The Integrative Leader: IPNB and Leadership Practice

by Lynn Redenbach

IPNB’s relevance to leadership has been proposed and written about by scholars and practitioners. However, up to now there has been no empirical research to help illuminate what they are doing, and how leaders and leadership consultants, are approaching their work from this perspective. In addition, there has not been a clear understanding about the implications IPNB has for organizations.

I have recently completed a doctorate in Leadership and Change in healthcare. I used a unique voice-centered narrative methodology, that answered the questions: How, if at all, have healthcare leaders integrated IPNB in their leadership practices, and what impact has this integration had on their development and identity? And, what, if any, implications might their experiences hold for leadership in health and mental health organizations?

While there were a number of discoveries, one of the key findings was that there was a continuum of integration across those who participated in the study. For example, at one end of the continuum participants used their knowledge of IPNB principles to inform their practice. However, they were positioned more traditionally such as assessing situations or people, then prescribing solutions from an IPNB framework. These individuals often spoke about themselves as leaders using an I-voice that was distinct and separate from their relationships with others.

Whereas, at the other end of the continuum, the more integrative leaders and consultants represented themselves as being relationally embedded within the organizations and systems they worked. When they spoke about leading they utilized relationally situation language, such as using a MWE-voice that signified their ever-changing and dynamic leadership identities that were both differentiated and linked with others.

This provided valuable insights into the different ways that IPNB informed leaders and consultants ways of being, seeing, and doing. Those who here highly integrative not only held the principle consciously, but also did so in ways that were so deeply woven into their relationships with themselves and others that it shaped their non-conscious expressions of their leadership development and experience.

In January, I will have the pleasure of discussing my findings, providing key takeaways and the meaning this holds for leadership practice, development, and identity. I will also discuss the implications that integration had for participants’ organizations. In addition, I will share how these individuals viewed and promoted change in non-relational healthcare systems, which was often a driver for their work as leaders.

Finally, this webinar will serve as an invitation to GAINS members who would like to join a monthly discussion group to explore leadership from an IPNB perspective.