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Blog Post

The Reimagining Power Framework: A Shift to More Restorative Leadership Practices

May 15, 2024

In 2021, my colleague and friend Brook Thorndycraft and I created the course Reimagining Power: Gender, Leadership, and Change. It’s a six-session embodied learning journey for people in leadership who identify as women, transgender, or non-binary to explore in a compassionate and brave space what few leadership programs will explore:  POWER!   It’s a deep dive into power, gender, leadership, and systems change.  

It's important to Brook and me that we don’t simply unpack the patriarchal, capitalistic, and White Supremacy paradigms that keep us stuck.  We go further.  We create space to tap into our longing for a different way of doing power, to seed and grow more nurturing and restorative ways of doing power in our everyday lives and workplaces.  We invite participants into an inner excavation of their relationship to and understanding of power, and how they use it.  We know that if we are to change the systems of oppression, we must shift power.  And that shift begins with us as leaders.  

The Reimagining Power Framework was the tool we co-created to help participants see and name how the different ways of doing power show up in leadership, and to identify opportunities for growth. The Reimagining Power Framework has emerged from decades of personal reflection and conversation, our own inner work of finding more ethical and heart-centred ways of using our power, and many different authors and teachers who have informed our thinking.

At this time in our world’s history, regardless of your sector, or organization, if you are in a formal leadership role, you likely find yourself navigating some level of change and facing resistance.  There’s a shift you are trying to create, whatever that might be. Likely that shift you long for requires an inner shift in power for you as a leader and team.  And likely, even though you sense the need for a shift, you may not be able to see, name, and/or make-meaning of the behaviours or mental models that are keeping you stuck.  

The Reimagining Power Framework is a practical tool to help you identify your leadership strengths and opportunities for shifting your internal leadership practices. More specifically the Reimagining Power Framework compares two power meta-narratives:  the stories behind the stories that we tell ourselves about what it means to lead.  We identify 12 leadership behaviours and describe what they look like within each meta-narrative.  Some of the leadership behaviours we explore are how decisions are made and how we deal with conflict.

If you would like to learn more about this new tool, signup here for an upcoming webinar and Fall programming featuring an embodied exploration using applied theatre.