(Sorta formal. Sorry! I’ll try to jazz it up later–but it gives you the main ideas…)
David Holzmer has spent his work life collaborating with people and organizations in order to expand creativity and effectiveness by building individual and group capacities for resilience and awareness.
Having focused his early years in managerial and leadership roles within arts organizations, small businesses, and entrepreneurial ventures, in 2001 David reassessed values and vocation and went to work at a nonprofit that supported disabled children and adults living in local communities. The fast, turbulent nature of this environment, coupled with the challenge of competing and often ambiguous demands, offered David frequent opportunities to utilize his strong interpersonal skills and talent as a systems-thinker.
Soon tapped to be an administrator, David quickly realized that an organization’s capacity to address so-called “wicked problems” largely depended upon leadership’s ability to develop a culture where people felt trusting and open enough to explore deeper processes of collaboration and creativity.
In 2009, wishing to further examine this connection between organizational effectiveness and psychological safety, David began an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in leadership. After researching the longer-term patterns in social development along with leadership’s growing trend toward greater psychological attunement, David recognized important dynamic at play within some of the most innovative organizations: the strategic alignment of complexity dynamics with adult psychological development. In short, when leadership understands organizations as complex systems, tensions and disruptions are valued as important catalysts of empathic interactions. Such interactions, in turn, lead to deeper forms of creativity and innovation.
David’s work is gaining now wider attention and he is speaking at conferences and publishing on his initial findings. In addition, while finishing his Ph.D., he is also working to further develop this material and begin applying it through partnerships with like-minded thinkers and organizations.