Kategoriarkiv: Organizing

Organizing retrospective 90

This is a post in my series on organizing ”between and beyond.” Other posts are here. This is a retrospective of what has happened during the week. The purpose is to reflect on the work itself. Here is my previous retrospective.

What has happened? What needs to be done?
I finished reading the following books this week:

  • Mind and Nature by Gregory Bateson. Bateson believes that mental process always is a sequence of interactions between parts. He doesn’t believe that elementary particles are minds in themselves. Contrary to Bateson I do believe that elementary particles have proto-minds. Here is my review.
  • The Myths We Live By by Mary Midgley. Myths are are imaginative patterns, networks of symbols. The way we imagine the world determines what we think important in it, what we select for our attention. That is why we need to become aware of these symbols. Here is my review.
  • The Garden Awakening by Mary Reynolds. This is a book about designing gardens that are radiant with life, bursting with energy.  I think that Mary Reynolds’ approach to garden design is as applicable to organizational design. If we are to treat the organization as a living system, we must think in those terms. Here is my review.

What was good? What can be improved?
I’m really glad that I was able to publish three book reviews this week. Hopefully, I’ll be able to publish my review of Eugene Gendlin’s Experiencing and the Creation of Meaning next week. Gendlin’s book is a groundbreaking philosophical work. He considers felt experiencing in its own right, and explores how logical order can relate concretely to felt experience.

Organizing in between and beyond posts

Organizing retrospective 89

This is a post in my series on organizing ”between and beyond.” Other posts are here. This is a retrospective of what has happened during the week. The purpose is to reflect on the work itself. Here is my previous retrospective.

What has happened? What needs to be done?
I am still working on my review of Eugene Gendlin’s Experiencing and the Creation of Meaning: A Philosophical and Psychological Approach to the Subjective. This is a philosophical work where Gendlin examines the edge of awareness, where language emerges from non-language. This is a groundbreaking book which addresses pre-conceptual and supra-logical aspects of experiencing and meaning-making.

Gendlin, Experiencing and the Creation of Meaning.

Gregory Bateson’s Mind and Nature: A Necessary Unity arrived this week. Bateson offers the phrase the pattern which connects as another possible title for the book.1 The book is built on the opinion that we are parts of a living world.2 We have been trained to think of patterns as something fixed. It is easier and lazier that way, but it is all nonsense. The right way to think about the pattern which connects is to think of it as primarily a dance of interacting parts.3 Logic and quantity turn out to be inappropriate for describing organisms, their interactions, and internal organization. There is no conventional way of explaining or even describing the phenomena of biological organization.4

Bateson, Mind and Nature.

I have started reading Gregory Bateson’s book and Mary Midgley’s The Myths We Live By. Myths are everywhere. In political thought (theories of human nature and the social contract), in economics (the pursuit of self interest), and in science (the idea of human beings as machines). The great thinkers of the 17th century were obsessed by the ambition to drill all thought into a single formal system. Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz, tried to mend the mind/body gap by building abstract systems powered by their models of thought, logic, and mathematics.5 However, conceptual mono-culture cannot work because, in almost all our thought, we are dealing with subject-matters that we need to consider from more than one aspect.6

Midgley, The Myths We Live By.

What was good? What can be improved?
It’s good that I’ve got started with my review of Gendlin’s book, but it’s very difficult to create a concise summary of the book. Gendlin examines a new kind of thinking, which begins in the intricacy of felt meaning. The book is highly relevant to my interest in deeper generative orders for organizing.

Notes:
1 Gregory Bateson, Mind and Nature: A Necessary Unity (Hampton Press, 2002), p.7.
2 Ibid., p.16.
3 Ibid., p.12.
4 Ibid., p.19.
5 Mary Midgley, The Myths We Live By (Routledge, 2011, first published 2004), p.88.
6 Ibid., p.68.

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Organizing retrospective 88

This is a post in my series on organizing ”between and beyond.” Other posts are here. This is a retrospective of what has happened during the week. The purpose is to reflect on the work itself. Here is my previous retrospective. Here is my next retrospective.

What has happened? What needs to be done?
Three new books arrived this week:

  • The Lost Language of Plants by Stephen Buhner.
    This book explores the complex, multidimensional, intricately connected, living organism that we call Earth. Stephen Buhner has become one of my favorite authors. This is the fourth book of Buhner which I am reading.
  • The Myths We Live By by Mary Midgley.
    Myths are everywhere. In political thought they sit at the heart of theories of human nature and the social contract; in economics in the pursuit of self interest; and in science in the idea of human beings as machines.
  • Beyond the Limits of Thought by Graham Priest.
    This book investigates the nature and the limits of thought. The book is a blend of logic and the history of philosophy.

Last month, I read Masanobu Fukuoka’s first and last major works, The One-Straw Revolution and Sowing Seeds in the Desert. Masanobu Fukuoka criticizes our willingness to reduce life to what is know about it, and to act on the assumption that what we don’t know can safely be ignored. One principle that Masanobu Fukuoka followed was to consider how one could do as little as possible. This was not because he was lazy, but because of his belief that if nature were given the opportunity it would do everything on its own. Here is a compilation of my tweets from my reading Fukuoka’s books.

Fukuoka’s first and last major works (from left to right).

I am currently reviewing Eugene Gendlin’s book Experiencing and the Creation of Meaning. It’s a most interesting book which I mentioned in this retrospective last year. Experiencing, as defined by Eugene Gendlin, is directly related to the deeper generative order for organizing which I’m so interested in. I will post a review of Gendlin’s book next week.

Gendlin, Experiencing and the Creation of Meaning.

What was good? What can be improved?
I am glad that I finally got started with my review of Gendlin’s book. David Bohm and Eugene Gendlin’s thinking are cornerstones in this work. There are interesting parallels between Gendlin and Bohm:

  • Bohm talks about the implicate and explicate, while Gendlin talks about the implicit and explicit.1
  • Bohm explores the nature of consciousness, with particular attention to thought. Gendlin explores experiencing, with an emphasis on the ability to think with the intricacy of the situation.2
  • Bohm proposes that there is order in all aspects of life.3 So does Gendlin, who describes nature as a responsive order.4
  • Bohm thinks that all action, including inaction, takes place immediately according to the meaning of the total situation at the moment.5 Gendlin thinks that we orient ourselves in situations, and make appropriate responses, all on the basis of felt meaning,6 which is present whenever actions and situations occur that have meaning to a person.7

I think that Gendlin’s experiencing and creation of meaning is a Bohmian soma-significant activity, which gives rise to further signa-somatic activity.8

Notes:
1 Eugene Gendlin, Experiencing and the Creation of Meaning: A Philosophical and Psychological Approach to the Subjective (Northwestern University Press, 1997, first published 1962), p.xiii.
2 Ibid., p.xii.
3 David Bohm and F. David Peat, Science, Order, and Creativity (Routledge, 2010-09-01, first published 1987-10-01), p.146.
4 Eugene Gendlin, Experiencing and the Creation of Meaning: A Philosophical and Psychological Approach to the Subjective (Northwestern University Press, 1997, first published 1962), p.xix.
5 Paavo Pylkkänen (editor), The Search for Meaning: The New Spirit in Science and Philosophy, (Crucible, 1989), p.57.
6 Eugene Gendlin, Experiencing and the Creation of Meaning: A Philosophical and Psychological Approach to the Subjective (Northwestern University Press, 1997, first published 1962), p.68.
7 Ibid., p.70.
8 Paavo Pylkkänen (editor), The Search for Meaning: The New Spirit in Science and Philosophy, (Crucible, 1989), p.46.

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Organizing retrospective 84-87

This is a post in my series on organizing ”between and beyond.” Other posts are here. This is a retrospective of what has happened during the week. The purpose is to reflect on the work itself. Here is my previous retrospective. Here is my next retrospective.

What has happened? What needs to be done?
This is a retrospective, not of the last week, but of the last month.

The following books arrived this month:

  • Kidnapped in The Amazon Jungle by F. Bruce Lamb.
    This is the true story of Manuel Córdova-Rios and his life among the Huni Kui, an isolated tribe possessing sophisticated knowledge of the curative powers of jungle plants and the habits of the many animals that lived with them in the Amazon jungle.
  • Rio Tigre & Beyond: The Amazon Jungle Medicine of Manuel Córdova-Rios by F. Bruce Lamb.
    This is a continuation of the story in the previous book. The word psychosomatic hardly scratches the surface when it comes to a master like Manuel Córdova-Rios in the use of jungle plants as medicines.1 Interestingly, Córdova-Rios felt that his part in the healing process was not to eliminate or directly counteract the trouble, but rather to create a condition of harmony and stability that would allow the body to heal itself.2 Similarly, I think deeper generative organizing is about creating conditions that allow people to organize themselves. The follow-up question then is, what are these conditions?
  • Many Voices One Song: Shared Power with Sociocracy by Jennifer Rau and Jerry Koch-Gonzalez.
    This is a new book which probably will be out in June. Jennifer Rau asked me in February whether I was interested in reviewing the book and I answered yes! The book is a collection of tools, methods, formats that support acting as one while celebrating our many voices. I share Jennifer and Jerry’s view that organizations need be life-serving and all-embracing, that is—they need to work for everyone and hold care for everyone affected by the organization. Here is my book review.

This month, I also published this review of Kelvy Bird’s book on Generative Scribing: A Social Art of the 21st Century. Kelvy’s writing and drawing resonates deeply with me. Kelvy’s approach can, furthermore, be applied to other arts, crafts, and practices as well. I love the book!

Kelvy Bird, Generative Scribing.

What was good? What can be improved?
I’d really like to immerse myself fully in this work, but I’m working full time with other things. I need to find a solution to this!

Notes:
1 F. Bruce Lamb, Rio Tigre & Beyond: The Amazon Jungle Medicine of Manuel Córdova-Rios (North Atlantic Books, 1985),
1980), p. 158.
2 Ibid., p. 160.

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Essential organizing principles for life

This is a post in my organizing ”between and beyond” series. Other posts are here. The purpose of this post is to explore essential organizing principles for Life.

Background
This post is based on the article New Possibilities: A World That Works For Everyone – Part I by Skye Hirst. Skye Hirst explores ten essential organizing processes for life in the article. Her intention with the article is ”to study and learn how to foster Life-environments that enhance and allow the realization of these processes” (p.3). I share Skye’s conviction that ”with greater awareness of these necessities for living, a more peaceful, healthful and meaningful existence can occur for humanity everywhere” (p.3).

Organizing principles
Skye Hirst identifies the following ten organizing processes and needs in the article:

  1. Intrinsic intention
    Living, Learning and Acting in concert with one’s own nature” (p.3). All life forms have an intrinsic uniqueness. Living beings have an inherent right to be themselves, to thrive, and to flourish. We need to be able to act in concert with our own knowing.
  2. Intrinsic meaning
    FIND Sense of Purpose & Meaning” (p.4). We feel fulfilled when we act from our our inner knowing. Doing something which has a coherent overall felt sense feels meaningful. This intrinsic felt sense gives our lives direction and focus. We feel creative and alive.
  3. Right action
    Use SELF-INTEGRITY to find right action” (p.4). We feel an internal integrity, or coherence, when we act in concert with our intrinsic selves.
  4. Effective action
    A need to EXPERIENCE A SENSE OF FULFILLMENT AND ACCOMPLISHMENT OF YOUR OWN CHOOSING” (p.4). Choices that feel like effective action inspires us to keep going to achieve our intention over and over again.
  5. Self-management
    A need to feel in charge of and able to manage our own lives” (p.5). Self-confidence and self-esteem grows from inside out. The richer the learning experiences are, the more confident we become. Confidence grows through action from intrinsic intention.
  6. Self-mastery
    A need to grow to be challenged Beyond Our Boundaries, Recognizing and Realizing our Genius, a chance to be ”somebody” because we are being what we were born to be” (p.5). We need to feel useful. And we need be challenged to develop our skills. There is something which no one can do as well you do.
  7. Self-inquiry
    A need to be aware and confident that we can think, learn and grow” (p.5). We need to discover and use our own unique learning abilities. There is an intrinsic self-satisfaction in pursuing self-directed inquiry.
  8. Wholeness of life
    A need to Recognize we are part of larger whole, a bigger picture and that we contribute to that picture in a meaningful way” (p.6). We are all connected. Nothing truly separate. We need to discover the bigger picture. We affect the whole, and the whole affects us.
  9. Spirit of life
    A need to experience a connection to the Spiritual, our inherent loving nature, the breath of life that breathes us, and there, find inspiration and integration” (p.6). We need time for reflection. We need to integrate our experiencing and learning. Doing something creative feels inspiring. Lovingness opens the space.
  10. Life is change
    A need to Develop the Ability to sustain “Not knowing” Taking Risk (The body/mind likes risks) Life requires creativity and novelty” (p.7).  We need to sustain the inquiry needed for learning, adapting, and living. Life is change. Tolerating ambiguity increases the variety and depth of learning.

Conclusion
It’s essential that we, as living beings, have the opportunity to find right and effective actions, that are guided by our intrinsic intentions and meanings, while feeling connected to the greater whole. This is a healthy environment in which we can learn, adapt, and thrive.

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Organizing retrospective 74

This is a post in my series on organizing ”between and beyond.” Other posts are here. This is a retrospective of what has happened during the week. The purpose is to reflect on the work itself. Here is my previous retrospective. Here is my next retrospective.

What has happened? What needs to be done?
This is a retrospective, not only of the last week, but also of what has happened during the year.

Introduction
The series on organizing ”between and beyond” started one and a half years ago, and is inspired by David Bohm and F. David Peat’s notion of ”the order between and beyond” in Science, Order, and Creativity.1 Here is my review of Bohm and Peat’s book.

David Bohm & Peat, Science, Order, and Creativity, p. 274–5.

I think that we need to move ”between and beyond” our traditional ways of organizing work. We need a major shift in how we perceive and organize work, and in how we relate to ourselves and othersHere is an overview of all the posts in the series.

Books
This year, I have read 15 429 pages across 61 books according to Goodreads. I have actually read more books. And no, I haven’t read every page in every book.

Source: goodreads.com

Book Reviews
Throughout the year, I have reviewed the following 25 books (the latest first):

  • The Spirit of Leadership by Harrison Owen is an amazing book! Its message is perhaps even more valid today as when it was written 28 years ago? Leadership is not the exclusive property of the few. It is, on the contrary, a collective and constantly redistributed function. The leadership we need is available in all of us.
  • Leadership Agility by Ron Meyer and Ronald Meijers focuses about leadership styles. The focus is on understanding the qualities and pitfalls of each leadership style. I particularly appreciate that the authors avoid formulating leadership scripts or formulas. The ultimate test of leadership agility is to combine leadership and followership—at the same time.
  • Reinventing the Sacred by Stuart Kauffman is a book about emergence. Kauffman attempts to lay out the scientific foundations for agency and value in the biological world. Life itself seems to maximize self-propagating organization of process. It’s a thought-provoking book!
  • The Werkplaats Adventure by Wyatt Rawson is about Kees and Betty Boeke’s pioneer comprehensive school, it’s methods and psychology. It is very interesting to see how the school succeeded in securing order without force, encouraged freedom and spontaneity, and maintained a sense of equivalence among the children and adults. It’s a great book about the values and attitudes that are needed for organizing and peaceful conflict resolution.
  • Mindstorms by Seymour Papert is about how children learn a way of thinking. The book is about children, but Papert’s ideas are relevant to how people learn at any age. He thinks about a world without schools, and discusses settings that are socially cohesive where all are learning.
  • The Power of Eight by Lynne McTaggart is about the power that is unleashed the moment we stop thinking about ourselves and gather with others into a group. It’s as if the individuals in the group become one brain together. There’s something going on here that we don’t understand.
  • Human Dynamics by Sandra Seagal and David Horne is about a framework for understanding people and realizing the potential in our organizations. The framework feels artificial, but talking about how we need to deal with each other is eye-opening.
  • Anam Ċara by John O’Donohue is about the presence, power, and beauty of inner and outer friendship. John O’Donohue takes his inspiration from his Irish heritage. It’s a beautiful book full of wisdom.
  • Walk Through Walls by Marina Abramović with James Kaplan is about Abramović and how she became a performance artist. The wall is pain. At first, the pain is excruciating, then it vanishes. That’s when you’ve walked through the wall and come out on the other side. And sometimes there’s a deep connection on the other side of the wall.
  • Freedom from Command and Control by John Seddon is about a better way to make work work. The better way has a completely different logic to command-and-control, and that, perhaps, is the reason it is difficult to understand. People interpret what they hear from their current frame of reference, so what they hear is not necessarily what is meant.
  • A Feeling for the Organism by Evelyn Fox Keller is about Barbara McClintock (1902–1992) and her science (genetics). Barbara McClintock was awarded the 1983 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. She had a ”feeling for the whole organism.” I find her life and work most fascinating.
  • Waking by Matthew Sanford is about appreciating and believing in our own experience. It is simply a matter of learning to listen to a different level of presence, a form of presence that subtly connects the mind to the body. The challenge is to step more deeply into our lives, to stay open to our own experience — to not deny it, but rather to simply have it.
  • Focusing by Eugene T. Gendlin is a most interesting book. Focusing is an internal act which is useful in approaching any problem or situation. It enables you live from a deeper place than just thoughts and feelings.
  • Survival in the Organization by Benedicte Madsen and Søren Willert is a small book and a quick read. The book is about Gunnar Hjelholt’s life with a focus on his time in a German Concentration Camp during World War II. What strikes Gunnar Hjelholt are the similarities between the concentration camp and organizations in general.
  • A Brief History of Thought by Luc Ferry is, in a way, a beginner’s guide to philosopy. I like that Ferry tries to place the different philosophical systems in the best possible light, but I’m somewhat surprised that Luc Ferry describes philosophy as a road to ‘salvation’. Personally, I think loving wisdom – trying to live wisely – is a perfectly valid aim in itself. There’s much in Luc Ferry’s book which I question, but not necessarily disagree with.
  • Artful Leadership by Michael Jones is a wonderful book! Jones brings a unique and most profound sensibility to the art of leading in the now. It’s about becoming present to the ever-present organic flow of learning and change. We are all leaders and followers at the same time.
  • The Future of Humanity by Jiddu Krishnamurti and David Bohm is a small book and a quick read. The book leaves me with mixed feelings. Krishnamurti is very assertive and rather evasive. I definitely lost confidence in him.
  • The Art of Leading Collectively by Petra Kuenkel is about the art of collaborating for a sustainable future.  I particularly like that Kuenkel not only discusses collaboration in terms of tools and structures, but also emphasizes the importance of creating ”life” and aligning action with deeper human values. Collaboration ultimately rests on our humanness. We know deep inside how collective leadership works.
  • Essays on the Quaker Vision of Gospel Order by Lloyd Lee Wilson address facets of (Conservative) Quaker faith and practice. Wilson shares many profound insights, but I think that he is too conservative. I believe that all human beings have the ability to discern good order, and that any group can search for unity (regardless of religious beliefs) provided there is trust.
  • The Structure of Value is Robert S. Hartman’s seminal work on Formal Axiology. It was interesting to see how Hartman constructs the foundations of his value science. He obviously knows philosophy, science, and mathematics very well! The book is well-structured and clearly written, but is also very demanding to read!
  • A Key to Whitehead’s Process and Reality by Donald W. Sherburne is a great guide to Whitehead’s philosophy. I realized how influenced I am by David Bohm, who also thought about mind and matter, creativity and order. I think that Bohm went beyond Whitehead’s process philosophy. Order arises from process, but process arises from a deeper order. Active information, rather than process, is constitutive of the world.
  • A Quaker Approach to the Conduct of Research by Gray Cox with Charles Blanchard, Geoff Garver, Keith Helmuth, Leonard Joy, Judy Lumb, and Sara Wolcott has grown out of a decade of experiments employing Quaker processes of communal discernment in research. The book itself is the product of collaborative work. I think that communal discernment is an example of a deeper generative order for organizing.
  • How Does Societal Transformation Happen? by Leonard Joy is a great but small book (87 pages). I think that the individual and societal transformation which Joy writes about is as applicable to organizational transformation.
  • If Aristotle Ran General Motors by Tom Morris is about what Aristotle would have done to create excellence and success in the business world. The book is full of wisdom. It’s an irony that the part of the book on truth is not entirely truthful. With the benefit of hindsight, recognized ”masters at company renovation” aren’t necessarily ”masters” after all. There’s so much hype out there.
  • Pathways to Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander is about two broad approaches to life: the downward spiral and radiating possibility. Resonance is created when there is an attunement between the outside and the inside of us. It’s so easy to put all attention on the outside, and leave out completely the inside.

Next year, I would like to review the following books (which I have read):

Posts
Additional posts that I have published this year are:

To my surprise I have started to write poems. Please, be kind. This is new to me. And English isn’t my native language. Next year, my intention is to spend more time on my own writing. I need to let what I want to say unfold word by word, post by post.

Reflections
There are many thoughts and ideas that I have taken up, combined, and added to during the year. The list below is long and unsorted, but I wanted to gather the reflections in one place (sources are in parentheses):

  • The wisdom of the heart is of a wholly different order than the intellectual insight we synthesize through deliberate rational thought. (Marcel Proust)
  • When we disconnect from a sense of inner — implicate — guidance, we are forced to rely on external — explicate — constructs. (Kelly Brogan)
  • Resonance is created when there is an attunement between the outside — explicate — and the inside — implicate — of us. (Rosamund Stone Zander)
  • Asking for help creates deep resonance within an organization which enables it to act swiftly and decisively. (Rosamund Stone Zander)
  • Holding space requires a readiness to be changed personally, to learn, and to be surprised. (Peter Pula)
  • Most focus on technical aspects, not human aspects — and values. (Bob Emiliani)
  • Perceiving livingness requires mobile thinking perception. Thinking in a living way is required whenever we are dealing with human situations. (Charles Tolman)
  • The inquiry into a deeper generative order for organizing, an organizing beyond, requires that we enter into the territory beyond the explicate order. (Rosamund Stone Zander)
  • Too many are too focused on — explicate — process and tools to notice the — implicate — foundational principles. (Bob Emiliani)
  • The inquiry into generative orders for organizing need to be generative itself.
  • There is something deeply generative in slowing down, inviting moments of silence.
  • Play is authentic order. (David Mezick)
  • Dialogue is fundamental for discernment of collective wisdom. (Leonard Joy)
  • Dialogue provokes reflection, and reflection supports individual development. (Leonard Joy)
  • The lived values of individuals promote societal change. (Leonard Joy)
  • Organizational development is dependent upon individual value development.
  • Skills won’t help if the individual doesn’t embrace the necessary values, and if the organization doesn’t support them.
  • Our values in-forms our organizing.
  • Value-intelligence is an example of a deeper generative order for organizing that is present in anything that’s alive. (Skye Hirst)
  • Organizating principles of healthy living systems: autopoiesis (self-creation), autognosis (self-knowledge), autonomics (self-regulation). (Elisabet Sahtouris)
  • The balance between any holon’s autonomy and holonomy must be worked out as mutual consistency if the holon is to survive as part of a holarchy. (Elisabet Sahtouris)
  • Organizing perspectives (Henri Bortoft, David Bohm, Norm Hirst)
Organizing Perspectives
Authentic
Belonging together
Counterfeit
Belonging together
Implicate
Enfolded
Explicate
Unfolded
Autonomic
Internal values
Allonomic
External rules
  • Mechanism vs. Organism. (Elisabet Sahtouris)2
Mechanism Organism
Allopoietic Autopoietic
Inventor created Self-created
Hierarchic structure Holarchic embeddedness
Top-down command Holarchic dialog/negotiation
System engineered System negotiated
Repaired by engineers/experts Repairs itself
Evolution by external redesign Evolution by internal redesign
Exists for product or profit Exists for health and survival
Serves owners’ self interest Serves self/society/ecosystem
  • A living process requires energy (a sense of purpose), inflow (a sense of direction), inner life (a sense of coherence and wholeness), outflow (harvesting, discernment), and feedback (learning) to stay alive.3
  • Order arises from process, but process arises from a deeper order. Active information, rather than process, is constitutive of the world. (David Bohm)
  • Life itself has a complex and subtle order of infinite complexity and subtlety. (David Bohm)
  • Life’s various suborders are all arranged, connected, and organized together, clearly inseparable from the greater whole. (David Bohm)
  • Intuition is a deeper generative order. If your intuition is misinformed, then your entire synthetic construction will become misconstrued.
  • Life-itself is neither a construction nor an abstraction. Life-itself is direct and immediate.
  • The essence of life-itself only can be penetrated by direct and immediate intuition.
  • Disvalue posing as value a perversion of value. An example is learning children to value not valuing themselves. (Robert Hartman)
  • Deeper generative orders for organizing need to be grounded in intrinsic values.
  • Enlightened organizing is based on openness (relational), light structures (multiple and variable), and presence (nowness, sensing, being). (Dian Marie Hosking)
  • Living beings are resistormers – conformers, yet resistors. (Floyd Merell)4
Resistormity
Conformity Middle Way Resistance
Iteration (Linear) Recursivity (Nonlinear)
Many is of utmost importance Singularity, Oneness, uniqueness, is of increasing importance
Predictability, of the collectivity Uncertainty, of the unique individual
Conventional knowing Unknowing knowing
Knowing upfront is prioritized Knowing through retrospection is usually of greatest value
A ‘Black Swan’ is a shocking and unwanted surprise, hence initially resisted A ‘Black Swan’ is expected, and readily accommodated
‘Grue’ remains virtually unintelligible ‘Grue’ can be made intelligible  (through the ‘middle way’)
  • Soul is the primary organizing, sustaining, and guiding principle of living beings. (Bill Plotkin)
  • Our own feeling and our own thought, which comes from being at home with the place of undivided wholeness within ourselves. (Michael Jones)
  • Generative organizing is going beyond — explicate— techniques into the — implicate — depths of being human. (Michael Jones)
  • Organismic valuing is based on authenticity, autonomy, internal locus of evaluation, unconditional positive regard, process living, relatedness, and openness to inner and outer experience. (Carl Rogers)
  • The collision of values (intrinsic, extrinsic, systemic) goes very deep.
  • Reason alone will not save us and the world. We need to bring our focus ‘upstream’ to where reason and heart may work in common.
  • Emergent organizing is based on knowledge (freely shared), trust (transparency, authenticity), credibility (active questioning), and value-creation (collaboration, cooperation). (Jon Husband)5
  • Experiencing is directly related to deeper generative organizing. (Eugene Gendlin)
  • The next step follows (continues, carries forward, makes sense) from what preceded it. (Eugene Gendlin)
  • Our next step of thought comes from our experiencing. (Eugene Gendlin)
  • There is order in all life. (David Bohm)
  • There is responsive order, which always gives more exact results than could have been constructed or deduced, in nature. (Eugene Gendlin)
  • Experiencing is a non-numerical and precise order which is not limited to any set of patterns. (Eugene Gendlin)
  • The content of experience is generated by experiencing itself. (Eugene Gendlin)
  • We can think everything more truly if we think it with attention to how we think. (Eugene Gendlin)
  • Experiencing is a generative source of felt meaning which unfolds into action, which has further meaning. (David Bohm, Eugene Gendlin)
  • Experiencing is always richer than what can be expressed in language. (Eugene Gendlin)
  • Experiencing is enfolded deep within the generative order.  (David Bohm, Eugene Gendlin)
  • All action, including inaction, takes place immediately according to the meaning of the total situation at the moment. (David Bohm)
  • The challenge is to step more deeply into our lives, to stay open to our own experience — to not deny it, but rather to simply have it. (Matthew Sanford)
  • The closer the focus, the greater the attention, the more we can learn about the general principles by which a living organism as a whole is organized. (Barbara McClintock)
  • The greater the attention to the unique characteristics of a single organization, the more we can learn about the generative order for organizing.
  • Nature is a dynamic process where information and meaning play a key dynamic role. (David Bohm)
  • Tasks which requires understanding lie — in principle — beyond the capabilities of automation. (Roger Penrose)
  • Organizational structures need to grow out of something deeper, out of generally held values. (Václav Havel)
  • A deeper generative order for organizing is related to deeper generally held values.
  • Life, in its essence, moves toward plurality, diversity, independent self-constitution, and self organization, in short, toward the fulfillment of its own freedom. (Václav Havel)
  • Organizational structures need to arise naturally from below as a consequence of authentic social self-organization. (Václav Havel)
  • Organizational structures need to derive their vital energy from a living dialogue with the genuine needs from which they arise. (Václav Havel)
  • A deeper generative order for organizing derives its vital energy from a living dialogue with genuine needs.
  • Do not give your power away to systems and people who are totally unworthy of it. Sometimes we allow people to exercise destructive power over us simply because we never question them. (John O’Donohue)
  • We have four ways to respond when faced with a situation we find problematic: collaborating, forcing, adapting, or exiting. (Adam Kahane)
  • Collaboration cannot and need not be controlled. (Adam Kahane)
  • Collaboration cycles generatively between engaging and asserting. The key is being able to work with both. (Adam Kahane)
  • Love (engaging) is what makes power generative. Power (asserting) is what makes love generative. (Adam Kahane)
  • More democratic variation is needed that flow from exploratory openness. (Richard Youngs)
  • Deeper generative orders for organizing are creative and generative, in other words, feminine.
  • Mother structures are generative orders. (Bourbaki)6
  • Fluid structure arises spontaneously in a community based on no fear, friendliness, and support. (Kees & Betty Boeke)
  • Minimal structure is order without the use of force.

Conclusions
I have come to believe that our organizations work despite the structures we impose on them. There’s a gap between how organizations are said to function and how they actually do function. There’s so much meaning-less structure (I mean this literally). And there’s so much misinformation out there – some of it is unconscious, some of it is conscious. We are all susceptible to the hype. Here are some takeaways:

  • Assumptions are context dependent. This is related to unconscious misinformation. Something which is valid in one context is not necessarily valid in another. An example is that we treat living systems as machines. We acknowledge that people aren’t machines, but we still treat people as cogs in the machine. Mechanical thinking is EVERYWHERE and shows up in our use of metaphors. Here is an example.
  • Always go to the source. And I mean ALWAYS. This is related to conscious misinformation. An example is quotes which are incorrect and thus misleading. Here is an example.
  • We all have our blind spots. My search for better ways of working has become as much an inner as an outer journey. I didn’t expect this five years ago, but it makes sense today. In order to see the big picture, connecting the dots, we need to see clearly.
  • We have to jump into the water to learn to swim. To read about something is one thing, to experience it is another. I was reminded of this earlier this year, when I participated in a Quaker decision-making meeting. The ‘dance’ I observed in the search for unity cannot be fully described in words.

One idea worth exploring is how structure is related to meaning, and vice versa. Structure is ‘explicate,’ while meaning is ‘implicate.’ Meaning generates ‘authentic’ structure. Structure without meaning is ‘counterfeit.’

Work doesn’t have to deplete us. It can be most meaningful. But to get there, we need to recognize that our workplaces have largely been devoid of a crucial part of being human: the feminine aspect.

What was good? What can be improved?
It feels really satisfying to see how my love of reading and learning flows into this work. Reflecting on the work itself, I can see three interwoven strands:

  1. The first strand is an inquiry into existing organizing orders. It’s about how we perceive and organize work. See, for example, these posts on organizing  ”between and beyond.”
  2. The second strand is an inquiry into the overall paradigmatic framework. This is about how we perceive the world in general. See, for example, these posts on philosophy and these on phenomenology.
  3. The third strand is an inquiry into life-itself and its organizing principles. See, for example, these posts on autognomics.

Simon Robinson asked here earlier this year if I can begin to write a little about how I’m structuring my thoughts. I think that the structuring is something that happens over time. It grows over time. First, the thoughts are born. Then, the thoughts need to be repeated over and over again until some kind of structure emerges. I consider laying out all the organizing frameworks, approaches, and conceptions that I have identified so far on the floor, and then start walking around to see what structures emerge. The point is that I want to activate my full embodied thinking.

Skye Hirst has become a close friend during the year. Skye is one of the founders of The Autognomics Institue (TAI). TAI has spent decades researching the fundamental organizing principles of Life Itself. It was Skye Hirst who introduced the notion of autognomics, which means self-knowing. Skye has over and over again cracked me open with her questions and suggestions. I am looking forward to our continued conversations together next year.

I need other people’s thoughts to develop my own thinking. And I need other people’s mirroring to see myself. It’s so difficult to see what you don’t see!

Notes:
1 David Bohm and F. David Peat, Science, Order, and Creativity (Routledge, 2010, first published 1987), pp. 275–314.
2 Elisabet Sahtouris, EarthDance: Living Systems in Evolution, p.370.
3 This is an adaption of an idea from Lasse Ramquist and Mats Eriksson. See Ramquist & Eriksson, Manöverbarhet: VU-processen—en ledningsmodell för strategisk fokusering, medarbetarengagemang och konkurrens på livets villkor (Ekerlids Förlag, 2000).
4 Floyd Merrell, Becoming Culture (CreateSpace, 2012), p.159.
5 Jon Husband et al., Wirearchy: Sketches for the Future of Work, pp.5–6.
6 The Bourbaki school of mathematics sees more complex structures as combinations of simpler ones, of which the most important are three mother structures.

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Organizing retrospective 73

This is a post in my series on organizing ”between and beyond.” Other posts are here. This is a retrospective of what has happened during the week. The purpose is to reflect on the work itself. Here is my previous retrospective. Here is my next retrospective.

What has happened? What needs to be done?
I started reading Beyond Being by Brice R. Wachterhauser this week. It’s a book about Gadamer’s philosophy. Conversation or dialogue (Gesprächt) was a key term for Gadamer. He viewed the whole of Western philosophy as a living conversation. It will be interesting to see where this book leads.

Wachterhauser, Beyond Being.

The Anthropic Cosmological Principle by John D. Barrow & Frank J. Tipler arrived this week. I have started reading this book too. It’s well-written, but the authors use ideas in information and computer theory to define life.1 This is a mistake! Living systems stand in sharp contrast to computer systems whose coupling with the environment are specified through input/output relations. Living systems are autonomous and determine the meaning of their interactions themselves.2 They are not information-processing devices.

Barrow & Tipler, The Anthropic Cosmological Principle.

I’m re-reading David Bohm and F. David Peat’s book Science, Order, and Creativity again. This is the book which inspired me to start this series of posts. Here is my review from last year. I’ve noticed new things in the book. There’s, for example, an essential need for the loosening of rigidly held intellectual content in the tacit infrastructure of consciousness, while also melting the hardness of the heart on the side of feeling.3 For me, the loosening of thought has to do with a willingness to question my own assumptions and the limits within which they are valid, while the melting of the emotional side has to do with getting in touch with my felt sense and raw aliveness.

What was good? What can be improved?
Skye Hirst (@autognomics) and I have an ongoing conversation about living dynamics and life-itself. We had our 79th conversation this week. Thank you Skye! I’m looking forward to our continued conversations and working together next year.

Notes:
1 John D. Barrow & Frank J. Tipler, The Anthropic Cosmological Principle (Oxford University Press, 1988), pp. 14, 511–23.
2 Fransico J. Varela, Evan Thompson, and Eleanor Rosch, The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience (MIT Press, 1993), pp. 157.
3 David Bohm and F. David Peat, Science, Order, and Creativity (Routledge, 2010, first published 1987), p. 274.

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Organizing retrospective 72

This is a post in my series on organizing ”between and beyond.” Other posts are here. This is a retrospective of what has happened during the week. The purpose is to reflect on the work itself. Here is my previous retrospective. Here is my next retrospective.

What has happened? What needs to be done?
This week, I’ve read The Tree of Knowledge by Huberto R. Maturana and Francisco J. Varela. It’s a book on knowing how we know. When we examine how we get to know this world, we find that we cannot separate our history of actions from how the world appears to us.1 Knowing is the action of the knower, rooted in his/her living being.2

H. R. Maturana & F. J. Varela, The Tree of Knowledge.

Organization signifies those relations that must be present for something to exist. Maturana and Varela call the organization that defines living beings an autopoietic organization.3 Living beings are alike in their organization, but they differ in their structure.4

One of the most evident features of living beings is their autonomy. A system is autonomous if it can specify its own laws, what is proper to it.5 The being and doing of living beings are inseparable, and this is their specific mode of organization.6 Adding anything to a structural dynamics is quite different from changing its organization.7

All behavior is an outside view of the dance of internal relations of the living being.8 To live is to know (living is effective action in existence as a living being).9 Organisms, and societies, belong to one class of metasystems, which consist of aggregates of autonomous unities. Organisms require operational stability of their autonomous unities, while social systems require operational (behavioral) plasticity.10 Reflection leads you to know your own knowledge.11

The Tree of Knowledge is an interesting book. My only reservation is that artificial systems have been found that are autopoietic but not living. This means that autopoietic organization is necessary, but not sufficient, for living beings.12 How does this affect Maturana and Varela’s conception of mind, matter, and life?

P. J. Palmer, A Hidden Wholeness, and D. Whyte, The Heart Aroused.

This, week I’ve also read David Whyte’s The Heart Aroused and Parker J. Palmer’s A Hidden Wholeness. These are two beautiful books about ways of working and living that are more resonant with life itself. Here is a review of David Whyte’s book which I wrote two years ago. I will review Parker J. Palmer’s book in the coming weeks.

WGBHForum, Krista Tippett and David Whyte on Becoming Wise, YouTube.

Finally, here is a video with Krista Tippett and David Whyte on Becoming Wise. Krista Tippett says, among other things, that:

  • Beauty is that in the presence of which we feel more alive.”13
  • Wisdom emerges through the raw materials of our lives.”14
  • We actually get at what is universal as we more clearly and honestly articulate what is particular, what we know close up.”15

What was good? What can be improved?
Krista Tippet’s reflections on her writing of Becoming Wise are highly relevant to my own writing of this series of posts. I need to find and give expression to my own personal voice.

Notes:
1 Humberto R. Maturana and Francisco J. Varela, The Tree of Knowledge: The Biological Roots of Human Understanding (Shambala, Revised Edition 1998), p.23.
2 Ibid., p.34.
3 Ibid., p.42.
4 Ibid., p.47.
5 Ibid., p.48.
6 Ibid., p.49.
7 Ibid., p.58.
8 Ibid., p.166.
9 Ibid., p.174.
10 Ibid., p.198.
11 Ibid., p.249.
12 Fritjof Capra and Pier Luigi Luisi, The Systems View of Life: A Unifying Vision (Cambridge, 4th printing 2015), p.138.
13 WGBHForum, Krista Tippett and David Whyte on Becoming Wise (Apr 17, 2017), Retrieved Dec 17, 2017, from https://youtu.be/Nup6deehcck?t=230.
14 WGBHForum, Krista Tippett and David Whyte on Becoming Wise (Apr 17, 2017), Retrieved Dec 17, 2017, from https://youtu.be/Nup6deehcck?t=418.
15 WGBHForum, Krista Tippett and David Whyte on Becoming Wise (Apr 17, 2017), Retrieved Dec 17, 2017, from https://youtu.be/Nup6deehcck?t=687.

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Organizing retrospective 71

This is a post in my series on organizing ”between and beyond.” Other posts are here. This is a retrospective of what has happened during the week. The purpose is to reflect on the work itself. Here is my previous retrospective. Here is my next retrospective.

What has happened? What needs to be done?
Books
This week, I’ve read The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience by Francisco J. Varela, Evan Thompson, and Eleanor Rosch. I haven’t written a review yet, but the section on Self-Organization Revisited, in Chapter 8, caught my attention.1

The authors write that autonomous systems stand in sharp contrast to systems whose coupling with the environment is specified through input/output relations. A computer is an example of the latter kind of system. Living systems, however, are far from being in this category. We cannot, in general, specify the operation of a living system through input/output relations.

This means that the meaning of an interaction is not prescribed from the outside, but is the result of the organization and history of the system itself.2 This has huge implications, since organizations are living systems, but often are treated as machines.3, 4

Varela, Thompson, & Rosch, The Embodied Mind (left), and Maturana & Varela, The Tree of Knowledge (right).

I’ve started reading The Tree of Knowledge: The Biological Roots of Human Understanding by Humberto R. Maturana and Francisco J. Varela. This is a book recommended by Jeff Loeb (@JDLoeb).

And I’ve continued reading Iain McGilchrist’s The Master and his Emissary this week. This is a book recommended by Marcus Kempe (@KempeMarcus). It’s a thick book (500+ pages), which doesn’t invite causal reading. It will take weeks to get through this book. Partly, because of the sheer size of the book. Partly, because of the book’s structure. Chapter 2 is almost half a book (62 pages) in itself.

Videos
Two videos caught my attention this week. One is Jeremy Scrivens’ A Lean Social Enterprise co-creates and extends the flow of Social Good. Jeremy asks: ”If we are looking to move from good to great, why do we focus on bad?5 He also suggests that we should focus on flow rather than on waste.

Jeremy Scrivens, A Lean Social Enterprise co-creates and extends the flow of Social Good, YouTube.

Another video which caught my interest is Eric Whitacre’s Deep Field: Creative Connections in Science and Music, which is about the creation of his work Deep Field. Eric Whitacre is joined by composer Steven Bryant, as well as members of the team from The Nerdery, who created the app that forms part of Deep Field. Eric starts discussing his creative process 17 minutes from the start of the video. Steven joins in 24 minutes from the start.6 Their discussion is most interesting.

The Coral Stream, Eric Whitacre’s ”Deep Field”: Creative Connections in Science and Music, YouTube.

What was good? What can be improved?
I appreciate the book recommendations and the feedback I receive from my readers.

Suzanne Daigle (@DaigleSuz) wrote on Facebook that she has read a few of my book reviews, which led her to my other between and beyond posts.

Suzanne Daigle’s comment on Facebook, Dec 9, 2017.

Eric Whitacre and Steven Bryant’s discussion reminds me that I need to revisit and update the ‘architecture’ of this series of posts on organizing between and beyond.

Notes:
1 Fransico J. Varela, Evan Thompson, and Eleanor Rosch, The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience (MIT Press, 1993), pp.151–157.
2 Ibid., p. 157.
3 One example is Lean Six Sigma, which focuses on determining the equation yi = f(xi) that relates process outputs, yi, to process inputs, xi.
4 Another example is Sociocracy, which is based on cybernetic principles. See this post on why cybernetics is a poor metaphor for living systems.
5 Jeremy Scrivens, A Lean Social Enterprise co-creates and extends the flow of Social Good (Dec 4, 2014), Retrieved Dec 10, 2017, from https://youtu.be/6C2h2vSlZ5E?t=338.
6 The Coral Stream, Eric Whitacre’s ”Deep Field”: Creative Connections in Science and Music (May 5, 2015), Retrieved Dec 10, 2017 from https://youtu.be/9jkJbkF9qSw.

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Organizing retrospective 70

This is a post in my series on organizing ”between and beyond.” Other posts are here. This is a retrospective of what has happened during the week. The purpose is to reflect on the work itself. Here is my previous retrospective. Here is my next retrospective.

What has happened? What needs to be done?
This week, I saw a little girl, crying, on her way to school, and wrote this poem.

Articles
An aspect of organizing is that situations need to be progressively clarified in interaction and conversation. Research on social networks suggests that strong pairwise relationships are the most conducive to cooperation.

  • Here is an article on The reason why we need to talk by Esko Kilpi.
  • Here is Peter Reuell’s article on Where cooperation thrives.

Books
Stuart Kauffman’s book Reinventing the Sacred arrived this week. This book describes a scientific worldview that embraces the reality of emergence. It’s a though-provoking book. Here is my review.

S. Kauffman, Reinventing the Sacred.

Finally, here is also my review of Leadership Agility by Ron Meyer and Ronald Meijers. Agility has become a buzzword, so I was a bit skeptical at first. But it’s a great book. The authors emphasize that there are no leadership formulas. I also appreciate the human values expressed in the book.

R. Meyer & R. Meijers, Leadership Agility.

What was good? What can be improved?
The little girl, standing there, crying, touched me. What are we doing to each other, and ourselves? Now, it’s time to break the chains.

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Organizing retrospective 69

This is a post in my series on organizing ”between and beyond.” Other posts are here. This is a retrospective of what has happened during the week. The purpose is to reflect on the work itself. Here is my previous retrospective. Here is my next retrospective.

What has happened? What needs to be done?
Three new books arrived this week. The first one is Iain McGilchrist’s The Master and his Emissary.

I. McGilchrist, The Master and his Emissary.

The second book is Judy Brown’s The Art and Spirit of Leadership. Here are some of the chapters:

1) Listen to yourself. Know what makes your heart sing
5) Create open spaces…
6) Practice creativity…
8) Take the risk of being less than perfect
10) Follow the threads of aliveness
11) Risk speaking your natural voice

J. Brown, The Art and Spirit of Leadership.

The third book is Wyatt Rawson’s The Werkplaats Adventure: The Story of the Great Pioneer Comprehensive School. This is an old book which was first published in 1956. Wyatt Rawson describes how the school which Kees and Betty Boeke started in 1926 was built up, step by step. The Werkplaats Adventure is not only a story about education, but also about organizing. It’s a most interesting read! Here is my book review.

W. Rawson, The Werkplaats Adventure.

What was good? What can be improved?
The Werkplaats Adventure is an amazing book. I think that The Werkplaats Adventure provides a practical example of minimal structure for maximal freedom. It’s an example about how fluid structure arises spontaneously in a community based on no fear, friendliness, and support. Minimal structure is order without the use of force.

I have previously reviewed Brian Robertson’s book on Holacracy and Gerard Endenburg’s book on Sociocracy. Here is my comparison of Holacracy® vs. sociocracy. My conclusion was that if I would add anything to sociocracy, it would be conflict resolution. Otherwise, I would keep the method to an absolute minimum. The Werkplaats (or Workshop in English) is an example of this.

The secret of the school’s success lies in the way in which it dealt with the frustration of school life. The school community was a collaboration between the children and staff. Much of the organization of the Werkplaats was deliberately left fluid. This included the composition of the committees, which arouse spontaneously as needed. Human factors were paramount!

The Bespreking (or Talkover in English) embodied the spirit of the Werkplaats. The Bespreking arouse out of the family atmosphere of Kees and Betty Boeke’s original school. From the Bespreking, the Ronde was developed. Its purpose was to deal with all matters of order. The Ronde dealt with what was going wrong, not who had done wrong. There was no judging or condemning.

Related posts:
Holacracy vs. Sociocracy
Book Review: The Werkplaats Adventure
Book Review: Sociocracy
Book Review: Holacracy
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Organizing retrospective 68

This is a post in my series on organizing ”between and beyond.” Other posts are here. This is a retrospective of what has happened during the week. The purpose is to reflect on the work itself. Here is my previous retrospective. Here is my next retrospective.

What has happened? What needs to be done?
This week I’ve read Seymour Papert’s book Mindstorms: Children, Computers, and Powerful Ideas. The book was first published in 1980, but I think that many of Seymour Papert’s ideas are still valid today. Here is my review.

Seymour Papert introduces Bourbaki’s notion of mother structures. The Bourbaki school of mathematics sees more complex structures as combinations of simpler ones, of which the most important are three mother structures.1

Jean Piaget observed that children develop intellectual structures (knowledge of how to work the world) that are similar to the mother structures.2 My own observation is that the mother structures of order are generative orders.

S. Papert, Mindstorms.

Another book which I’ve read, or rather re-read, is Harrison Owen’s book The Power of Spirit: How Organizations Transform. Wow, what a book! It is beautifully written book (Harrison Owen is one of my favorite authors). And the book’s message is profound. Open some space and let self-organization work for you.3

Harrison Owen suggests that there is no such thing as a non-self-organizing natural (or human) system.4 If this is the case, then the issue is less about designing systems that are efficient and effective, 5 and more about letting the magic of self-organization happen all by itself. Here is a poem on that theme, which I wrote yesterday.

H. Owen, The Power of Spirit.

What was good? What can be improved?
I love reading! However, it can also become a distraction. I need to spend more time on my own writing—expressing my own voice.

Notes:
1 Seymour Papert, Mindstorms: Children, Computers, and Powerful Ideas (Basic Books, 1993), pp. 159–160, 207.
2 Ibid., p. 160.
3 Harrison Owen, The Power of Spirit: How Organizations Transform (Berret-Koehler, 2000), p. 207.
4 Ibid., p. 56.
5 Ibid., p. 107.

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Poem: Organizing

ORGANIZING

isn’t about logic
or engineering

it’s less about design
and more about aliveness

on paper, our systems
look marvelous

in reality, they
are deadening

the solution is not
better management,
or more control

but about having fun,
playing more

anything else is
terribly wrong

unhappy people
make for
unproductive work

when people
do what they love and
love what they do

everything is
possible

Organizing retrospective 67

This is a post in my series on organizing ”between and beyond.” Other posts are here. This is a retrospective of what has happened during the week. The purpose is to reflect on the work itself. Here is my previous retrospective. Here is my next retrospective.

What has happened? What needs to be done?
I have continued to follow the events in Catalonia.

Fernando Betancor has written several posts on the crisis in Catalonia. Betancor describes how Partido Popular have changed the laws in a partisan fashion, how Mr. Rajoy obtained carte blanche from the EU to deal with Catalonia, and how the Catalan desire for freedom is a truly popular desire.

Below are quotes from Fernando Betancor’s many posts (in chronological order):

2014
”The Populares have always equated their political interests with Spain’s national interests, despite plenty of evidence to the contrary; and have always ignored the difference between law and justice.”1

”It is particularly ironic … that the party that has most vehemently argued for an uncompromising defense of the Spanish Constitution … is the same party that is so savagely attacking the rights of citizens guaranteed within that same document.”2

”… only Partido Popular…voted in favor… They have done so despite … the protests of civil society, the deep misgivings of Spanish … constitutional authorities, and the … objections of human rights organization and the EU.”3

2015
”The history of the European Union … ought to dispel any illusions that democratic legitimacy matters in the slightest”4

”Mr. Rajoy will request and receive carte blanche from Berlin to deal with Catalonia …”5

”… the government now has the legal tools to fine, prosecute and imprison pretty much anyone it finds offensive”6

”…a substantial proportion of the Catalan population could be persecuted should the gov … choose to do so”7

2016
”These are shocking revelations — or they should be, even for a country as jaded as Spain. … It is an unfortunate truth that Spanish politicians have to be caught committing murder in delicto fragante for them to be forced out of office …”8

2017
”Sedition … inciting people to rebel… Rebellion … the action … of resisting authority, control, or convention. But any act of protest is an act of resisting authority …, which means the Spanish government could charge anyone protesting their actions …”9

”That is the failure of Europe: the failure to progress beyond a club of member states.”10

”Had the country in question been a small country … or a rebel like the UK, you can be sure that the Europen Union would be sending commissioners, preparing indictments … and levying fines … for violating fundamental human rights … As it is, Spain gets a pass.”11

”Rajoy’s plan – I use that term very generously – seems to be to jail everyone the Catalans elected”12

”… the European Union will happily ignore democratic mandates whenever it deems it necessary.”13

”… the Catalan desire for independence is a truly popular desire: arrest all the leaders … and there are still two and a half million more leaders waiting to take their places.”14

New books
The new book which arrived this week is Shakti Leadership by Nilima Bhat and Raj Sisodia.

N. Bhat & R. Sisoda, Shakti Leadership.

Shakti is described as the creative force from which all structures arise.15 Shakti is understood as creative and generative, and is therefore represented as feminine.16 Deeper generative orders for organizing are, in other words, feminine.

What was good? What can be improved?
I’m deeply impressed and moved by the Catalan people, their democratic values, their non-violence, and their amazing organizing capabilities

Work doesn’t have to deplete us. It can be most meaningful. But to get there, we need to recognize that our workplaces have largely been devoid of of a crucial part of being human: the feminine aspect.17

Notes:
1 Fernando Betancor, The Partido Popular Assaults Spain’s Constitution, 2014-12-22 (accessed 2017-11-22).
2 Ibid..
3 Ibid..
4 Fernando Betancor, Catalonia: A Flawed Strategy, 2015-02-26 (accessed 2017-11-12).
5 Ibid..
6 Ibid..
7 Ibid..
8 Fernando Betancor, Spanish “Witch Hunt” Against Catalans Revealed, 2016-06-22 (accessed 2017-11-12).
9 Fernando Betancor, Catalonia Update: Political Prisoners Return to Spain, 2017-10-17 (accessed 2017-11-12).
10 Fernando Betancor, Catalonia Demonstrates the Limits of European Integration, 2017-11-03 (accessed 2017-11-12).
11 Ibid..
12 Fernando Betancor, Catalonia: Change the Rules or Lose the Game, 2017-11-07 (accessed 2017-11-12).
13 Ibid..
14 Ibid..
15 Nilima Bhat and Raj Sisodia, Shakti Leadership: Embracing Feminine and Masculine Power in Business (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2016), p.ix.
16 Ibid., p.xviii
17 Ibid., p.xvi

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Organizing retrospective 64-66

This is a post in my series on organizing ”between and beyond.” Other posts are here. This is a retrospective of what has happened during the week. The purpose is to reflect on the work itself. Here is my previous retrospective. Here is my next retrospective.

What has happened? What needs to be done?
This is a retrospective of what has happened during the last three weeks since the middle of October.

Catalonia, Spain, and the European Union
What’s happening in Catalonia has been on my mind since the beginning of October. I’ve mentioned it here and here how deeply disturbed I was seeing the Spanish police brutality during the Catalonia referendum on October 1. I was also utterly surprised by how timid the European Commission’s response was the day after the referendum.1

United Nations Human Rights and Amnesty International have repeatedly urged Spain to respect democratic and human rights, while the EU basically has been silent. The perpetrator of the violence, the Spanish Government, has on the contrary been declared worthy of EU’s trust. The irony is that the person whom the EU trusts as the defender of the rule of law, the Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy, also leads one of Europe’s most corrupt political parties. Rajoy’s Popular Party has been on the wrong side of the law dozens of times over the past few years.2

The EU has so far maintained its support of Spain in the subsequent escalation of the conflict. Only a few European leaders have protested—perhaps most notably the Belgian prime minister Charles Michel. The vice-president of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, took the opportunity to emphasize the rule of law when addressing the European Parliament on October 4. And the French president, Emmanuel Macron, restated this position during a trip to Guyana. The Swedish Government also fully supports the Spanish Government.3 The Swedish foreign minister, Margot Wallström, has appealed to Spain to show restraint in Catalonia.4 I wish the Swedish prime minister, Stefan Löfven, would have acted more like his Belgian counterpart.

Here’s what the EU leaders forget. A state’s constitution is not the sole determinant on the legality of actions taken within that state. A fundamental principle of international law is that a state’s constitution, in this case Spain’s, must equate with international law. This means that the principle of Spain’s territorial integrity is superseded by Catalan’s human right to self-determination.5 So, when Rajoy, Timmermans, and others talk about the rule of law, it’s worth remembering that international law doesn’t stop at EU’s border.

Mariano Rajoy’s refusal to try to solve the conflict through international mediation or dialogue is difficult to understand. John Carlin, who loves Spain and so is against Catalan independence, writes that the concept of ”I cede a little and you cede a little so we both end up winning” is alien to the Spanish political mind. Instead of working to preserve the unity of Spain, Rajoy actually fuels the drive for independence. Carlin hopes that, maybe, the EU will intervene and knock sense into Spanish heads.6

The failure of the EU is that it’s a club of national governments. The EU has no mechanism for dealing democratically with the aspirations of its citizens, in this case the Catalans.7 Democracy was suppressed by technocracy from the very beginning in the EU.8 The events in Catalonia reflect a structural problem with European democracy. The EU’s ambivalence to the violence of the Spanish police, and to the arrest of Catalonian leaders and Catalonia’s democratically elected politicians, adds to the disappointment with the union.9

The future of the EU depends on whether democracy can be made more effective, and more participative. Traditional politicians don’t understand the generative capacity of decentralized self-organization. What is going on in Catalonia is an exercise in democracy. Barcelona is a vibrant hub of democratic innovation. Spain could have been phenomenal at hosting Catalonia’s autonomy—and be honored for that. And the EU could have been phenomenal at hosting the autonomy of all Europe’s regions—for the benefit of all.

Now, some words about the books I’ve read recently.

Collaborating with the Enemy
The first book I’d like to mention is Collaborating with the Enemy: How to Work with People You Don’t Agree with or Like or Trust by Adam Kahane. We have four ways to respond when faced with a situation we find problematic: collaborating, forcing, adapting, or exiting.

A common assumption is that collaboration can and must be controlled. This is an unrealistic fantasy. Adam Kahane makes it clear that collaboration cannot and need not be controlled. We cannot know our route before we set out. We can only discover it along the way. This can be both exciting and unnerving.

The challenge of collaboration is that in order make our way forward, we must work with others. Collaboration cycles generatively between engaging and asserting. The key is being able to work with both. Love (engaging) is what makes power generative. Power (asserting) is what makes love generative. It’s a great book. I’ll write a book review.

A. Kahane, Collaborating with the Enemy.

Beyond Words
Another fascinating book is Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel by Carl Safina. It’s a beautifully written book where Carl Safina challenges assumptions that have been around for centuries. Sometimes it seems that humans do think, but do not deeply feel or listen.

Watch. Simply listen.
They will not speak to us, but
to one another they say much.
Some of it, we hear.
The rest is beyond words.
—Carl Safina

I will not write a book review—at least short-term—but I do recommend the book.There is no more wondrous fact than that we are kin, bee and bird, and great elephant—stardust all.

C. Safina, Beyond Words.

Leadership Agility
The third book I’ve read is Leadership Agility: Developing Your Repertoire of Leadership Styles by Ron Meyer and Ronald Meijers. Leadership agility is to have the capacity to flexibly switch between leadership styles, and adaptively master new ones, in rapid response to needs. The core of the book consists of ten opposite pairs of leadership styles. Leadership is about engagement instead of enforcement.

I particularly like that the authors avoid falling into the trap of trying to come up with a leadership formula, a ”leadership script.” Effective leadership is like effective clothing. It depends on the context. There are simply too many variables that need to be taken into consideration in order to arrive at some simple formula. I will review this book too.

R. Meyer & R. Meijers, Leadership Agility.

The Puzzle of Non-Western Democracy
Finally, I’d like to mention that I’m now reading The Puzzle of Non-Western Democracy by Richard Youngs. I discovered Richard Youngs through his articles about the EU and Catalonia. Western-style democracy is suffering ill health. There is a need to rethink democracy—and even to go back to basics. More democratic variation is needed that flow from exploratory openness. The issue in Europe is that people have little effective influence over the decisions elites make.

Western democracy reduces a noble ideal to formal procedural rules. The West has been too concerned with ”institutional development” and fails to live up to its own rhetoric about building consensus and social justice. Trends in legal pluralism question the singular focus on the rule of law that underpins Western democracy. The focus of many other cultures is not so much on the concept of law as on forms of dispute resolution. It’s an interesting book!

R. Youngs, The Puzzle of Non-Western Democracy.

What was good? What can be improved?
It was most revealing to read Adam Kahane’s Collaborating with the Enemy in the light of the conflict in Catalonia. The Catalans have become so tired of adapting to Spain’s forcing that they now want exiting. The only way forward, however, is collaborating. It’s now up to the EU to convince Rajoy of the necessity of collaboration, like it or not. Spain must stop breaking heads, arresting people, and making ultimatums.

Leadership is about engagement, not enforcement.

Notes:
1 European Commission, Statement on the events in Catalonia (Statement/17/3626), 2017-10-02 (accessed 2017-10-08).
2 Richard Youngs, EU needs a smarter response to the Catalonia crisis, 2017-11-03 (accessed 2017-11-05).
3 Government Offices of Sweden, Statement – Catalonia, 2017-10-30 (accessed 2017-11-05).
4 Radio Sweden, Wallström appeals to Spain to show restraint, 2017-10-02 (accessed 2017-11-05).
5 United Nations Human Rights, UN independent expert urges Spanish Government to reverse decision on Catalan autonomy, 2017-10-25 (accessed 2017-11-05).
6 John Carlin, Catalan independence: arrogance of Madrid explains this chaos, 2017-10-07 (accessed 2017-11-05).
7 Fernando Betancor, Catalonia Demonstrates the Limits of European Integration, 2017-11-03 (accessed 2017-11-05).
8 Richard Youngs, The EU Beyond the Crisis: The Unavoidable Challenge of Legitimacy, 2013-10-08 (accessed 2017-11-05).
9 Richard Youngs, Catalonia and European Democracy, 2017-10-06 (accessed 2017-11-05).

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Organizing retrospective 63

This is a post in my series on organizing ”between and beyond.” Other posts are here. This is a retrospective of what has happened during the week. The purpose is to reflect on the work itself. Here is my previous retrospective. Here is my next retrospective.

What has happened? What needs to be done?
I’ve read The Power of Eight by Lynne McTaggart this week. It’s a fascinating book which gives glimpses into what’s possible when we connect deeply with each other. Lynne McTaggart uses a special word to describe this type of connection, ‘homothumadon‘. Here is my book review.

L. McTaggart, The Power of Eight.

I’ve also continued following what’s happening in Catalonia. As mentioned here last week I’m deeply concerned with what will happen next, in Catalonia, Spain and Europe. UN has repeatedly urged Spain to respect democratic and human rights, while EU leaders have been remarkably timid in their comments.

Here is an excellent article about Catalonia and European Democracy by Richard Youngs. Richard Youngs writes that:

  • The EU clearly prioritizes the rule of law over participative democracy.
  • Rule of law is not simply about obeying rules.

The Spanish government now calls for a strict application of the rule of law when it comes to preventing Catalan independence. Yet in recent years it has itself been criticized for undermining the rule of law through its political control over the judiciary. Madrid has also called for flexibility in EU rules in order to overrun its deficit.

What gives me hope is that there’s close cooperation and experience-sharing between local democracy innovators in both Madrid and Barcelona. This has made Barcelona a vibrant hub of democratic innovation in recent years. I’ll try to get more information on this.

Here is a news report from BBC where Jean-Claude Juncker reportedly says that he ”does not back Catalan independence, fearing others may follow the same path.” Jean-Claude Juncker also urges Mariano Rajoy ”to bring the situation under control.” I’d like to challenge this by asking:

  • What if it’s impossible for Spain to ‘control’ the situation?
  • What if the only way to govern Europe actually is to give all regions full autonomy?

Jean-Claude Juncker should instead urge Mariano Rajoy and Carles Puigdemont to collaborate. A most relevant book in this context is Collaborating with the Enemy: How to Work with People You Don’t Agree with or Like or Trust by Adam Kahane. I’m now reading the book and will write a book review next week.

A. Kahane, Collaborating with the Enemy.

What was good? What can be improved?
The recent events in Catalonia have reminded me that deeper generative orders for organizing are as relevant in politics as in business. There’s an important distinction between being autonomic (obeying self-law), and being allonomic (obeying some other’s law).1 People are autonomic, while rule of law assumes that people are allonomic.

This means that Spain may use force to coerce, but that Catalonia still will have its desire for freedom. The bigger the external force, the greater the resistance. This is also why Mariano Rajoy never will be able to bring the situation under control. Mariano Rajoy and Carles Puigdemont have to collaborate even if they don’t agree, like, or trust each other.

Notes:
1 Norm Hirst, Research findings to date, Autognomics Institute (accessed 15 October 2017).

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Organizing retrospective 62

This is a post in my series on organizing ”between and beyond.” Other posts are here. This is a retrospective of what has happened during the week. The purpose is to reflect on the work itself. Here is my previous retrospective. Here is my next retrospective.

What has happened? What needs to be done?
This is going to be a political post. I was deeply disturbed by the Spanish police brutality during the Catalonia referendum last Sunday. I’ve been thinking about this all week. I’m really concerned what will happen next, in Catalonia, Spain and Europe.

The statement from the European Commission on Monday that ”violence can never be an instrument in politics” is, to say the least, timid.1 Amnesty International has confirmed on the ground that members of the National Police force’s Police Intervention Unit and Civil Guard officers used excessive and disproportionate force.2 United Nations Human Rights in Geneva urged Spanish authorities on Tuesday to fully respect fundamental human rights.3

And yet, the First Vice President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, defended the use of force by the Spanish police in a debate on the Catalonia crises in the European Parliament on Wednesday. He said that ”it’s the duty for any government to uphold the law”.4 Well, here’s the thing. Rule of law isn’t everything. Apartheid was legally enforced in South Africa. And general Franco had his rule of law. Actually, all dictators are big on the rule of law.

What’s happening is that Spain is attempting to impose rule of law without democracy on Catalonia, while the European Commission ignores its obligations under the European Charter of Fundamental Rights in its response. The Spanish police contravened the following articles during the Catalonia referendum:5

  • Article 1: The Right to Human Dignity
  • Article 6: The Right to Liberty or Security of Person
  • Article 11: Freedom of Expression and Information
  • Article 12: Freedom of Assembly and Association
  • Article 54: Prohibition of Abuse of Rights

The Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and his government has, in fact, ruled primarily by decrees since 2011. Further evidence of the authoritarian turn of the Spanish government is the approval of repressive laws that criminalize many forms of protests in order to protect public order.6

Spain could instead choose to host the freedom of Catalonia, but that would require a different political leadership. When rule of law takes precedence over human rights, we end up with coercive repressive systems. The danger that threatens democracy is the tremendous gap between those who think in terms of human values and those who think in the terms of rule of law.7

What was good? What can be improved?
All I’ve said above about political leadership is applicable to organizational leadership as well. Authoritarian leadership is ubiquitous. Coercive repressive systems are everywhere. There’s a callousness to intrinsic human value behind all this.8 Nothing will change until the underlying values are changed. Do not give your power away to systems and people who are totally unworthy of it.9 Sometimes we allow people to exercise destructive power over us simply because we never question them.10

Notes:
1 European Commission, Statement on the events in Catalonia (Statement/17/3626), 2017-10-02 (accessed 2017-10-08).
2 Amnesty International, SPAIN: EXCESSIVE USE OF FORCE BY NATIONAL POLICE AND CIVIL GUARD IN CATALONIA, 2017-10-03 (accessed 2017-10-08).
3 United Nations Human Rights, UN experts urge political dialogue to defuse Catalonia tensions after referendum, 2017-10-04 (accessed 2017-10-08).
4 Maïa de la Baume and David M. Herszenhorn, Brussels defends use of ‘proportionate force’ in Catalonia, POLITICO, 2017-10-04 (accessed 2017-10-08).
5 Official Journal of the European Union, CHARTER OF FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS OF THE EUROPEAN UNION (2012/C 326/02), 2012-10-26 (accessed 2017-10-08).
6 Monica Clua Losada, Catalonia’s referendum unmasks authoritarianism in Spain, The Conversation, 2017-10-05 (accessed 2017-10-08).
7 This is a paraphrase of Robert Hartman, who said that ”danger that threatens life” is the ”tremendous gap between those who think in terms of human values and those who think in the collective terms of non-human systems”. See Robert Hartman, Freedom to Live, p. 124.
8 The ”sickness which we have suffered throughout history can be clearly attributed to our callousness to the intrinsic value of life coupled with our sensitivity to the systemic value of thought”. Ibid., p. 114.
9 This is something John O’Donohue discusses in his books. See, for example, John O’Donohue, Anam Ċara, pp.174–182, 264, and Eternal Echoes, p.93.
10 John O’Donohue, Anam Ċara, p.174.
Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Organizing retrospective 61

This is a post in my series on organizing ”between and beyond.” Other posts are here. This is a retrospective of what has happened during the week. The purpose is to reflect on the work itself. Here is my previous retrospective. Here is my next retrospective.

What has happened? What needs to be done?
I’ve read Human Dynamics by Sandra Seagal and David Horne this week.1 Sandra and Seagal introduce a framework consisting of nine different personality dynamics of which five make up over 99.9% of the population. The framework feels artificial somehow. I didn’t feel fully at home in any of the personality dynamics described. Here is my review.

I’ve mentioned in this retrospective that Roger Penrose strongly argues that mind cannot be described in any kind of computational terms. This week, I found an interview with Roger Penrose by Robert Lawrence Kuhn on YouTube. Roger Penrose explains in this interview why consciousness is non-computational, i.e., why consciousness can never be simulated. If Roger Penrose is right, then tasks which requires understanding—in principle—lie beyond the capabilities of automation. There are limits to what can be automated.

I’ve also discovered that Václav Havel has much to say about organizing. He writes in this article on The Need for Transcendence in the Postmodern World that the ”conception of the world” that science has fostered ”now appears to have exhausted its potential.” ”Man as an observer” has become ”completely alienated from himself as a being.” Havel also mentions the urgent threats facing humanity. He says that ”it is clearly necessary to invent [new] organizational structures”, but that such efforts are ”doomed to failure if they do not grow out of something deeper, out of generally held values.” A deeper generative order for organizing is related to deeper generally held values.

Václav Havel writes more about organizing in this article on The Power of the Powerless. He writes that ”life, in its essence, moves toward plurality, diversity, independent self-constitution, and self organization, in short, toward the fulfillment of its own freedom”. Havel believes in the ”principle of self-management”. He also thinks that the ”principles of control and discipline ought to be abandoned in favor of self-control and self-discipline.” It’s the only way to achieve ”genuine (i.e., informal) participation” and ”a feeling of genuine responsibility”. The organizational structures should arise naturally ”from below as a consequence of authentic social self-organization”. They should ”derive [their] vital energy from a living dialogue with the genuine needs from which they arise”. When the needs are gone, then the organizational structures should also disappear. ”The principles of their internal organization should be very diverse, with a minimum of external regulation.” A deeper generative order for organizing derives its vital energy from a living dialogue with genuine needs.

What was good? What can be improved?
I always appreciate comments and reading suggestions. Sophia Montgomery (@Sophiam1973) sent a link to an audiobook, The Language of Archetypes: Discover the Forces that Shape Your Destiny by Caroline Myss. And Jesse Soininen  (@jessesoininen) sent this article on Confronting the Technological Society by Samuel Matlack. It’s an article about Jacques Ellul’s life and work. Ellul was a French historian, sociologist, and lay theologian. He has much to say about technology. Ellul writes that the machine has created the modern, industrial world, but that it’s a poor fit for society. Social conditions have been adapted to the smooth churning of the machine. ”All-embracing technique is in fact the consciousness of the mechanized world.” The primary concern for everyone involved becomes improving the means, while the ends—the ultimate purposes—move out of sight.

Notes:
1 Sandra Seagal and David Horne, Human Dynamics: A New Framework for Understanding People and Realizing the Potential in Our Organizations (Pegasus, 1997).

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Organizing retrospective 60

This is a post in my series on organizing ”between and beyond.” Other posts are here. This is a retrospective of what has happened during the week. The purpose is to reflect on the work itself. Here is my previous retrospective. Here is my next retrospective.

What has happened? What needs to be done?
This week, I’ve read John O’Donohue’s book Anam Ċara. Here is my review. John O’Donohue writes that it’s very difficult to bring the world of work and the world of soul together. I’ll explore this further in the coming weeks.

J. O’Donohue, Anam Ċara.

I’ve also read Doug Kirpatrick’s Beyond Empowerment: The age of the self-managed organization, and John Seddon’s In Pursuit of Quality: The Case Against ISO 9000 this week.

Doug Kirkpatrick’s book is about self-management, which interests me, but the format—an imagined story—didn’t work for me. Chapter Eight: Self-Management Comes to the Organization is worth reading. I’ll come back with more on this.

D. Kirkpatrick, Beyond Empowerment.

John Seddon’s book In Pursuit of Quality: The Case Against ISO 9000 gives an interesting perspective on ISO 9000 and its history. The message is that management by command-and-control must be replaced by managing the organization as a system. The main arguments are repeated over and over again throughout the book. The last chapter contains a final review of the arguments set out in the first chapter. It’s a repetitive reading.

J. Seddon, In Pursuit of Quality.

I agree with much of what John Seddon is says, but I don’t think he goes far enough in his argumentation. Yes, management by command-and-control treats people as cogs in a machine, but managing the organization as a system is still like treating the organization as a machine. The case against ISO 9000 can actually be extended to include Lean and Six Sigma as well. John Seddon criticizes Lean in these books.

Here is also a post on the historical parallels which Bob Emiliani sees between Scientific Management and Toyota Management. Again, it becomes evident that the focus is on technical aspects, while human aspects are largely ignored.

Living dynamics cannot be ignored in a living company.

Living organisms have an adaptive intelligence. External force may be used, but the organism will rebel as soon as the force is removed. Here is a post on Norm Hirst’s distinction between machines, which are allonomic, and organisms, which are autonomic.

Finally, here is an article by Paavo Pylkkänen where he discusses David Bohm’s interpretation of quantum theory, including mind and matter. David Bohm went as far as to say that electrons have a ”primitive mind-like quality.” Maybe it is not so surprising then that a very complex aggregate of matter is accompanied by a mind that guides it? This certainly goes against the prevalent mechanistic way of thinking!

What was good? What can be improved?
I’m making progress. I’d like to spend more time on this work than I can today.

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Organizing retrospective 59

This is a post in my series on organizing ”between and beyond.” Other posts are here. This is a retrospective of what has happened during the week. The purpose is to reflect on the work itself. Here is my previous retrospective. Here is my next retrospective.

What has happened? What needs to be done?
I’ve read Marina Abramović’s memoir Walk Through Walls this week. Marina Abramović Abramović has spent her life exploring the limits of the body and mind. The wall in the book title is pain. Sometimes the artist becomes one with the audience. A single organism. This is an example of a deep generative order for organizing. Here is my book review.

M. Abramović, Walk Through Walls.

I’ve received three new books this week. The first one is Doug Kirkpatrick’s book Beyond Empowerment: The Age of the Self-Managed Organization. Imagine a company organized solely around shared principles of freedom and self-management. This book is the story of such a company. I’ll read the book and write a review.

D. Kirkpatrick, Beyond Empowerment.

The second book is John O’Donohue’s Anam Ċara: Spiritual Wisdom from the Celtic World. It’s a beautifully written book. John O’Donohue has surprisingly much to say about work and the workplace. Chapter 4 is about Work as Poetics of GrowthAgain, I’ll come back with a book review.

J. O’Donohue, Anam Ċara.

The third book is John Seddon’s In Pursuit of Quality: The Case Against 9000. Previously I’ve reviewed John Seddon’s Freedom from Command And Control: A Better Way To Make The Work Work. Here is my review.

J. Seddon, In Pursuit of Quality.

Finally, I’d like to mention this article by Diana Divecha’s on What is a Secure Attachment? And Why Doesn’t “Attachment Parenting” Get You There? It’s an article about the scientific notion of attachment.

Diana Divecha’s conclusion at the end of the article is that ”the hard part will be navigating the distracting advice”. ”Distracting advice” is misinformation. It’s a kind of ”pollution.” I’ve written about it here.

What was good? What can be improved?
John O’Donohue’s writing is exquisite. However, I’m reading too fast. I need to slow down. Otherwise, I’ll miss what’s between and beyond his words.

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts