William Smith


William Smith


I'm primarily an innovator of both theory and practice in the fields of organization, systems, social development and leadership, I have created and implemented new approaches to organization for multinational corporations, for governments, the World Bank and the United Nations in many parts of the world. My major innovations come from the discovery that purpose is the source of our power. This insight in turn came from the discovery that system/environment relationships are power relations. These insights in turn hen led to the concept of leadership as the power function that links what we appreciate, what we influence and then control. (AIC) I have created new approaches to teaching in the Organizational Sciences Program at George Washington University and developed a series of three maps based on AIC that help leaders and coaches address issues of Purpose, Power and Leadership. My book “The Creative Power: Transforming Ourselves, Our Organizations and Our World” with Routledge 2009 recounts the story of the development, application and implications of these ideas.


Alexandria, Va

What draws you to the STIA conference?

The chance to meet personally with many people I know virtually.

What are you hoping to experience?

A dialogue with people who are transcending the current classical approach to systems.To share and engage with people working with ideas that are broader, deeper and more natural.

What are you most passionate about?

Joining with others to tackle some of the greatest issues of our time using the new broader and natural views of systems.

How do you see transformation occurring from this conference?

From finding and giving voice to the ideas and practices that transcend classical systems models and that have shown that they can overcome many of the obstacles to greater acceptance of systems approaches. already

What’s your bigger vision?

To have natural systems processes become part of the fabric of the way all people go about their life and work. To better appreciate the natural systems that run the universe and are reflected in the functioning of all its parts including ourselves. To have all systems process draw out this natrual knowledge rather than seeing systems as something that has to be created artificially and taught to people as a separate branch of knowledge.

What needs to happen for you to evaluate this STIA+ experience as a success?

We need space at the beginning of the workshop before entering open space to encourage people to draw out their highest ideals about systems while also facing the realities of the current state of systems understanding and practice. At the end we must encourage those with similar ideas for action to work together on those ideas.