“Leadership Re-imagination includes a solutions-oriented approach to leading and living, a recognition that others possess some of the skills needed to solve problems and that no one person, organization or country will possess all the skills – thus the need for collaboration.” – Canute S. Thompson
When we first spoke with Canute Thompson, a leadership coach and management consultant specializing in leadership development and organizational transformation, he gave us insight into his concept of Leadership Re-imagination. Thompson believes that the world of education will only change once leadership evolves and taps into critical thinking. “Leadership Re-imagination includes a solutions-oriented approach to leading and living, a recognition that others possess some of the skills needed to solve problems and that no one person, organization or country will possess all the skills – thus the need for collaboration,” says Thompson.
Today, Thompson joins us again after completing his second book, Leadership Re-Imagination – A Primer of Principles and Practices, and explains even further the concept and his vision for the Caribbean Centre for Leadership Re-Imagination (CLRI), which is now a part of the University of the West Indies. Enjoy!
What significant event(s) have taken place in your professional life since we last heard from you?
I have published my second book, titled: Leadership Re-Imagination – A Primer of Principles and Practices. (The book is available online at Amazon.)
What is the most significant change in the world of education you’ve observed in the last year? Why?
The increased use of technology in teaching and learning. Countries across Asia, the
Caribbean and Africa have been providing laptops for students on a seemingly broader scale. A related development is the growth of research and education networks and the linking of research communities using the resources of these networks.
What have you learned in the last year as part of your professional development that you would like to share with our readers?
The growth in the use of technology to commoditize, and give access to, knowledge has not solved (and should not have been seen to have the capacity to solve) the problem of insufficient levels of critical thinking that affects the teaching and learning process.
What are you most encouraged about in education right now?
I am encouraged by the fact that with lack of, or limited, access to knowledge being significantly overcome with the creation of research and education networks and the provision of devices to access information, the curricula of schools can now be more heavily focused on the development of critical thinking skills vis-à-vis the provision of information.
Is there a 21st century skill (critical thinking and problem solving, communication, collaboration, or creativity and innovation) that you are most passionate about? Why?
I am most passionate about Leadership Re-imagination. As I have outlined in my book, Leadership Re-imagination is firstly a discipline in “alternative thinking” and the foundation of alternative thinking is critical thinking. Leadership Re-imagination includes a solutions-oriented approach to leading and living, a recognition that others possess some of the skills needed to solve problems and that no one person, organization or country will possess all the skills – thus the need for collaboration. Alternative thinking is also the energy that drives innovation.
Where do you see your professional path taking you next?
I expect to spend the next five years building out the Caribbean Leadership Re-Imagination Initiative. When this project was first discussed it was named the Caribbean Centre for Leadership Re-Imagination (CLRI). The Initiative is now a unit of the Centre for Leadership and Governance at the University of the West Indies. One of the core activities on which the CLRI has embarked is the development and delivery of workshops and courses on various nuances of Leadership Re-imagination. We are currently doing a one-day workshop titled “Moulding and Modeling a New
Leadership Culture,” as well as offering a semester-long course called “Political Leadership Re-Imagination.” This course is being offered at the University of the West Indies though the Department of Government.
The products and services of the CLRI are also targeted at all levels of the education system. It is the education system that, in our assessment, provides the most effective
path for engendering a new culture of leading, learning, serving and transforming society.
About Canute S. Thompson
University of the West Indies, Jamaica
- Birthplace: Jamaica
- Current residence: Jamaica
- Education: B.A. in Theology and Social Science; Postgraduate Degree in Management Studies, M.A. in Ethics; Ph.D. in Education
- Website I check every day: Harvard Business Review
- Person who inspires me most: Nelson Mandela
- Favorite childhood memory: Cricket games in which I did well.
- Next travel destination: China
- Favorite book: The Road Less Traveled by Dr. M. Scott Peck
- Favorite music: Charlie Pride’s and Kenny Rogers’ Country and Western