Sixth Annual Conference of the European SPES Forum entitled “Leading with Wisdom” was hosted by the Alba University, in April 21-23, 2010 in Veldhoven, The Netherlands. The conference explored the meaning and practice of wisdom as the basis of trustful and effective leadership. In a period of ‘creative destruction’ and transformation, the role of wisdom is vital and indispensable to meet the complexities, uncertainties and turbulences in business.
The theme of the Conference is inspired by the excellent book of Peter Pruzan and Kirsten Pruzan Mikkelsen, Leading with Wisdom. Spiritual-based Leadership in Business (Greenleaf Publishing, Sheffield, 2007). The authors were keynote speakers in the conference. Issues addressed included the following: What is wisdom in leadership? How can we define this concept and which experience can help us exercise it? What makes wisdom different from main stream rational and managerial knowledge? To what extent is it related to virtues and spirituality? What are the sources of wisdom? How to cope with different traditions and models of wisdom? Is there a trans-cultural model of wisdom that can be used in management theory and practice? What is the (non)role of wisdom in current theories of leadership? Does a focus on wisdom add something valuable to the existing theory and practice of leadership? How can wisdom be integrated in the decision-making process? What are the criteria of wise decisions? Is wisdom more than an individual competence? Can it become a characteristic of a collective process of discernment? What can we learn from case studies? How do entrepreneurs and business leaders experience wisdom and spirituality in their practice? What are the economic effects and costs of a lack of wisdom? What can we learn from the banking crisis or other disasters? How can wisdom be implemented in specific forms of managerial practice (hiring and firing people, risk management, marketing etc )? How to give wisdom its proper place in business education and business schools?
The conference resulted in a book entitled « Leading with Wisdom » published by Garant in 2011.