Kategoriarkiv: Reflections

Organizing reflection 17

This is a post in my series on organizing ”between and beyond.” Other posts are here. The purpose of this post is to reflect on subjects occupying my mind. I make no claim to fully believe what I write. Neither do I pretend that others have not already thought or written about the same subject. More often than not, I take up, combine, and add to already existing thoughts and ideas.

What is on my mind?
In today’s reflection, I combine Petra Kuenkel‘s (@PetraKuenkel) thoughts about co-creation and collaborative spaces with Christopher Alexander’s insights into how to create built environments that have life, well-being, beauty. Actually, Petra Kuenkel refers to Christopher Alexander herself. I simply add to it. (Here and here are my reviews of Petra Kuenkel’s two books Mind and Heart and The Art of Leading Collectively. And here is my review of Christopher Alexander’s book The Battle for the Life and Beauty of the Earth.)

Petra Kuenkel writes in this post on Co-creation, collaborative spaces and aliveness (my emphasis in bold):

Over my years of working in complex collaboration projects and institutional change management I noticed that certain elements consistently shift actors into more collaborative spaces. …

When I looked behind the scenes of collaboration initiatives … one insight emerged. It was simple and at the same time complex.

It reminded me of the writings of the American architect Christopher Alexander. … Christopher Alexander concluded that … [the] perception of a degree of “life” in an external structure … was not arbitrary. Nor was it simply a matter of taste.

So my (rather simple) conclusions is the following:

Co-creation works best in a collaborative space where there is “life”, a sense of vitality rather than superficial harmony. … There is usually a strong feeling of igniting each other’s vitality. You have fun. You feel alive. Your energy is boosted.1

Christopher Alexander says in this interview from 2011 that (my emphasis in bold):

Make sure, whatever you are deciding, or whatever you are doing, or whatever you are making—any action you are taking—make sure that it has inner beauty.

If you take that seriously, it will change everything. … When you come face-to-face with real beauty it changes you, and it changes the other people who are witnessing it, or who are thinking it, and they will take a different road. … Although this is so simple, it’s extremely powerful, because it only comes from the heart. … If you take this advice … it will change your own life.2

And, in this interview from 1994 Christopher Alexander says:

What you are looking for is the presence or absence of life. … It doesn’t imply that it’s lively, it could be very quiet. … But anyway, that it has its life. …

You can’t do this … without being willing, in effect, to make that judgment. …

Can one make such a judgment? Is it reasonably objective? Is there really such a thing? … Technocrats will not admit that there’s such a thing. So if you have a technically organized bureaucracy, they will either refuse to perform it, or perform it quite wrong by assigning arbitrary technical criteria. …

It wasn’t esoteric at all … to perform this thing. … The kinds of questions that people were asked to report on were very straightforward. … The only operative thing … necessary is people had to be willing to record their feelings. …

So much of rule bound society, in effect, makes it not okay to do that. Of course, people have feelings, but the question is: Is it alright to use it? … The general rule of thumb has been: No, it’s not okay to do that. …

They tend to twist it into bureaucratic forms. … Things that can be quantified very easily appear, therefore, to have some legitimacy that are actually no where as near as telling these larger, more global feelings.3

So, in other words, does it feel right?

Generative organizing looks for the presence of life/well-being/beauty, rather than superficial bureaucratized order. This requires a willingness to observe and feel.

Notes:
1 Petra Kuenkel, Co-creation, collaborative spaces and aliveness | Petra Kuenkel—The Future of Leadership is Collective, 2017-09-08 (accessed 2018-08-09).
2 Interview with Christopher Alexander by Hiro Nakano | YouTube,  2011-09-05 (accessed 2018-08-09).
3 Interview with Christopher Alexander by Greg Bryant | YouTube, 1994-01-06 (accessed 2018-08-09).

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Organizing reflection 16

This is a post in my series on organizing ”between and beyond.” Other posts are here. The purpose of this post is to reflect on subjects occupying my mind. I make no claim to fully believe what I write. Neither do I pretend that others have not already thought or written about the same subject. More often than not, I take up, combine, and add to already existing thoughts and ideas.

What is on my mind?
Today’s reflection is based on Harrison Owen’s mail to the World wide Open Space Technology email list (OSList) yesterday.

Harrison Owen is one of my favorite authors. (Here is my review of his book The Spirit of Leadership. I also write about his book Wave Rider in this retrospective.)

The following is an excerpt from Tales from Open Space. The text is written by Loyd Kepferle and Karen Main. They write (my formatting and emphasis in bold):

One might assume that an organization doing business in an open space mode would accomplish little. That does not seem to be the reality, for Open Space frames the total operation, and internally there is an appropriate alternation between open exploration of new opportunities and pre-determined, structured responses to known situations.  …

The main idea … is that ”People who care most passionately about a problem or opportunity have the RIGHT and the RESPONSIBILITY to do something about it”. This basic idea supersedes all notions of a hierarchical organizational structure …

There are only five constraints on this model of personal empowerment:
1. When a problem or opportunity is to be discussed, there must be wide notification of the meeting time and place so anyone who is interested can attend.
2. Proposed solutions/ideas must be broadcast widely …
3. Proposed solutions cannot be hurtful to anyone else.
4. Proposed solutions should channel our limited resources in such a way as to have maximum impact on achieving our goal.
5. Accomplishing the work for which we were hired takes precedence over our group work. However, if the RIGHT people (those who really care) are involved in any topic, they will find a way to make sure their work is completed and the work of the group is brought to a successful conclusion.

There are NO CONSTRAINTS on the following:
1. Who can call a meeting.
2. The type of problem or opportunity that is being addressed.
3. The availability of time to have a meeting.
4. Who may attend a meeting.
5. The availability of information necessary for a group to work.

Open Space assumes a consensual process will be observed by the ad hoc groups that form and that all ideas will be considered respectfully by the people in the group.  … The ad hoc group may choose to modify its plans based on feedback.

While we believe this is a good way to develop a truly successful organization, it is an approach to organizational behavior which is fraught with insecurity which, in the short run, may produce fear, anger and frustration. It will take a long time for those of us who have lived in hierarchical and paternalistic organizations to believe we are really empowered.

We … recognize this philosophy is somewhat revolutionary and will be uncomfortable for all of us some of the time. But we also believe people do their best when they are empowered to control the conditions that affect them. We also think that solutions which are imposed on people rather than generated by the people who are affected are doomed to failure.1

In short, open space enables generative organizing. Generative organizing requires open space. The generative organizing ceases as soon as the space closes.

Notes:
1 This is a story about the use of Open Space at The University of Kentucky Center for Rural Health by Loyd Kepferle and Karen Main. See Harrison Owen (Editor), Tales from Open Space (Abbott Publishing, 1995), Chapter VI, pp.39–43. This book (and many other publications) can be downloaded for free from openspaceworld.com.

Related posts:
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Organizing reflection 15

This is a post in my series on organizing ”between and beyond.” Other posts are here. The purpose of this post is to reflect on subjects occupying my mind. I make no claim to fully believe what I write. Neither do I pretend that others have not already thought or written about the same subject. More often than not, I take up, combine, and add to already existing thoughts and ideas.

What is on my mind?
In today’s reflection, I’m combining Joseph Campbell (a mythodological story) with Robert S. Hartman (intrinsic/systemic) and David Bohm (order).

I stumbled upon the following quote by Joseph Campbell this morning (my emphasis in bold):

… the old Sufis … spoke of wearing the outer garment of the law, that is to say the order of the society in which one is living …

Now, in order to find the inner garment, you have to take off the outer garment and let it go. … But unless you can put the other garment back on again, you haven’t really come to the sophistication that let’s you know that this is that, and that is this—that this outer garment is the outer reflection of the same laws and principles that you’re finding within so that you should be at ease somehow in the two worlds.1

This can be paraphrazed as follows (my emphasis in bold):

Now, in order to find authentic organizing, you have to take off the systemic and let it go. … But unless you can put the systemic back on again, you haven’t really come to the sophistication that let’s you know that this is that, and that is this—that the systemic is the outer reflection of the same laws and principles that you’re finding intrinsically within so that you should be at ease somehow in the organization.2

The paradox of authentic organizing, is that you have to take off the systemic order and then put it back, such that the systemic order is a reflection of the organization’s intrinsic order.3

Notes:
1 Joseph Campbell, The Vitality of Myth.
2 In paraphrazing Joseph Campbell, I’m using Rober S. Hartman’s distinction between intrinsic and systemic value dimensions. See Robert S. Hartman, The Structure of Value: Foundations of Scientific Axiology, pp.112–14.
3 The notion of order is from David Bohm and F. David Peat. See David Bohm and F. David Peat, Science, Order, and Creativity (Routledge, 2010, first published 1987), pp. 97–146.

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Organizing reflection 14

This is a post in my series on organizing ”between and beyond.” Other posts are here. The purpose of this post is to reflect on subjects occupying my mind. I make no claim to fully believe what I write. Neither do I pretend that others have not already thought or written about the same subject. More often than not, I take up, combine, and add to already existing thoughts and ideas.

What is on my mind?
Yesterday, Skye Hirst and I talked about the dis-valuation of intrinsic value and the over-valuation of systemic value. The valuation of the systemic over all other value dimensions is very common—and it is a core issue!

The systemic is easy to organize, because it’s about right and wrong. But if I dis-value myself as a person, I have to come up with a system of thought what makes me a good person. And it doesn’t matter what I come up with. It’s still abstracted, made up. If the systemic is over-valued, and is my only value, it leaves out other values, like the value of life, the value of being imperfect, or whatever is unacceptable in a systemic world.

We’ve got to witness each other’s lives! —Skye Hirst

Until I can help you witness my pain, you’re not going to understand. We’ve got to talk about our feelings, pain, struggle. We need to find a common place among us. That’s where we get to the intrinsic. Feeling, experiencing, and witnessing, telling stories, are intrinsic ways of communicating.

Generative organizing requires witnessing, experiencing, and feeling. We need to move ‘up‘ into our hearts (‘up‘ because intrinsic value has ‘higher‘ value than systemic value).2

Notes:
1 The distinction between intrinsic value and systemic value is from Robert S. Hartmans value theory. For more details, see my reviews of Robert S. Hartman’s books Freedom to Live and The Structure of Value.
2 Systemic, extrinsic, and intrinsic value are the three value dimensions. Intrinsic value is more valuable than extrinsic value, and extrinsic more valuable than systemic value. See Robert S. Hartman, The Structure of Value: Foundations of Scientific Axiology (Wopf & Stock, 2011, first published 1967), p. 114.

Related posts:
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Organizing reflection 13

This is a post in my series on organizing ”between and beyond.” Other posts are here. The purpose of this post is to reflect on subjects occupying my mind. I make no claim to fully believe what I write. Neither do I pretend that others have not already thought or written about the same subject. More often than not, I take up, combine, and add to already existing thoughts and ideas.

What is on my mind?
Here is an excerpt of an interview with Rachel Naomi Remen by Jeffrey Mishlove. Rachel emphasizes that we cut ourselves off from the life force when we edit ourselves in accordance with the approval and disapproval of others. Her distinction between teams and communities also caught my attention.

Rachel Naomi Remen says:1

My experience of anger … is that the anger is often the first way we encounter the life force. It’s the part in us that wants to resist distortion, that wants to preserve our integrity, that wants to say no to the idea that we are broken. . . . In the form of anger, it is often not very useful. It can help us preserve our integrity. But often we have to connect to that kind of an energy directly as the life force, in order to live a life.2

I think often we have edited ourselves. We have fixed ourselves to win the approval of others. And certain of our human dimensions are birthrights we have repressed, disavowed, or disconnected ourselves from. In our particular culture, anything that is intangible—the soul, the intuition, the heart—are repressed.3

When a person becomes ill often they need their wholeness in order to recover, and they may need to reclaim for themselves the things they have been taught are not valuable, because these things may be the very thing they need for their healing.4

I think it’s a very human thing to trade wholeness for approval. And anything that has been fixed like that isn’t as strong as something that is whole … as a human being. It’s very difficult. The whole culture denies certain things. We are a very lonely people. We take pride in our loneliness. . . . Independence is not as strong a position as being able to receive and give in community, and to know oneself connected to larger realities through communion.5

The interesting thing about the medical system is that it is a reflection of the culture that is around it. All of the strengths of our culture, all of its dreams, all of its power is reflected in its medical system. And all of its illusions, all of its flaws, all of its woundedness, is also reflected in the medical system. So, the loneliness of the people in the culture, that loneliness is amplified between people in the medical system.6

A healing community are people who are engaged in each other’s movement towards wholeness, as much as they are engaged in the patients recovery of their integrity and wholeness. It isn’t focused on the patient. It is a relationship among professionals, which the patient is included into—a healing community. As the work gets harder and harder health teams burn out. Healing communities become inspired by the work, and are actually fed and nurtured by it.7

Generative organizing requires a community of people who are engaged in each other’s movement towards wholeness, as much as they are engaged in the integrity and wholeness of their work.

Notes:
1 Rachel Naomi Remen: The Life Force (excerpt) — Thinking Allowed with Jeffrey Mishlove, published 2010-08-28 (accessed 2018-08-05).
2 Ibid., at 0:10.
3 Ibid., at 2:05.
4 Ibid., at 2:35.
5 Ibid., at 3:20.
6 Ibid., at 4:44.
7 Ibid., at 8:42.

Related posts:
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Organizing reflection 12

This is a post in my series on organizing ”between and beyond.” Other posts are here. The purpose of this post is to reflect on subjects occupying my mind. I make no claim to fully believe what I write. Neither do I pretend that others have not already thought or written about the same subject. More often than not, I take up, combine, and add to already existing thoughts and ideas.

What is on my mind?
Michelle Holliday (@thrivability), author of Age of Thrivability (here is my review), shares her impressions from a recent gathering of people dedicated to regenerative life-aligned ways of living in this post .

Michelle noticed that:

… patterns of patriarchy and domination are still occasionally present, even within this well-intentioned, peace-loving movement. … And it took a dedicated conversation … to tease out when and how those patterns appear, why it matters and what might be a fruitful way forward.1

The first breakthrough in the conversation was moving from analytical problem-solving to seeking the inherent potential in what is, together discovering what could be. The second breakthrough was moving from gender to the language of archetypes that Michelle had offered in her keynote presentation. Michelle’s starting point are the following conditions, which are present in all living systems:2

  1. Divergent Parts
  2. Patterns of Relationship
  3. Convergent Emergent Wholeness
  4. Self-Integration & Self-Organization

The point is to create conditions for Life itself. Michelle proposes the following supporting conditions for life to thrive:

  • A field of action
  • Rootedness
  • Community
  • Rhythm
  • Practices
  • Nourishment

Michelle also invites us to engage in any, or all, of these conversations:

  • Ourselves—What more could it mean to be able to bring the best of ourselves?
  • Infrastructure—What more could it mean to support playfulness, learning and joy?
  • Purpose—What are we called to express and create together, in service of life?
  • Nourishment—What would bring the most life to this situation?

Michelle Holliday invites us to see differently!

Seeing differently seems, to me, to be key for regenerative living—and working.

Notes:
1 Michelle Holliday, When Warriors Try to Weave, 2018-06-30 (accessed 2018-08-04).
2 Michelle Holliday presents the core conditions of living systems, in a variety of contexts, throughout her book The Age of Thrivability.

Related posts:
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Organizing reflection 11

This is a post in my series on organizing ”between and beyond.” Other posts are here. The purpose of this post is to reflect on subjects occupying my mind. I make no claim to fully believe what I write. Neither do I pretend that others have not already thought or written about the same subject. More often than not, I take up, combine, and add to already existing thoughts and ideas.

What is on my mind?
Emma Taylor (@generativeOD) has started a new project On Feeling and Knowing which I find both interesting and inspiring. I share Emma’s interest in actively cultivating more generative ways of working together. The following core themes have emerged as part of the work:

  • Authenticity — Being in touch with who we are
  • Listening Deeply — Receptivity to openness
  • Letting Go — Embracing the continuous flow of experience
  • Interconnectedness — Grounding self and the other in an ecological context

Emma thinks that:

… we known that this world of unrelenting consumption and economic self-interest will not change unless we … change our ways by turning towards life sustaining business practices. Now is the time when we each need to take responsibility for the work places we co-create. We need to wake up and stop denying that our old ways of working will suffice. … This requires a courageous participation that is centred in purposeful collaboration that reaches beyond individual self interest. Catalysing … acts of openness not judgement and kindness not criticism.1

Emma asks the following questions for those who chooses to see:

  • What if we each just took a deep breath and stepped into the collective vulnerability of our not knowing?
  • What if we allowed the future to form by intentionally letting go to our fixed ideals and objectives?
  • What if we chose to start from a position of truly wanting to understand the other?
  • What if we chose to meet one another exactly where we are, without expectation or shame?
  • What if we allowed ourselves to be fully seen?
  • What does it take to create the conditions in our work places that enable us to show up in all our imperfections?
  • What would it take for us to truly come into contact with each other, to listen, or ask for a helping hand?
  • What will it take for us to breakthrough our sense of disconnection and ever present absence
  • What is our deepest most heartfelt purpose for the world?
  • What are our common threads of connection?
  • What makes us feel truly alive?
  • And, how can we facilitate life affirming conversations?

Yes, what if?

This requires that we see life’s intrinsic value, and act accordingly!

Emma quotes Andreas Weber:

…it could be that the planet is not actually suffering from either an environmental crisis or an economic one. Instead, it could be that the Earth is currently suffering from a shortage of our love.”2

We need to love Life itself, and show it! This includes honoring intrinsic human values—not least at our workplaces.

Notes:
1 Emma Taylor, About This Project—On Feeling and Knowing (accessed 2018-08-03).
2 Andreas Weber, Matter and Desire: An Erotic Ecology (Chelsey Green Publishing, 2017), p.3.

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Organizing reflection 10

This is a post in my series on organizing ”between and beyond.” Other posts are here. The purpose of this post is to reflect on subjects occupying my mind. I make no claim to fully believe what I write. Neither do I pretend that others have not already thought or written about the same subject. More often than not, I take up, combine, and add to already existing thoughts and ideas.

What is on my mind?
I’m currently reading Simon Robinson and Maria Moraes Robinson’s book Customer Experiences with Soul. Simon and James Souttar, a designer and communication consultant, both studied with Henri Bortoft. Simon and Maria have had many conversations with James in relation to Henri’s philosophy and how it relates to design of customer experiences.1 James says the following, which I find interesting:

The fundamental flaw with ‘design thinking’ is that it prioritises a perfected outcome over a fulfilling journey. This is giving us a world of constantly improved things which are yet strangely unsatisfying and increasingly inhuman in their perfection. … It is a paradigmatic example of what Henri Bortoft called ‘finished product thinking’, missing completely the dimension of ‘coming into being’.2

I think this applies, as well, to leadership, to organizational design, garden desing, and even to architecture.

  • Here is my review of Harrison Owen’s book The Spirit of Leadership, which, one might say, is about leading with soul.
  • Here is my review of Mary Reynolds’ book The Gardening Awakening, which is about designing with soul—in this case, gardens radiant with life, bursting with energy.3
  • And here is my review of Christopher Alexander’s book The Battle for the Life and Beauty of the Earch, which is about building with soul. The purpose of architecture, according to Christopher, is to provide opportunities and contexts which support and enhance life-giving human situations.4

The dimension of ‘coming into being’ is essential to generative organizing.
What’s generative/genuine/authentic requires ‘coming into being’.

Notes:
1 Simon Robinson and Maria Moraes Robinson, Customer Experiences with Soul (Holonomics Publishing, 2017), pp.67.
2 Ibid., pp.68-69.
3 Mary Reynolds, The Garden Awakening: Designs to Nurture Our Land and Ourselves (Green Books, 2016), p.42.
4 Christopher Alexander with HansJoachim Neis and Maggie Moore Alexander, The Battle for the Life and Beauty of the Earth: A Struggle Between Two World-Systems (Oxford University Press, 2012), p.7.

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Organizing reflection 9

This is a post in my series on organizing ”between and beyond.” Other posts are here. The purpose of this post is to reflect on subjects occupying my mind. I make no claim to fully believe what I write. Neither do I pretend that others have not already thought or written about the same subject. More often than not, I take up, combine, and add to already existing thoughts and ideas.

What is on my mind?
There are no formulas—except that this is a formula!

I attribute this idea to Skye Hirst. It’s based on her long experience working with clients. I think there’s much truth in this idea. We have an overreliance in tools, methods, and techniques. I see it in my working environment.

I think this is related to what Nora Bateson writes about in her new book Small Arcs of Larger Circles: Framing Through Other Patterns. The solutions expected, and ways predicted, are often far removed from the options that surface when viewed from a wider context.1 Nora Bateson has spent much time defending the possibility that trying to solve a problem by going directly at it is only occasionally effective.2 She usually receives bewildered looks and a plea for methods and techniques. But, so often, we instead make more a of a mess.3 Relying on formulas is a way of short-circuiting which is often destructive.

Notes:
1 Nora Bateson, Small Arcs of Larger Circles: Framing Through Other Patterns (Triarchy Press, Second edition, 2017), p.77.
2 Ibid..
3 Ibid..

Related posts:
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Organizing reflection 8

This is a post in my series on organizing ”between and beyond.” Other posts are here. The purpose of this post is to reflect on subjects occupying my mind. I make no claim to fully believe what I write. Neither do I pretend that others have not already thought or written about the same subject. More often than not, I take up, combine, and add to already existing thoughts and ideas.

What is on my mind?
Anthony Judge describes possible options for administration of gatherings of 500 to 50 000 people. In Towards a Pattern Language for participants he discusses the possible ”windows through which participants can perceive the gathering and the possibilities for action”. From this he derives hsi various positions in regard to meeting patterns, roles and concerns.

Anthony Blake’s comment on this is that the ”creation of a pattern derives from a common intent”.1 To which I would add that a pattern is useless without a common intent. It is the intent that is primary, not the pattern. In the language of David Bohm, the pattern has to be an explicate expression of the implicate intent.

Notes:
1 Anthony Blake, The Supreme Art of Dialogue: Structures of Meaning (DuVersity Publications, 2009, 3rd printing), p.237.

Related posts:
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Organizing reflection 7

This is a post in my series on organizing ”between and beyond.” Other posts are here. The purpose of this post is to reflect on subjects occupying my mind. I make no claim to fully believe what I write. Neither do I pretend that others have not already thought or written about the same subject. More often than not, I take up, combine, and add to already existing thoughts and ideas.

What is on my mind?
When we experience the sharing of beingness, we have a direct experience that we are not alone in the world.1 Our failure to recognize and celebrate our beingness, that others care for us and will help us in need, that there are ways to allow deeper meanings of life to more fully enter our lives, comes, to some extent, from a hidden denigration of ourselves (or lack of self-love).2

Notes:
1 This thought is inspired by Stephen Buhner who writes about our essence and uniqueness. See Buhner, The Transformational Power of Fasting, p.11.
2 Ibid., p.14.

Related posts:
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Organizing reflection 6

This is a post in my series on organizing ”between and beyond.” Other posts are here. The purpose of this post is to reflect on subjects occupying my mind. I make no claim to fully believe what I write. Neither do I pretend that others have not already thought or written about the same subject. More often than not, I take up, combine, and add to already existing thoughts and ideas.

What is on my mind?
Changing the system doesn’t necessarily change people’s behaviors
Changing the system doesn’t necessarily change people’s behaviors because their underlying values are unchanged. John Schinnerer writes in a mail to sociocracy.groups.io, January 12, 2018, that (my emphasis in bold):

we humans are quite good at not changing our behavior, regardless of change of some aspect of a system. There is no system that is proof against human behavior.

So if I want to I can still live my prejudicial behavior, my un-equivalent behavior, my autocratic behavior, and so on, within a sociocracy (or Holacracy, or ”teal organization,” and so on) by name. I might have to ”work the system” differently, but it is always possible
to some degree.

John Schinnerer specifically addresses human power relations:

The basic means of human power-over are available one way or another, because they involve far more complex systems of human relating than just the formal governance processes and structures.

I think a key point is, there is so much more to human power relatings than is addressed either explicitly or implicitly by the SCM or any other implementation of sociocracy.”

An example of human power-over is when a sociocracy facilitator subtly manipulates the sociocratic decision-making by putting time pressure on the person who has an objection. I have seen it happen.

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Organizing reflection 5

This is a post in my series on organizing ”between and beyond.” Other posts are here. The purpose of this post is to reflect on subjects occupying my mind. I make no claim to fully believe what I write. Neither do I pretend that others have not already thought or written about the same subject. More often than not, I take up, combine, and add to already existing thoughts and ideas.

What is on my mind?
Mechanistic vs. dynamistic thinking
Mechanistic thinking is everywhere. Not only do we see our organizations as machines. We even view ourselves and our bodies as machines. They are not. Goethe explained two hundred years ago why mechanistic thinking has become the order of the day (my emphasis in black):

We can grasp immediately causes and thus find them easiest to understand; this is why we like to think mechanistically about things which really are of a higher order. . . thus, mechanistic modes of explanation become the order of the day when we ignore problems which can only be explained dynamistically.1
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The belief that we can stand outside a system and make up a series of rules and suggestions for actions (like ”best practices”) is everywhere too. Possibly for similar reasons as Goethe pointed out (my paraphrasing of Goethe in black):

We can grasp immediately processes and rules and thus find them easiest to understand; this is why we like to think algorithmically or procedurally about things which really are of a higher order. . . thus, computational modes of explanation become the order of the day when we ignore problems which can only be explained non-computationally.2

We need to replace our fixed strategies by approaches involving a constant dance forward into the doing and then back again to take into account the overall context and meaning of a situation. It is a dance that each individual and the organization as a whole need to perform together.

Notes:
1 Stephen Harrod Buhner, The Secret Teachings of Plants, p.62.
2 An algorithm is a process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other operations. A procedure is a series of actions conducted in a certain order or manner.

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Organizing reflection 4

This is a post in my series on organizing ”between and beyond.” Other posts are here. The purpose of this post is to reflect on subjects occupying my mind. I make no claim to fully believe what I write. Neither do I pretend that others have not already thought or written about the same subject. More often than not, I take up, combine, and add to already existing thoughts and ideas. Here is my previous reflection.

What is on my mind?
People ARE assets
This is a further development of my first reflection. I wrote in this reflection that people are NOT assets. Well, people ARE assets — systemically. It all depends on whether you take a systemic, extrinsic, or intrinsic perspective:1

  1. People ARE assets from a systems perspective. Their systemic value are as assets.
  2. People also have extrinsic value as a type of asset. Notice that the extrinsic value of people can be compared with the value of other type of assets, say, relationships BETWEEN people. We can claim, as is done in this reflection, that it’s NOT people, but the relationships BETWEEN people that are our greatest asset.
  3. People, finally, have intrinsic value as human beings. This has far-reaching consequences that I will come back to in future reflections. A corollary is that people are NOT assets — intrinsically.

Notes:
1 Systemic, extrinsic, and intrinsic value are three value dimensions defined by Robert S. Hartman. See, Hartman, The Structure of Value: Foundations of Scientific Axiology, p.114.

Related posts:
Book Review: The Structure of Value by Robert S. Hartman
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Organizing reflection 3

This is a post in my series on organizing ”between and beyond.” Other posts are here. The purpose of this post is to reflect on subjects occupying my mind. I make no claim to fully believe what I write. Neither do I pretend that others have not already thought or written about the same subject. More often than not, I take up, combine, and add to already existing thoughts and ideas. Here is my previous reflection. Here is my next reflection.

What is on my mind?
Money is NOT value
I am tweeting quotes from Dee Hock’s Autobiography of a Restless Mind Volume 1, and get interesting replies. Dee Hock writes that money is not value.1 Gunther Sonnenfeld (@goonth) replies that money can be high value depending on its application.

Gunther Sonnenfeld (@goonth) 2018-01-02–03. Tweets.

I think that Dee Hock points to the intrinsic value in community and relationship, while Gunther Sonnenfeld refers to the extrinsic and systemic value of money.2 These perspectives are, of course, interrelated.

All perspectives are, in fact, needed. It’s important to remember, though, that — axiologically — intrinsic value is more valuable than extrinsic value, and extrinsic value more valuable than systemic value.3  So, what I think Dee Hock is saying is that money has no intrinsic value.

Intrinsic value is often forgotten, although it has the highest value.

Notes:
1 Dee Hock, Autobiography of a Restless Mind: Reflections on the Human Condition Volume 1 (iUniverse, 2012), p.19.
2 Intrinsic value, extrinsic value, and systemic value are the three value dimensions defined by Robert S. Hartman. See, Hartman, The Structure of Value: Foundations of Scientific Axiology, p.114.
3 Ibid..

Related posts:
Book Review: The Structure of Value by Robert S. Hartman
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Organizing reflection 2

This is a post in my series on organizing ”between and beyond.” Other posts are here. The purpose of this post is to reflect on subjects occupying my mind. I make no claim to fully believe what I write. Neither do I pretend that others have not already thought or written about the same subject. More often than not, I take up, combine, and add to already existing thoughts and ideas. Here is my previous reflection. Here is my next reflection.

What is on my mind?
Treasure trove of quotes
Dee Hock’s Autobiography of a Restless Mind Volume 1 & 2 are a treasure trove of quotes. I’ve now started to tweet quotes from Volume 1. I get interesting replies.

Dee Hock, Autobiography of a Restless Mind Volume 1 & 2.

Language is inadequate to convey what is in one’s mind
Dee Hock writes that language is inadequate to fully convey what is in one’s mind.1 Stefan Norrvall (@norrvall) replied that this reminds him of Michael Polyani who said we know more than we can tell.2 Polyani stated that not only is there knowledge that cannot be adequately articulated by verbal means, but also that all knowledge is rooted in tacit knowledge.

Jan Höglund (@janhoglund) and Stefan Norrvall (@norrvall) 2018-01-02. Tweets.

Stefan Norrvall’s reply reminds me of Eugene T. Gendlin’s Thinking at the Edge (TAE), which is thinking from what is unclear and only a bodily sense. TAE requires familiarity with focusing. Focusing enables you live from a deeper place than just thoughts and feelings.3

New book arrived today
F. David Peat’s Gentle Action: Bringing Creative Change to a Turbulent World arrived today. Gentle action involves an initial creative suspension of action, with the aim of developing a clearer perception of the situation in hand. Out of this will flow a more appropriate and harmonious action.4 Peat’s gentle action seems related to Gendlin’s living from a deeper place.

F. David Peat, Gentle Action.

Notes:
1 Dee Hock, Autobiography of a Restless Mind: Reflections on the Human Condition Volume 1 (iUniverse, 2012), p.19.
2 Michael Polanyi, The Tacit Dimension, (University of Chicago Press, 1996), p.4.
3 Eugene T. Gendlin, Focusing: How to Gain Direct Access to Your Body’s Knowledge (Rider, 2003, first published 1978), p.4.
4 F. David Peat, Gentle Action: Bringing Creative Change to a Turbulent World (Pari Publishing Sas, 2008), pp.16–17.

Related posts:
Book Review: Focusing by Eugene T. Gendlin
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Organizing reflection 1

This is a post in my series on organizing ”between and beyond.” Other posts are here. The purpose of this post is to reflect on subjects occupying my mind. I make no claim to fully believe what I write. Neither do I pretend that others have not already thought or written about the same subject. Often, I take up, combine, and add to already existing thoughts. Here is my next reflection.

What is on my mind?
People are NOT assets, neither are relationships
Bob Marschall (@flowchainsensei) tweeted this morning that: ”People are NOT our greatest asset. In collaborative knowledge work particularly, it’s the relationships BETWEEN people that are our greatest asset.”

Bob Marschall (@flowchainsensei) 2018-01-02. Tweet.

I totally agree that relationships are important, but I question whether they are assets? An asset is something which is useful or valuable. It’s furthermore often something which is owned. From this perspective, I’d claim that people are NOT assets, neither are relationships.

New books arrived today
Volume one and two of Dee Hock’s Autobiography of a Restless Mind arrived today. These two volumes were written in the decades spanning the turn of the millennium.1 I am really looking forward to reading these two books.

Dee Hock, Autobiography of a Restless Mind, Volume 1 & 2.

Previously, I’ve read Dee Hock’s book One from Many: VISA and the Rise of Chaordic Organization. Here are extracts from the book. It’s a post written by my good friend Simon Robinson, which is based on my tweets at the time.

Notes:
1 Dee Hock, Autobiography of a Restless Mind: Reflections on the Human Condition Volume 1 (iUniverse, 2012), p.ix.

Related posts:
Dee Hock in his own words
Dee Hock on control
Dee Hock on rules
Agile software development in the 1970s
Organizing in between and beyond posts