Episode 121 Preparing Leaders for Complex Change


Episode 121

Preparing Leaders for Complex Change

An Interview with Deborah Westphal

February 28, 2019

In this episode, Angie talks with human-centric leader, futurist and CEO of Toffler Associates, Deborah Westphal. Westphal shares the history and legacy of Toffler Associates and provides insights into their mission to help organizations understand the dynamics of change, plan their way to the future, and then adapt. Westphal also explains four macro-drivers that are causing uncommon disruption and influencing everything we know about organizations. She explores very important questions and assumptions about power structures, technology, and societal values and advocates for leaders to focus on people, rather than processes or technology.    


Show Notes


Quotes from this episode:

“Toffler Associates was created 20 years ago to be a consulting advisory firm to really help organizations understand the dynamics of change, help them plan their way to the future, and then help them adapt.” — Deb Westphal

“Being an engineer by education, it really is a necessity to think as a system and to understand the system of systems and understand those interrelationships.” — Deb Westphal

“Nothing happens in isolation…so jumping around and seeing all these advancements and not just technology, because once technology is developed, people are going to change and relationships are going to change and policies are going change and regulatory are going to be debated. So understand that everything really is connected and nothing changes in isolation. You have to isolate the problem but then to solve it you’ve got to go big and then you’ve got to go small again to get the real answer.” — Deb Westphal

“The Information/Knowledge Age is not about the technology. The technology has fueled it, but it’s really about the changing nature of people.” — Deb Westphal

“Some of the problems that we are faced with, climate change and clean water and food, I think is going to take these deep coalitions to solve those problems because no one entity owns the problem but there are so many entities that are a part of the solution. We’ve got to come together in uncommon ways to solve some of these problems.” — Deb Westphal

“The discussion that needs to happen is not a fight but an understanding of all the different perspectives within the spectrum.” — Deb Westphal


Resources from this episode:

Future Shock by Alvin Toffler

The Third Wave by Alvin Toffler

Leadership for Human-Centric Organizations: Creating Resiliency in the Midst of Disruption