Joseph Jaworski has devoted much of his life to the study and practice of leadership development. He began his professional career as an attorney, specializing in domestic and international litigation at Bracewell & Patterson, a large Houston-based law firm. For 15 years, he was a senior partner and a member of the executive committee of that firm. In 1975, he was elected as a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers (which comprises the top one percent of U.S. trial lawyers). In addition, he ran a successful horse-breeding operation (Circle J Enterprises), and helped found several organizations, including a life insurance company and a refining company.
By 1980, Jaworski had resigned from all of these activities to found the American Leadership Forum, a non-governmental agency responsible for developing collaborative leadership. Ten years later, he was invited to join the Royal Dutch/Shell Group of companies in London, to lead Shell’s renowned team of scenario planners. Thereafter he returned to the U.S. as a senior fellow and a member of the Board of Governors with the MIT Center for Organizational Learning, one of the premier research centers on organizational learning.
A significant part of the Generon practice is based in the form of “in-depth interviewing” that Joe developed over the course of his career. It is based upon techniques developed as a trial lawyer, for compassionately drawing forth information from difficult witnesses. “The essence of Joe Jaworski’s revolutionary method,” says Peter Senge, “is to create a deep conversation that both opens the heart and allows for a kind of connection between each individual story and the larger pattern in the system as a whole.”
Joseph Jaworski’s current focus is on helping leaders and organizations develop the capacity to sense and bring forth emerging futures collectively at a scale that can actually influence the forces shaping our world.
Jaworski is the author of the critically acclaimed book Synchronicity (1996; Berrett-Koehler), an explication of generative leadership based upon his lifelong work and experience. Joseph lives in the North Shore of Boston. He is a founding partner of Generon. To read more about Joseph, visit his personal site.
Academy Articles by Joseph Jaworski
- Leadership – Six Essential Elements