Click on the links below to download a copy of books, articles and chapters.
The Catalyst's Way Book and Storytellers Companion Guide - available for download!
After a rewarding experience as Leader in Residence at the Atlantic Institute, I am thrilled to have recently launched at Oxford University The Catalyst’s Way – A Handbook for People Who Want to Change the World and as a companion guide The Catalyst’s Way – Foundational Storytellers. The purpose of this book is to ignite and support catalytic efforts around the world. That means you - for whatever lights you up. The Catalyst’s Way, designed as an embodied process, seeks to empower changemakers by providing them with tools to be more effective and to support their life-long transformational journey. In going through the exercises and reading the stories of the folks in the trenches, you will emerge feeling motivated and encouraged to transform your world, too.
Te Niho o te Taniwha: Exploring present-future pathways for whānau and hapū in Māori economies of wellbeing
This scoping report explores a Present-Future-Pathway framework as part of our research He oranga whānau: mahi ngātahi Whānau livelihoods within the context of work and Māori economies of wellbeing.
To better understand how wellbeing economies can contribute to flourishing whānau-hapū futures, we take a pragmatic, even grim, look into the future. We do this by mapping a number of key trends over the next 10-30 years across environmental, economic, political, demographic, employment, and business domains that will, if they coincide, have a significant detrimental impact on Māori, and Indigenous, whānau (families).
We cannot look at the future without also looking at the past and we do a deep historical dive to build the present-future framework. We examine four time periods from a wellbeing economy perspective: Hawaiikians, the wayfinding period on waka and on arrival; Whānau-Hapū, the time often referred to as the ‘classic Māori’ period where the core institutions of te ao Māori solidified; the Māori period following contact and colonisation in which Māori adapted, adjusted, and fought for their right to an ongoing independent identity, and the maintenance of economic life ways, and Aotearoan, which reflects the present day, and both the struggles and opportunities we face.
We then set out our thoughts on economic theories that intersect, and align with Māori approaches to wellbeing economics, including human needs theory and institutional economics. Finally, we gather these trends, historical analysis and theories together to present a theory of whānau and how iwi, hapū and hapori along with policy makers, government agencies and other organisations can better ensure whānau are not inhibited from achieving mana motuhake in a world of intensifying uncertainty.
Decision-making is an understudied area for collective leadership generally and Māori leadership specifically. Decision-making is a litmus test of collective leadership: Who do decisions serve in the context of collective leadership? Over a period of three years we gathered the views of hundreds of people through interviews, surveys, hui and wānanga. The overarching research questions underpinning this research are:
1. What are the distinctive dimensions and drivers of innovative Māori leadership and integrated decision-making?
2. How do these characteristics deliver pluralistic outcomes that advance transformative and prosperous Māori economies of wellbeing?
This report is designed to be an easy, relatable and widely accessible summary of our key findings – and we thank our respondents whose comments form the backbone of this work. This report sits alongside other reports and papers in our Māori leadership and decision-making series. This repository of knowledge will continue growing as we refine and deepen our insights; we regard it as living knowledge that responds to ever-changing contexts in which leadership is enacted.
This report presents the findings of a research project with a group of Māori managers. We wanted to find out about their unique practices of Māori management, with a particular focus on human resource management. Through these rich in-depth conversations we developed a better understanding how tikanga and mātauranga shape Māori approaches to HRM. Māori managerial approaches – like other aspects of organisational behaviour among Māori, from whānau to hapū to iwi – are steeped in a sense of community and civic obligation. In this report we document how such leaders and managers use ancestral leadership strengths and narratives of recognition to develop the people in the organisations they work for. We have also included a range of practices, the five touchstones, from an earlier work on attending to the life-energy of an organisation. Our intention for this report is that it is short, simple, positive and relatable.
Abstract. Without magnetic compasses, sextants, or maps, and long before European ships had entered the Pacific, Polynesian voyagers were finding their way across 25 million square kilometres of ocean. Over time they discovered and settled a vast number of widely scattered islands, including Aotearoa New Zealand, using navigation techniques, such as reading star paths, swell frequencies, and cloud formations, that were handed down through generations. The feats of the Polynesian navigators have been likened, relative to the technology and knowledge of the times, to the modern moon missions.
Key words: wayfinding leadership, Maori
To cite this article: Spiller, M. M. (2016). Calling the Island to You: Becoming a Wayfinder Leader. University of Auckland Business Review, Spring, 27-35.
Abstract: Wayfinding provides the basis for a powerful approach for taking a fresh perspective on leadership in a world of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA). Wayfinding teaches us how we can increase our responseability, the ability to respond and avoid reactivity, especially in the face of great challenges. For the wayfinder leader a challenge is an invitation to achieve mastery. To illustrate this point, we would like to share a story, a metaphor for navigating the complexity of our times.
Key words: wayfinding leadership, Maori
To cite this article: Spiller, M. M., & Lindsey, E. (2016). Good Vibrations: Mastering the Wayfinders’ Code for Leadership. International Leadership Association newsletter, (5), 15-18
Abstract. Care is at the heart of the Maori values system, which calls for humans to be kaitiaki, caretakers of the mauri, the life-force, in each other and in nature. The relational Five Well-beings approach, based on four case studies of Maori businesses, demonstrates how business can create spiritual, cultural, social, environmental and economic well-being. A Well-beings approach entails praxis, which brings values and practice together with the purpose of consciously creating well-being and, in so doing, creates multi-dimensional wealth. Underlying the Well-beings approach is an ethic of care and an intrinsic stakeholder view of business.
Key words: value based management, ethic of care, Indigenous business, Maori business, sustainability, relational wellbeing and wealth, stakeholder theory
To cite this article: SPILLER, C., ERAKOVIC, L., HENARE, M., & PIO, E. (2010). Relational well-being and wealth: Māori businesses and an ethic of care. Journal of Business Ethics, 98(1), 153-169.
Abstract: Organizations are searching for innovative business approaches that deliver profits and create shared value for all stakeholders. We show what can be learned from the relational wisdom approach of Indigenous Maori and reframe the prevailing economic argument that has seen companies profit and prosper at the expense of communities and ecologies. We develop an ethic of kaitiakitanga model premised on Maori values which holds the potential to enrich and further humanize our understanding of business. The Maori economy is a globally connected, prosperous, and profitable sector of the New Zealand economy. By drawing on Maori values, we present a wisdom position through an ethic of kaitiakitanga or stewardship to emphasize and illustrate the interconnectedness of life in a woven universe. Through practicing kaitiakitanga, organizations can build businesses where wisdom is consciously created through reciprocal relationships. In this worldview of business, humans are stewards endowed with a mandate
to use the agency of their mana (spiritual power, authority, and sovereignty) to create mauri ora (conscious well-being) for humans and ecosystems—and this commitment extends to organizations.
Key words: Ethics Indigenous Maori Stewardship Values Well-being Wisdom
To cite this article: SPILLER, C., PIO, E., ERAKOVIC, L., & HENARE, M. (2011). Wise up: Creating organizational wisdom through an ethic of kaitiakitanga. Journal of Business Ethics, 104(2), 223-235
Abstract: Attending to the life-energy of an organization is an important, yet often overlooked aspect of management and leadership. Ignoring energy dimensions in an organization can lead to dispirited, dysfunctional workplaces. In this chapter, we explore how nourishing different life-energies can revitalize relationships within the workplace and with communities to support organizational thriving. A central premise of this theoretical enquiry is that organizations which cultivate healthy, thriving life-energies offer added value for their stakeholders, including employees, customers, social and cultural communities, and the environment. We focus on indigenous Maori conceptualizations of life-energies and offer a series of touchstones, drawn from theory and our management and research experience, to guide sustainable business practice with the kaupapa, intention, of bringing new life and dignity into dispirited modern enterprise.
To cite this chapter: SPILLER, C., & STOCKDALE, M. (2013). Managing and leading from a Maori perspective: Bringing new life and energy to organizations. J. Neale (Ed.), Handbook for faith and spirituality in the workplace. New York. Springer Publishing Company
This chapter, from 2012, weaves concepts from traditional navigation with the wider body of strategy and management research literature. Six orientations are presented under a trilogy of compass, conduct and contours. These orientations are dynamic dwelling, perceiving process, applying values, making connections, layering up, and expanding validity. Whilst focusing on research methods, the chapter also discusses strategy and purpose to show how a holistic and relational approach can help address the rising demand for more sustainable enterprises that create wealth and wellbeing.
Key words: wayfinding leadership, strategy, purpose, research, Maori
To cite this chapter: Spiller, C. (2012). Wayfinding in strategy research. In West meets east: Building theoretical bridges. Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
The Introduction chapter to our book on Authenic LEadership by Donna Ladkin and Chellie Spiller.
To cite this chapter: LADKIN, D., & SPILLER, C. (Eds.) (2013). Reflections on Authentic Leadership: Clashes, Convergences and Coalescences. Cheltenham, UK. Edward Elgar Press.
An exercise you can use to explore diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Often the “exterior” of a person belies a rich and dazzling interior life—just as the pāua has a hard coat on the outside and stunning layers of color on the inside. The leader’s task is to release the potential in people by helping individuals better understand their layers, including thought, feeling, and behavior. This story also emphasizes the importance of providing ongoing learning and growing opportunities so that people in the workplace can keep adding to their layers, and self-actualize.
Key words: attitudes, behavior, conflict management, emotional intelligence, internal locus of control, managing stress, organizational culture, organizational commitment, performance, personality, person-job fit, resilience, valuing diversity
The story of the ancient Polynesian navigators provides insights for modern organizations who wish to navigate their journey toward wisdom.This story highlights the importance of developing perception skills to better see what is really going on. It offers organizational leaders an opportunity to encourage their staff to be open to, and aware of, a variety of the stimuli that determine the different ways people look at a similar situation—rather than operating out of habit, which can keep them locked in “psychic prisons.” An important reflection this story touches upon is the need for organizations to develop high levels of responsiveness among all its members in order that the organization as a whole can better navigate the seas of uncertainty and change.
Key words: organizational change, group dynamics, group-based problemsolving organizational decision-making, the learning organization and the perceptual organization, systems thinking