As a kid growing up in Southwest Colorado, I fell in love with nature and also saw that nature is the foundation for prosperous and healthy communities. Later working in community planning and finding that plans for healthy communities often go nowhere, I vowed to find the keys to success. Later research for my Ph.D. found these:
1. Involving people in finding a “collaborative vision.” People generally want similar things, even if they see different pathways.
2. “Linking communication,” which is two- way, gathering input and sharing plans, and also being supportive of people and their ideas.
3. “Evocative leaders” who cultivate other leaders -- who then engage others, all working toward a shared vision.
In this “Open Focus Framework" leaders combine openness and vision. (1988)
Later, after learning how structural dynamics guides human behavior (Fritz, 1989) I incorporated this critical foundation into the model. Recently I saw how Shambhala Buddhist principles guide enlightened leaders who care more about the results than about their personal rewards.
I love working with people everywhere. After sharing these ideas with dozens of groups in the US, I began to work internationally in 1995. My first international job, in Vietnam, combined my passions: sustainable development, international work and structural dynamics. I was privileged to live in Armenia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Italy for 9 years and to share the ideas with Armenian students, Albanian villagers, Brazilian and Georgian academicians, Sri Lankan business people, Rwandan and Vietnamese farmers, municipal leaders in Bosnia and Herzegovina and with practitioners in Moldova, Jordan, Vietnam, Austria, Mexico, Greece, Italy, Turkey and Ukraine and to travel to many more places. Dozens of communities and organizations learned how to create an “engine for action” that propels them toward sustainable development. Hundreds of individuals learned how to enrich their lives and to make a profound difference in the world. And I have a great time!
Barbara A. Coe Ph.D.
(509) 280 5371