Leading from Betwixt and Between: Exploring How Liminal, Rhizomic Spaces Shape, Deepen, and Sustain Adaptive Leadership Mindsets within Complex Healthcare Systems


Leadership, Management & Business

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Dwelling within the middle of things has increasingly become a leader imperative. Life is never certain and the modern world requires we hold change in its dynamic flow. Liminality describes an existence between two stages or places, a fold of time and space that is a gateway to another state of being, an offer to consider and become “other.” Healthcare leaders have been ushered into a pandemic-chaotic world that calls them into the liminal space, sitting within uncharted territory, exchanging time-tested procedures by which they may have formerly been led, for crafting emergent answers “in the moment” for real-time solution building. This chapter introduces a new conceptual framework and model for adapting and leading in the liminal space, engaging a fresh, adaptive leader mindset for the modern world. Using rhizome theory, the authors demonstrate how multiplicity, unbound movement, detaching from former structures, random and infinite points of opportunity and being integrally connected to our experience amplifies adaptive leader impact.


Published as a chapter of Rasmussen, H.T. (2021). Adaptive Leadership in a Global Economy: Perspectives for Application and Scholarship (M. Raei, Ed.) (1st ed.). Routledge. https://doi-org.antioch.idm.oclc.org/10.4324/9781003099109