LEADERSHIP The office or position of a leader, the capacity to lead; the act of leading.
CREATIVITY The conscious effort on the part of an individual or group to bring into being any circumstance, condition, object, relationship or activity.
GENERSHIP The capacity to create with others; the community practice of creating.
“What is Genership? While leadership involves the ability to point the way, to lead others toward a destination, vision or common goal, Genership entails a quite different dynamic that displays the abilities required to create with others, together with the capacity to engage and stimulate creativity within a community.”
David M. Castro, Genership Prologue
The purpose of the Genership Institute is to advance genership ideas and practices. How did the concept of genership evolve?
The team at I-LEAD has invested more than twenty years working with leadership thinkers, scholars, practitioners and learners. This work observed that leadership practices in our communities have been evolving. Some problematic approaches to leadership are slowly giving way to new practices that many perceive to be better for the individuals and communities who participate in them. Reflecting on these positive trends—what is coming and what is receding—has inspired us to describe what we see and also to encourage and develop it. Participants can think of this work as both chronicling evolution in leadership practices and stimulating the evolutionary process itself.
While leadership involves the ability to point the way, to lead others toward a destination, vision or common goal, genership entails a quite different dynamic that displays the abilities required to create with others, together with the capacity to engage and stimulate creativity rather than conflict within a community. Genership relates closely to the word generate, with the same connotation of origin, energy, birth, life and growth.
Ideas about genership are described more fully in a recent book (reviewed here) authored by one of I-LEAD’s founders, David Castro. In Genership: Beyond Leadership Toward Liberating the Creative Soul, posits that human progress will ultimately require groups and organizations to transcend leadership in favor of genership as a core practice within creative communities.
The first initiative of the Genership Institute is called the PeaceBread Project, inspired by the idea that since the dawn of human history, the practice of breaking bread to have dialogue about differences captures the essence of genership: our commitment to transcend conflict through collaborative, productive creativity in the service of community: from guns to gifts, from bullets to benefits, from missiles to missions, from destruction to dancing, from conflict to creativity.