Changemakers are people who can see the patterns around them, identify the problems in any situation, figure out ways to solve the problem, organize fluid teams, lead collective action and then continually adapt as situations change. To form and lead this community of communities, leaders have to possess what Drayton calls “cognitive empathy-based living for the good of all.” Cognitive empathy is the ability to perceive how people are feeling in evolving circumstances. “For the good of all” is the capacity to build teams.


Business is about being able to meet the unmet and unarticulated needs of customers and there is just no way we are going to be able to succeed in doing that if we don’t have that deep sense of empathy.


Innovation only happens in an organization where its people feel empowered, understood, and trusted with the work delegated to them. People do not innovate in a climate of fear, hierarchy or bureaucracy. In a hyper-competitive world, the benefit of innovation is an obvious one. You have to position empathy as a key element in building a more innovative organization.


In a world of interaction and complexity — one that relies on collaboration for success and contribution — the stakes for mastering empathy have never been higher.