring how to spot different Worldviews in the conversations we have. Working with worldviews is a leadership behavior that we learn and practice so that we can influence change in our workplace.

The way we work is to Collab (collaborate and experiment as in a lab), using effective leadership behaviors as well as 21st-century skills that are leaning into the Future of Work.

We Collab as peers across generations and different backgrounds, and we respect both seniority and juniority of experience for how they can contribute to finding better solutions.

The tool we use to spot worldviews is the Work In All Colors method. It helps us understand our own preferred worldview (color) and its strengths and weaknesses, as a basis for discovering the worldview of people and situations in our work, and for exploring how to communicate in order to influence effectively.

For those of us who work in businesses and organizations with hierarchy and structure (Blue), we recognize that our challenge is often to create space for other colors in the way work gets done and new solutions are created and implemented.


I remember how one of the leaders I worked with explained this to the executive leadership team of his national research institute, after taking the Work In All Colors training with me. “Our organizational culture is Blue,” he said, “and that is OK, however, unless we create space for the other colors in our work, our institute will never reach world class.”

So we explore how to work with the Red worldview, with speed and courage to tackle difficult challenges head-on, with a willingness to step up and lead from the front.

And we dive into Orange, to team up to make change happen in projects with entrepreneurship and grit, keen to achieve results and recognition.

We respect the need to work in Green, listening and caring about the people we work with, and building consensus whenever possible.

And we invest in Yellow, to find better solutions through learning journeys that help us to solve complex challenges and pressing problems.

WIAC Chart Photo.jpg

In the process, we recognize the value of building a community (Purple) with trust in each other and the weekly routines and rituals we use.

Meanwhile, many of us in the community share a holistic (Turquoise) sense of purpose about making our work, society, and world more sustainable.

Informed by Research

While what we share in our community is not something you can find in Google, the leadership behaviors and experiences we explore in our personal and professional journeys are informed by evidence-based research.

We recognize that each of us is on a journey of becoming a different kind of leader, informed by the research of Prof. Bruce Avolio. We practice what Prof. Rosabeth Moss Kanter refers to as Look Up and Team Up in Six Keys of Leading Positive Change.

We focus on achieving (and celebrating) small wins frequently, as informed by the work of Prof. Teresa Amabile in the Progress Principle and James Clear in Atomic Habits.

Most important of all, our community is not designed for us to accumulate knowledge, but to take on the challenge of Growing 3 Leaders to influence changes in our workplace.

This is informed by the research of the Center for Creative Leadership on the 70:20:10 rule of leadership development, which has clarified that 70% of our leadership growth comes from taking on challenges.

If finding leadership that’s not on Google and joining a challenge-based community of leaders appeals to you, then check us out at Grow3Leaders.

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