瘟疫怎樣改變了我們的世界 ? 將來的領袖需要有什麼素質?--- 校長梁永泰博士的分享 / Lessons from Pandemic & Leadership of the Future

Updated: Mar 25



English version below.


一個全球的瘟疫已經改變了我們的世界, 它怎樣改變了我們的世界呢? 有一些民意領袖這麼說: 是一個反全球化的趨勢, 各國開始自保, 自給自足, 不再倚靠一個相連的供應鍊. 不再追求高效率, 他們相信我們的經濟會向下滑, 我們會漸趨貧窮, 然後各國會有保護主義, 權力架構由西方轉移至東方. 這是一些人的看法.


但對我來說, 最重要是有兩個大轉變: 第一個是時間的轉變; 第二個是對空間的轉變.


時間的轉變是怎樣的? 時間不再是順序的, 從歷史看見將來, 從以前的瘟疫可以看見新的病毒, 從以前的大蕭條可以看見新的經濟不景. 然而歷史不是重複的, 將來的時間是一個突變的, 將來會有一波又一波根本性的轉變, 是前所未有, 是人類未曾面對過的, 是一個流動的, 即興的, 是一個運轉中的, 動態的轉變. 不是一個可以預測, 可以從現在延伸至將來. 種種的生物工程, 地球變化, 生態的轉變, 社會政治的突變, 科技的介入, 人類會有很大時間的動盪, 一波接一波, 這個就是時間的轉變.


第二就是空間的轉變, 人類本身與大自然和物質是連成一體, 在地球某一處所發生的事情, 是會影響全人類的. 我們是生活在一個 (symbiotic) 大地生態連結的地球上. 沒有一樣東西是獨立的, 所以追求獨立這一樣東西是行不通的. 全球化再不是一個選擇, 再不是一個傾向, 而是一個事實, 而且會越來越重要. 不單止在科技上, 在資訊上, 在我的呼吸, 我們的存留上, 我們的前途, 都是一併連結的.


所以將來的領袖, 是要尋找怎樣合作 ? 怎樣在一個在進一步全球化的處境下合作? 當中有個體亦有群體, 有整體亦有多元. (Unity in diversity) 合一與多元, 這就是新的領袖素質.


第二就是能夠在短時間動員很多不同的小組共同的力量, 而不是單靠大公司, 大機構, 大政府.


第三: 人與機器必須共存, 未來的領袖素質, 對機器是敵人亦是朋友. 科技是我們的朋友, 可以幫助我們幹一點東西, 但若太依賴機器, 太依賴生產, 太依賴功能性, 會將人類割裂, 將我們打亂, 因為我們本身是脆弱的.


所以將來的領袖 (leadership of contingency) 是一個在沒有軌跡, 不肯定當中的領袖, 能面對不肯定, 面對即時, 面對動盪, 面對前所未有的新東西, 是面對一些無跡可尋, 沒有藍圖可依.


將來的領袖是能夠有一個世界觀, 一個價值觀, ,有個原則性 (principle-centered leadership), 以價值原則為中心的領袖, 有些原則是不可以妥協的. 對人性的尊嚴, 對人的價值珍惜, 對大地生態的珍惜, 對其他動物, 對其他物質的尊重. 這就是新領袖的價值. 對創造主的敬畏, 對神明的敬拜虔誠. 是我們不可缺少的素質.


我們說危機管理, 基本上是假設一個平順的世界有少量的危機進入. 但是將來每一日都是面對危機, 很多轉變, 怎樣做呢? 所以人要回復以前作懷緬過去, 是不可能發生的. 有人認為現在的轉變是短暫的, 幾個月就會結束. 不是的, 將來會有一個新的常態, 轉變就是永恆, 我們不再可以回復以前的社會.


有些人說我們這些轉變, 這些抑鬱, 這些集體焦慮, 是埋伏於內心裏面, 就要別人作代罪羔羊(scapegoating). 要宣洩內心的痛楚, 靠投影外在的方法, 一些國家, 一些人, 說的人民公敵, 要清除他們, 要發了新的冷戰, 要圍攻他. 這是行不通的, 因為我們是生命相連了, 這個矛盾的做法是死路一條.


小也是美的 (small is beautiful), 小是更有機動性. 類似台灣, 南韓解決疫情比較機動. 但大的國家也是可以的, ,如果你能動員許多不同的小群, 不同的地區, 不同的層次, 形成一線, 也是成功的. 大的國家: 中國, 印度, 美國, 加拿大也可以完成這些動員.


所以將來的世代, 我們需要的素質就是愛護你的鄰舍, 關懷貧窮的和弱勢的人, 要彼此連結, 在危機當中攜手合作, 而不是敵對, 我們才能生存在這世上.


其次就是過簡樸的生活, 無論在物質上, 生活的水平上, 活動的空間上, 行走的次數頻繁, 想要成就的東西, 都要追求簡樸, 放下許多東西, 有創意地生活. 不是消費消費消費, 不是市場市場市場, 是一個有創意簡單生活. 尊重地球資源的生活, ,尊重動物, 尊重植物, 尊重星星, 尊重雀鳥, 尊重創造主.


最後對於未來的發展, 有一個長遠的視野, 而非一個短暫的目標, 短暫的成果. 有一個長遠跨世代的視野, 一個百年樹人, 對我們會有新的希望. 這個病毒使我們成長, 使我們學習, 這就是我小小的建議.


梁永泰博士


Lessons from Pandemic and Leadership of the Future, by Dr. Wing Tai Leung


The global pandemic of virus outbreak has changed the world. In what ways it changes the world? What can we learn from this pandemic? What are the implications for future of leadership? Some opinion leaders inferred that de-globalization would result and nations would seek self-sufficiency, and decouple from each other. The economy would go downturn and we would be getting poorer. There would be a shift in power from the West to the East.


As for me, I think there will be two major changes: Change in TIME and change in SPACE.


TIME will no longer be chronological, predictable, linear progressive, and extrapolative. We cannot predict future viruses from SARS. We cannot predict the pattern of behavior of economic downturns from the Depression Days. Everything in the future will be unprecedented. There will be wave after wave of disruptive changes, quantum changes, discrete changes, abrupt changes, that we have not seen. Changes will be radical to the root, fundamental to transform all systems, and without a trajectory to predict. Time will be fluid, transient, dynamic, in motion, doing, becoming, interactive and unpredictable. That will be the change in TIME.


As for SPACE, the world will be more integrative. Any thing that happens in one part of the world is like 'butterfly effect' that will have changes incur in the entire Planet. Globalization is a fact and not an option or preference. We are integrative with animals, plants, materials, other human beings and everything else. Cutting off to be self-protective and alienated would not be an option. What are the qualities of future leadership?


1. Leadership of Contingency: ability to deal with the unprecedented, the unknown, abrupt, disruptive, fluid, flowing, unimaginable, adhocratic and contingent. Be able to handle fuzzy logic, ambiguity, paradoxes, conflicts, the amorphic, morphing, and the in-betweens.


2. Leadership of Unity in Diversity: Be able to avoid either total dependence or total independence with each other. Rather is a leadership to seek interdependence. A new paradigm is needed to collaborate in a highly integrative world. How to retain one's culture and root and yet partner with strangers or the enemy?


3. Leadership with Worldview: Embrace changes through forming one's Worldview, Value System, and Principles. To face changes one needs an anchor, something immutable. The primary values could be non-negotiable. What are the primary values? Would they be intense love for human lives, human dignity, community living, art and culture, compassion for animals, plants, and materials, and the fear of God the Creator?


4. Leadership of Compassion: In changes there will be the poor and the weak. Many people cannot handle changes and would be left behind. We need to care for the needy.


5. Leadership of Responsibility: In times of change and suffering, it is very easy for us to single out certain country, people, or individuals as scapegoats and purge the enemy, straw-man, or public foe. To create another Cold War. This will not solve the problem. We need deeper level of collaboration instead.


6. Leadership of Future Vision: During days of crisis, it is very easy for us to be nostalgic and deem that the changes will only be temporary and it will return to normal in no time. This is anachronistic. But the fact is that everything will change. We cannot linger too much on the past but to envision the future. Risk management assumes a static society with a few inserts of risks. But tomorrow everyday is risk management. Change, radical changes, will become a norm.


7. Leadership with Simple Lifestyle: We need to scale down our consuming, extravagant and high mobility lifestyle. Instead of consuming and marketing, we need to be more selective in our activities, mobility, consumption, ambition, and material gains. We can live more creatively and in tune with Mother Earth and our Creator God.


8. Leadership with a Long-View: We need a long view of human and social development. Historical, contemporary, futuristic and other macro views will be needed. We need to see intergenerational future. We need to avoid focusing on quarterly changes, incremental changes, short-time gains, problem solving and tactical methods. We need structural views, deep-structure thinking. We need paradigm shifts all the time.


That's my two cents. Thank you.


Dr. Wing Tai Leung

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