Woman branded liar by high court judge: Leadership, professionalism and ethics for the future

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This paper draws on a reflexive analysis of a life changing event for the author - losing a court case that they instigated against a vet for professional negligence (Blass v Randall [2008] EWHC 1007 (QB) (14 May 2008)). The paper offers a range of interpretations of the court proceedings, and through this questions the shifting role of leadership within and between the parties involved, the meaning of professionalism, what it is to behave professionally, and the impact of ethics on how leaders and professionals conduct themselves. Causal layered analysis (Inayatullah, 1998) is used to reframe leadership and Theory U (Scharmer, 2009) is used to establish a basis of professionalism. In extending these principles to other contexts, the author questions what a future society might look like and how we might like to behave professionally in the future. The paper concludes by offering a model of leadership that resonates with foresight in its driver of change in search of an alternative, 'better' future. In recognising this, the paper also raises the issue with normative future visions and actions of 'better for whom?' noting that better for some will be worse for others and that this realisation both needs to be considered and mitigated for in leadership of change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-80
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Futures Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Causal layered analysis
  • Ethics
  • Leadership
  • Professionalism
  • T-cycle


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