“Change the World.”

“Promote World Peace.”

“Change the Trajectory of Civilisation.”

“Create a Happier World.”

Statements by Ban Ki-moon, Barrack Obama, Christine Lagarde or the head of a multinational charity?

Surprisingly not –  they are the ambitions of leading business and management thinkers.

And not purely from big-hearted, altruistic idealism, but from a sense of pragmatic reality – because it’s good for business.

There is a quiet revolution taking place, both in the trajectory of business books, blogs and articles, but more importantly in the real world. Various pockets of resistance to old ideas are emerging. A movement that was started by original business gurus such as Tom Peters and Charles Handy is now gaining serious momentum.

The Oxford Leadership Academy under the leadership of Brian Bacon is bringing a new dimension to management consulting. Bacon encourages deep and authentic leadership, true corporate social responsibility and a pragmatic spirituality. He talks about leaders who are changing the trajectory of civilisation.

Google Fellow Chade-Meng Tan advocates a mindful approach to life and business through meditation. His objective is to develop effective and innovative leaders using science-backed mindfulness training – oh…and to promote world peace.

Leading management thinker Jurgen Appelo proposes new approaches to management to break the mould of deep-rooted traditional thinking and change the world.

And Tony Hseih who is executing on his promise of delivering happiness.

Organizations, from governments to businesses, are paying attention to, and, more importantly, acting upon, these leading-edge thinkers and influencers.

Perhaps one of the more tangible (and popular) ways the world is changing is in the broad adoption of Agile frameworks in software development. Agile is about self-managing teams, about less bureaucracy, responding to change, more human interaction and delivering value fast.

Changing the world may sound a little grandiose, but we can all do it – we do it every day in some sense or other. We make decisions that impact the lives of others on a daily basis.

Changing the world is not a long-term aspiration; it’s about the next five minutes of execution.

It’s about the “six inches in front of your face” as Al Pacino so passionately put it in Any Given Sunday.

Want to help change the world? Follow people like Brian, Meng, Tony and Jurgen. Watch their movies. Read their stuff.

Cover 2.0Chris Martlew’s new book, Changing the Mind of the Organization – Building Agile Teams, is available at amazon.co.uk, amazon.com, bol.com and other good bookstores.