Kategoriarkiv: Thoughts

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.

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.

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 Catalonian 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

Organizing retrospective 58

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 mentioned in the last week’s retrospective that I’ve been reading John Seddon. Here is my review of Seddon’s Freedom from Command & Control. Two of Seddon’s observations are (1) that you ‘get away’ with command-and-control in manufacturing because the products are standard, and (2) that it’s an unquestioned assumption in command-and-control that managers should set targets and then create control systems to ensure the targets are met.

Command-and-control is logical for economic machines – but it’s the wrong logic for living companies. This is something Arie de Geus addresses in his book The Living Company. His message is that a living company needs to be managed differently from an economic machine. The book is brilliant so I will take the time to write a book review.

Arie de Geus, The Living Company.

A book which arrived this week is Walk Through Walls by Marina Abramović with James Kaplan. Abramović is a Serbian performance artist who explores body and mind. I will continue reading her memoir next week.

Marina Abramović, Walk Through Walls.

Yesterday, I went to Stockholm to learn more about Quaker decision-making. Here are my notes (in Swedish). This book was required reading prior to the training. Here is also a very interesting book on employing Quaker processes of communal discernment in research.

What was good? What can be improved?
I enjoyed my trip to Stockholm yesterday. Interestingly, some of the Quaker stuff increases my aliveness (how to enter into dialogue with others in the lived moment), some of it reduces it (the awkward historical language).

While in Stockholm I also met with Marcus Kempe.

There are a number of books which I read four years ago which I need to re-read. (Arie de Geus book, which I read this week, is one of them.)

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Organizing retrospective 57

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 Seddon’s Freedom from Command & Control1 and The Whitehall Effect.2 The first book is about the Toyota system for service organizations, while the second is about how successive British administrations have interfered with public service and consistently made things worse during the last 35 years. The theoretical content is the same in the two books. I will write a review of the first book next week.

Seddon, The Whitehall Effect (left) and Freedom from Command & Control (right).

What was good? What can be improved?
Continued progress. Connecting with my fire inside.

We cannot neglect our interior fire without damaging ourselves in the process.”
—David Whyte3

Notes:
1 John Seddon, Freedom from Command & Control: A Better Way to Make the Work Work (Vanguard Consulting Ltd, 2005, 2nd edition).
2 John Seddon, The Whitehall Effect: How Whitehall Became the Enemy of Great Public Service and What We Can Do About It (Triarchy Press, 2014).
3 David Whyte, The Heart Aroused: Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America (Currency Doubleday, 1994), p.91.

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Organizing retrospective 56

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 Evelyn Fox Keller’s biography A Feeling for the Organism: The Life and Work of Barbara McClintock. Barbara McClintock was awarded the 1983 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Here is my book review. Barbara McClintock pushed her observational and cognitive skills so far that few could follow her. She stressed the importance of having a ”feeling for the organism.” It was her conviction that the closer her focus, the greater her attention to the unique characteristics of a single plant, the more she could learn about the general principles by which the plant as a whole was organized.

Keller, A Feeling for the Organism.

Likewise, I think the greater the attention to the unique characteristics of a single organization, the more we can learn about the generative order for organizing. Paraphrasing Barbara McClintock, it’s important to have a ”feeling for the organization.”

What was good? What can be improved?
I make progress, but—again—would like to spend more time on this work than I actually can.

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Organizing retrospective 53-55

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 of what has happened so far in August. I have been very busy doing other things than working on this series the last few weeks.

Anyway, here is an interesting interview with David Bohm on Bohmian dialogue and the nature of thought, which showed up in my tweet flow via Marcus Kempe (@KempeMarcus).

Source: Twitter

Another tweet pointed me to the following words by James Kavanough.1 I am one of the searchers.

I am one of the searchers. There are, I believe, millions of us. We are not unhappy, but neither are we really content. We continue to explore life, hoping to uncover its ultimate secret. We continue to explore ourselves, hoping to understand. We like to walk along the beach, we are drawn by the ocean […] We like forests and mountains, deserts and hidden rivers, and the lonely cities as well. Our sadness is as much a part of our lives as is our laughter. To share our sadness with one we love is perhaps as great a joy as we can know – unless it be to share our laughter.

We searchers are ambitious only for life itself, for everything beautiful it can provide. Most of all we love and want to be loved. We want to live in a relationship that will not impede our wandering, nor prevent our search, nor lock us in prison walls; that will take us for what little we have to give. We do not want to prove ourselves to another or compete for love.

For wanderers, dreamers, and lovers, for lonely men and women who dare to ask of life everything good and beautiful. It is for those who are too gentle to live among wolves.

A person who caught my interest this week is Eileen Fisher. Here is her view on Leadership: The Personal Side of Organizational Change. And here is her TEDx talk in the form of a dialogue with Raphael Bemporad on Practicing Change. Eileen Fisher says at the end of the TEDx talk that:2

What’s so interesting to me is that it isn’t about changing the world out there, it’s about how we show up. It’s about […] all those little moment to moment choices where we need to let go of those things that trigger us, and distract us, and confuse us, and keep centering ourselves to what is our unique voice or gift in that exact moment.

Source: YouTube

Brené Brown is also a person well worth listening to. Here is a Facebook Live video where Brené says what is painfully obvious, that we give lip service to how all men are created equal. She also points out that we must talk about it in the most pointed, uncomfortable, and honest way. Among other things she says that:

The stories that we don’t own collectively, own us.

There is no evidence anywhere that power over is effective.

Every time we dehumanize someone it rips a little piece of our soul apart.

Source: Facebook for Business

I finished reading two books this week:

  • The first one is Waking: A Memoir of Trauma and Transcendence by Matthew Sanford. Matthew was in a car accident at the age of thirteen which left him paralyzed. This is a book about stepping more deeply into our lives, staying open to our own experience. Matthew discovered, for example, that if he listens inwardly to his whole experience, he can actually feel into his legs. It’s a fascinating book. Here is my book review.

    M. Sanford, Waking.

  • The second is Before Philosophy: The Intellectual Adventure Of Ancient Man by H. Frankfort, H. A. Frankfort, J. A. Wilson, and T. Jacobsen. The authors concentrate on two old civilizations, those of Egypt and Mesopotamia. As villages grew into city-states and national states, authority and power became centralized. There was a movement from democracy, where a general assembly had the political power, to kingship. I find it most revealing that no human institution had as its primary aim the welfare of its own human members. The view was the humans were created especially for the benefit of the gods—and the king was god.3

What was good? What can be improved?
I make progress but would like to spend more time on the work with this series.

Notes:
1 James Kavanough, There are Men Too Gentle to Live Among Wolves.
2 Eileen Fisher, A Dialogue on Practicing Change, TEDxWashingtonSquare, at 17:56 (accessed 2017-08-20).
3 H. Frankfort, H. A. Frankfort, J. A. Wilson, T. Jacobsen, Before Philosophy: The Intellectual Adventure Of Ancient Man (Pelican Books, 1949), p. 200.

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Organizing retrospective 52

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 finished reading Experiencing and the Creation of Meaning by Eugene Gendlin this week. It’s a most interesting book, so I will write a book review.

As mentioned last week, I think that Eugene Gendlin’s notion of experiencing is directly related to David Bohm’s deeper generative order. Experiencing is a generative source of felt meaning which unfolds into action, which has further meaning.

I can see many parallels between David Bohm and Eugene Gendlin’s thinking. David Bohm’s generative order is a deeper order out of which the manifest form of things emerge.1 This order is fundamental in nature and in consciousness. The generative order escapes definition according to Bohm.2 Gendlin’s view is that experiencing is preconceptual.3 A moment’s experiencing contains implicitly so many meanings that no amount of words can exhaust it.4 That includes the whole life of the person as it occurs in the present.5 Experiencing is always richer than what can be expressed in language.

The generative order is very different from how a machine works.6 Generative orders are not fixed by rigid hierarchies where lower levels are dominated by higher levels.7 Rather, the hierarchy grows out of the basic generative order.The implicate order extends the notion of generative order.9 The key point of the implicate order is that it is fundamental. The explicate order unfold from the implicate order.10 Implicate and generative orders are ultimately at the ground of all experience, according to David Bohm.11 Experiencing is enfolded deep within the generative order. I think Eugene Gendlin would agree.

What was good? What can be improved?
I am excited about the parallels I see between David Bohm and Eugene Gendlin’s thinking. However, I need to look more into Bohm and Gendlin’s views of meaning.

Meaning, in Bohm’s view, is inseparably connected with information. Bohm suggests, furthermore, that activity is the meaning of information. All action, including inaction, takes place immediately according to the meaning of the total situation at the moment. Meaning indicates intention. Intention arises out of the perception of meaning. A choice to act, or not to act, depends on the meaning at the moment. Intention is sensed as a feeling of being ready to respond. Meaning and intention are inseparably related. Meaning unfolds into intention, and intention into action, which has further meaning. There is a constant unfoldment of still more meanings. Meanings can extend to ever greater levels of subtlety as long they are perceived freshly from moment to moment. The perception of new meaning profoundly moves people. Again, I think Gendlin would agree, but I need to look more into this.

Notes:
1 David Bohm and F. David Peat, Science, Order, and Creativity (Routledge, 2010, first published 1987), p. 148.
2 Ibid., p. 155.
3 Eugene Gendlin, Experiencing and the Creation of Meaning: A Philosophical and Psychological Approach to the Subjective (Northwestern University Press, 1997, first published 1962), p. 30.
4 Ibid., p. 34.
5 Ibid..
6 David Bohm and F. David Peat, Science, Order, and Creativity (Routledge, 2010, first published 1987), p. 156.
7 Ibid., p. 161.
8 Ibid..
9 Ibid., p. 168.
10 Ibid., p. 176.
11 Ibid., p. 187.

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Organizing retrospective 51

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 been reading Eugene Gendlin’s book Experiencing and the Creation of Meaning: A Philosophical and Psychological Approach to the Subjective this week. It’s a most interesting book.

E. Gendlin, Experiencing and the Creation of Meaning.

I can see how experiencing, as defined by Gendlin, is directly related to the deeper generative order for organizing which I’m so interested in. Gendlin provides, furthermore, a language to describe this. I also see parallels between David Bohm and Eugene Gendlin:

  • 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
    • What matters most for Gendlin is the way in which the next step follows (continues, carries forward, makes sense) from what preceded it.3
    • Instead of relating mostly in roles, we need to relate from our own intricacy.4
    • Our next step of thought comes from our experiencing.5
  • Bohm proposes that there is order in all aspects of life.7 So does Gendlin, who describes nature as a responsive order, which always gives more exact results than could have been constructed or deduced.8
    • Experiencing is non-numerical, but it’s never just anything-you-please. It’s, on the contrary, a more precise order which is not limited to any set of patterns.9
    • The content of experience is generated by the process of experiencing itself.10

David Bohm would probably have agreed with Eugene Gendlin that we can think everything more truly if we think it with attention to how we think.11

I will come back to all this in my review of Gendlin’s book!

What was good? What can be improved?
Skye Hirst and I had our 40th conversation this week. I’m amazed at how new ‘gold nuggets’ always turn up in our conversations. Again, Skye cracked me open with her questions and suggestions. It all boils down to trusting your own organism(ic) self. By getting in touch with your own organism(ic) life force you can navigate the world. Self-trust gives you access to an entirely new repertoire of behaviors. The deeper generative order for organizing is to be found within the organism itself.

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 Ibid., p.xiii.
4 Ibid., p.xiv.
6 Ibid., p.xvii.
7 David Bohm and F. David Peat, Science, Order, and Creativity (Routledge, 2010-09-01, first published 1987-10-01), p.146.
8 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.
9 Ibid..
10 Ibid., p.xx.
10 Ibid., p.xxi.

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Organizing retrospective 46-50

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 five weeks from mid June to mid July.

Looking back I can see that my inquiry into a deeper generative order1 for organizing consists of three strands:

  1. The first strand is an inquiry into existing organizing orders.2 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.3 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.4, 5

These strands are twisted together. My focus was initially on the first strand when I started this blog, but it has subsequently grown into an exploration of the second and third strands as well.

Four weeks ago, I found this interview with F. David Peat about David Bohm’s Wholeness and the Implicate Order.

D. Bohm & F. D. Peat, Science, Order, and Creativity.

F. David Peat was a long-time co-worker with Bohm and co-authored Science, Order, and Creativity which has influenced me very much. Here is my review of the book.

D. C. Wahl, Designing Regenerative Cultures.

I finished reading Daniel Christian Wahl’s book on Designing Regenerative Cultures. I need to write a review.

K. Tippett, Becoming Wise.

I also started reading Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living by Krista Tippett. It’s an excellent book which is full of ‘gold nuggets’ from Tippet’s many interviews.

B. Madsen & S. Willert, Survival in the Organization.

Three weeks ago, two new books arrived. The first is Survival in the Organization: Gunnar Hjeholt Looks Back at the Concentration Camp from an Organizational Perspective by Benedicte Madsen & Søren Willert.  It certainly caught my attention that Gunnar Hjelholt find striking similarities between the concentraction camp and organizations in general!  Here is my book review.

E. T. Gendlin, Focusing.

The second book which arrived is Focusing by Eugene T. Gendlin. Most importantly, focusing is not only an internal act which is useful in therapy. It’s also useful in approaching any problem or situation. Focusing is an example of how to access a deeper generative order. Here is my review Gendlin’s book.

I also found this lecture by Mae-Wan Ho on Why Beauty is Truth and Truth Beauty.

Two weeks ago, I found this introduction to Thinking at the Edge (TAE) with Mary Hendricks and Eugene T. Gendlin. Interestingly, TAE was developed from Gendlins’ Philosophy of the Implicit. Gendlin, being both a psychologist and philosopher,  is a most interesting thinker!

S. Kotler and J. Wheal, Stealing Fire.

I read Stealing Fire: How Silicon Valley, the Navy SEALS, and Maverick Scientists Are Revolutionizing the Way We Live and Work by Steve Kotler and Jamie Wheal. It’s a well-written book, but the authors are stuck in a mechanistic mindset. They view the brain as a machine.6  And they talk about brain’s ”knobs and levers” throughout the book.7 I don’t find it much of an improvement to view our psychology as a user interface (or UI), rather than an operating system (or OS).8 Both metaphors are misleading. The authors also believe that it’s possible to program living cells with the same ease that we program computers.9 These are just a few examples.

Nordic Friends Yearly Meeting 2017, Nordiska Folkhögskolan, Kungälv, Sweden.

I participated in the Nordic Friends Yearly Meeting 2017. Here is a summary of my experiences. Here is also a beautifully sad Norwegian song which the Norwegian Quakers shared during the Yearly Meeting. The song is about light, beacons, and the fairway which both takes you away from home, and home.

This week, another of Eugene T. Gendlin’s books arrived.

E. Gendlin, Experiencing and the Creation of Meaning.

It’s Gendlin’s book on Experiencing and the Creation of Meaning: A Philosophical and Psychological Approach to the Subjective. I’ve just started reading and already find the book fascinating.

What was good? What can be improved?
It was good that I finally got this retrospective written. It feels really satisfying to see how my love of reading and learning flow into these forms. Now, it’s time to return to my old habit of doing weekly retrospectives.

Notes:
1 The notion of generative order is from David Bohm & F. David Peat. See Bohm and Peat, Science, Order, and Creativity (Routledge, 2010-09-01, first published 1987-10-01), pp. 80, 148, 154–157, 216, 286–287.
2 The notion of organizing order is mine, but it is based on David Bohm & F. David Peat’s notion of order. Ibid., pp. 97–146.
3 The notion of an overall paradigmatic framework is also from David Bohm & F. David Peat. Ibid., p. 276.
4 The notion of autognomics is from Skye Hirst and Gene Pendergraft. Skye Hirst chose the word autonomics,  while Gene Pendergraft addeded the ”g” to make it autognomics. See History of TAI (accessed 2017-07-16).
5 See also the description of autognomics in TAI’s Glossary (accessed 2017-07-16).
6 Steve Kotler and Jamie Wheal describe the human brain as the most complex machine on the planet. See Steve Kotler and Jamie Wheal, Stealing Fire (HarperCollins, 2017), p. 37.
7 Ibid., pp. 24, 85, 95, 113, 153.
8 Ibid., p. 112.
9 Ibid., p. 133.

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Organizing retrospective 45

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 finished reading Toward a Psychology of Awakening by John Welwood. Welwood’s approach to the psychology of awakening emphasizes practice in three domains: Meditation for the supra-personal, psychological work for the personal, conscious relationship practice for the inter-personal.1 The book represents a thirty year journey and is excellent. I will make an in-depth review of the book in a coming post. In the meantime, here is a compilation of my tweets from John Welwood’s book.

Welwood, Toward a Psychology of Awakening.

What was good? What can be improved?
Reading John Welwood’s book was well worth the time. However, writing in-depth book reviews take much time. To save time, I will start to make notes while reading.

Notes:
1 John Welwood, Toward a Psychology of Awakening: Buddhism, Psychotherapy, and the Path of Personal and Spiritual Transformation (Shambhala, 2002), p.xvii.
2 Ibid., p.xviii.

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Organizing retrospective 44

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?
Two new books arrived this week. The first one is Stealing Fire: How Silicon Valley, the NAVY SEALs, and Maverick Scientists Are Revolutionizing the Way We Live and Work by Steven Kotler & Jamie Wheal. The second is Beyond Being: Gadamer’s Post-Platonic Hermeneutical Ontology by Brice R. Wachterhauser. Simon Robinson recommended the second book in this comment on my retrospective two weeks ago.

Kotler & Wheal, Stealing Fire, and Wachterhauser, Beyond Being.

This week I’ve started reading Designing Regenerative Cultures by Daniel Christian Wahl, and Toward a Psychology of Awakening: Buddhism, Psychotherapy, and the Path of Personal and Spiritual Transformation by John Welwood. Both are excellent books! I will review both.

Wahl, Designing Regenerative Cultures, and Welwood, Toward a Psychology of Awakening.

John Welwood’s description of writing from a felt sense caught my attention. John explains how he approached the writing of his own book:

”In writing … I started with a diffuse felt sense of what I wanted to say, which I have to keep referring back to along the way. I can’t know exactly what I want to say except by letting it unfold word by word, sentence by sentence. Each sentence leads to the next, which in turn builds on what has previously unfolded. At the end … I should have discovered the full range of my intent (although of course, there’s always more).”1

At the end of last year, I mentioned in this retrospective that I have deep fears of revealing publicly my own ideas and beliefs. This fear has influenced how I’ve approached my writing. I’ve given expression to my voice through the voices of others. It has also prevented me from listening to my own diffuse felt sense of what I want to say. My approach has furthermore been analytical, that is I’ve tried to:

  • Get an overview of the parts, or organizing orders (here is an overview).
  • Understand what the parts do (here is the analysis).
  • Assemble the parts into an understanding (here is the synthesis).

The analytical approach has left me unsatisfied, because I already have a diffuse felt sense of what I want to say. And this felt sense goes beyond purely analytical understanding. Going forward, I’ll shift my focus from gathering input — for example, by reading all these books — to letting what I want to say unfold word by word, post by post.

Finally, I found the following interviews with Basil Hiley, a long-time co-worker with David Bohm:

  • Here is a video where Basil Hiley discusses the Wholistic Universe. Basil Hiley starts by saying that ”the world is basically organic, and the mechanistic part is just an aspect of the deeper organic part.”
  • Here is a video where Basil Hiley discusses Bohm’s Quantum theory and more.
  • Here is part 1 (or 2) of Taher Gozel’s interview with Basil Hiley where they discusses the latest developments in physics. And here is part 2 (of 2).

What was good? What can be improved?
I really value feedback from others. This week I’d like to mention three persons:

  • Simon Robinson (@srerobinson) has provided valuable input and inspiration ever since I started this series – well, even before! Simon’s book recommendations have always been excellent. Here are a few examples. Simon is co-author of this book on Holonomics.
  • Skye Hirst (@autognomics) and I have had ongoing conversations over Skype since February, sometimes several times per week. I’ve learned so much from Skye, not least personally! It feels like we’ve become close friends, although we’ve never met in person.
  • Marcus Kempe (@KempeMarcus) and I met for the first time in person this week. We’ve been following each other on Twitter for a few years. Marcus has started writing about unconscious beliefs and assumptions in Software Intensive Product Development.

Notes:
1 John Welwood, Toward a Psychology of Awakening (Shambala, 2002), p. 93.

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Organizing retrospective 43

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 finished reading Luc Ferry’s A Brief History of Thought this week. It’s a well-written book which provides a great overview of different philosophical systems.  I mentioned in this retrospective that reading Whitehead gave me insights into my own metaphysics. Similarly, reading Ferry gave me insights into my own thinking. Here is my review of A Brief History of Thought.

Jones, Artful Leadership (left), and Ferry, A Brief History of Thought (right).

This week, I also finished my review of Michael Jones’ book Artful Leadership. It has taken me quite some time to write this review. It’s such a wonderful book that I decided to provide an extensive summary together with my conclusions. Here is my review of Artful Leadership.

If my review of Artful Leadership is unusually long, then my review of A Brief History of Thought is unusually short. I have the habit of putting a yellow index on text which I find interesting (the more interesting, the more visible), while I mark text where I have questions with the corner of an index. The picture below shows how different my impressions are of the two books.

Ferry, A Brief History of Thought (top), and Jones, Artful Leadership (bottom).

There’s much in Luc Ferry’s book which I question, but not necessarily disagree with. After having read Ferry, I realize that I’m much more of a scepticist than a dogmatist philosophically. And I find it fascinating that I hardly found anything in Michael Jones’ book with which I disagree. It’s a powerful experience to encounter someone (Jones) who can express your own thoughts more eloquently than you can yourself.

It’s also interesting to note that I can’t put Jones’ thinking into any of the philosophical systems described by Luc Ferry. One reason for this is that Jones’ thinking goes beyond pure reason. I agree with Jones that the invisible structures of wholeness lies in the spaces between our thoughts and concepts.1 This means that we need to bring our focus ‘upstream’ to where reason and heart may work in common.2 And here lies a paradox: How do you make what’s invisible apparent in language? The deeper generative orders for organizing lie in the invisible structures of wholeness.

What was good? What can be improved?
I’m active in this discussion group on sociocracy.  John Schinnerer wrote something very interesting this as a reply to one of my own mails to the group. John wrote:

… note that process and outcome live at opposite ends.
The more we want a particular (our ”perfect”) outcome, the farther we
are from getting to have some particular process, and vice versa.

… if we want to use only this particular process,
we better be open to what the outcome is.
And, if we want this one particular outcome,
we better be open to what process(es) will get us there.

I find this interesting since it’s often assumed that you can control the outcome by controlling the process. It’s, for example, one of the ISO 9000 series quality management principles.3 John clarified his thinking in a second mail where he writes:

I think if we are talking about relatively simple, purely deterministic
systems, that is possible. … [i.e., to control the output by controlling the process]

Any time we have humans involved, I think this [Erik Stolterman’s] model comes
into play, at least in part, or in some aspects of the system. …

I’m now searching for more information about the model which John mentions. The model is developed by Erik Stolterman. Here is Erik’s blog where he writes:

My goal is to be able to formulate a deeper understanding of the relation between technological and societal development.

I can paraphrase Erik Stolterman by saying that:

My goal is to be able to formulate a deeper understanding of the relation between humans and organizational development.

And this deeper understanding has very much to do with what Michael Jones writes about in Artful Leadership.

Notes:
1 Michael Jones, Artful Leadership: Awakening the Commons of Imagination (Pianoscapes, 2006), p. xi.
2 Ibid..
3 See ISO 9000 – Wikipedia (accessed 2017-05-27).

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Organizing retrospective 42

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?
Yesterday, I published this review of The Future of Humanity: A Conversation by Jiddu Krishnamurti and David Bohm. The book was a disappointment! Not because of Bohm, but because of Krishnamurti. This was my first encounter with Krishnamurti, and I got the impression that he didn’t know what he was talking about. Those who have read this series of post on organizing ”between and beyond” know that I’m deeply influenced by Bohm. Even the notion of ”between and beyond” is inspired by him.1

Krishnamurti & Bohm, The Future of Humanity

After my review, I went back to F. David Peat’s biography Infinite Potential: The Life and Times of David Bohm to learn more about the relationship between Bohm and Krishnamurti. Here is my review of Peat’s book. Peat writes that Bohm felt that Krishnamurti didn’t give sufficient attention to the social dimension of his teachings. Those who surrounded Krishnamurti were related to him, but not to each other. Bohm also found it disturbing how Krishnamurti’s image was being inflated by those around him, and that the Indian teacher didn’t do anything to prevent it.2 Krishnamurti responded by pushing Bohm in a way that others later described as brutal. As Bohm was thrown into despair, Krishnamurti distanced himself from Bohm.3

New books
Three new books arrived this week:

  • A Brief History of Thought by Luc Ferry.
  • Toward a Psychology of Awakening by John Welwood.
  • Designing Regenerative Cultures by Daniel Christian Wahl.

I’ve started reading A Brief History of Thought and Before Philosophy, which arrived last week. Both books provide interesting perspectives on the history of thought. I’m somewhat surprised that Luc Ferry describes philosophy not only as ‘love’ (philo) of ‘wisdom’ (sophia),4 but also as a road to ‘salvation’ by the exercise of reason – if not from death itself, then from the anxiety it causes.5 Personally, I think loving wisdom – trying to live wisely – is a perfectly valid aim in itself. I also find reason to question reason itself. I’ve come to believe that reason alone will not save us and the world. Instead, we need to bring our focus ‘upstream’ to where reason and heart may work in common.6

What was good? What can be improved?
I’m learning new things, broadening my perspectives, all the time.

I need to finish my review of Artful Leadership by Michael Jones. It’s such a great book!

Notes:
1 The notion of organizing ”between and beyond” is inspired by David Bohm and F. David Peat’s notion of the ”order between and beyond.” See Bohm and Peat, Science, Order, and Creativity (Routledge, 2010, first published 1987), p. 275.
2 F. David Peat, Infinite Potential: The Life and Times of David Bohm (Addison-Wesley, 1997), p. 284.
3 Ibid., p. 285.
4 Luc Ferry, A Brief History of Thought: A Philosophical Guide to Living (HarperCollins, 2011), p. 15.
5 Ibid., p. 6.
6 The idea of moving ‘upstream’ is from Michael Jones. See Jones, Artful Leadership: Awakening the Commons of Imagination (Pianoscapes, 2006), p. xi.

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Organizing retrospective 40

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 Artful Leadership by Michael Jones. It’s an absolutely wonderful book! What I particularly like is that Michael Jones goes beyond techniques into the depths of being human. Our vulnerability proves to be our greatest strength. Going back to first experiences, acting in ways contrary to how we have been educated is unsettling. Each person leads and follows at the same time. Neither extends beyond the other.1 I will come back with a book review.

Jones, Artful Leadership.

Skye Hirst asked this week what some of the key points are that I want to take away from all I have read:

  • What are the wisdoms I have learned in the last two or three years of reading?
  • What are my personal takeaways from all these readings?

My spontaneous answer is that we don’t know what we are doing. I think our organizations work, not because of the structures we impose on them, but despite of them. There’s so much meaning-less structure. And there’s so much misinformation out there – some of it is unconscious, some of it is conscious. We are all susceptible to 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.’

Robert E. Quinn’s book Change The World arrived this week. It’s a book is about personal transformation and how to be ”inner-directed and outer-focused.”

Quinn, Change the World.

What was good? What can be improved?
Skye’s questions got me thinking. I need to come back these questions.

Notes:
1 Michael Jones, Artful Leadership: Awakening the Commons of Imagination (Pianoscapes, 2006), p.129.

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Organizing retrospective 39

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 spent this week reading Soulcraft and Wild Mind by Bill Plotkin. Bill Plotkin writes that contemporary society has lost touch with soul.1 We call the outer nature wild. The soul is our inner wilderness. It’s the core of our human nature.2 Our human souls consists of those aspects of self that are most natural, most of nature. Diminished human soul means diminished nature. The world cannot fully express itself without each of us fully expressing our selves.3 Soul is the primary organizing, sustaining, and guiding principle of living beings.4 Here is a post where Bill Plotkin talks about speaking in our true voice, singing our true song.

Bill Plotkin, Soulcraft, and Wild Mind.

Artful Leadership by Michael Jones arrived this week. This is a wonderful book. Michael Jones goes beyond techniques into soul (although he doesn’t use that word). Leading is, for him, about developing our unique gifts, cultivating our connection with one another, our work, and the world. Michael Jones is a leadership consultant, improvisational pianist, and composer. His being with music has influenced his leadership work and way of teaching. He no longer teaches from models and concepts that others have created. Instead, he lets the words come from the same place from which his music comes. We need to find our own feeling and our own thought, which comes from being at home with the place of undivided wholeness within ourselves.5

Michael Jones, ”Artful Leadership.”

What was good? What can be improved?
I found it remarkable that two very different books, by two different authors, using very different vocabulary, essentially are about the same thing. It’s about our unique way of belonging, and contributing, to the world. It’s a soul journey for Bill Plotkin and artful leadership for Michael Jones.

Notes:
1 Bill Plotkin, Soulcraft: Crossing into the Mysteries of Nature and Psyche (New World Library, 2003), p.1.
2 Ibid., p.15.
3 Ibid., p.16.
4 Foreword by Thomas Berry, Ibid., p.xiii.
5 Michale Jones, Artful leadership: Awakening the Commons of the Imagination (Pianoscapes, 2006), p.24.

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Organizing retrospective 38

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 finished reading Floyd Merrell’s two books Change through Signs of Body, Mind, and Language (2000), and Becoming Culture (2012). Merrell is an excellent author. And Becoming Culture, which is Merrell’s latest book, is brilliant. The book taps into Charles Sanders Peirce’s alternative style of logic, which is useful for understanding cultural processes. Peirce’s logic is also useful for understanding organizing.

Books by Floyd Merrell.

People are self-directed. Floyd Merrell introduces the notion of resistormity to describe the middle way between conformity and resistance.1 Merrell uses the Spanish American colonial period as an example. He writes:

  • ”Conformity plus resistance is reminiscent of that maxim, made notorious during the Spanish American colonial period: … ‘I obey (overtly), but (covertly) I do not comply’ …”2
  • ”… prior to adopting an alternative response, these subjects were likely suffering from what in today’s terms we might call ‘cognitive dissonance’. They seemed to be in emotional and intellectual limbo … They were … awaiting the chance to embrace some possible and somewhat promising alternative.”3

In other words, people are resistormers – conformers, yet resistors.

’Resistormity’4
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’)

Books by Carl Rogers.

I read several of Carl Rogers’ books in 2013. I revisited some of his thinking this week. Here is Samuel Tenenbaum’s article about Carl Rogers and Non-Directive Teaching. Tenenbaum writes that ”Non-directive teaching has profound implications” which ”extends to every area where human beings communicate and try to live with one another.”4

Here is also Nicola Davies post on Carl Rogers’ Organismic Valuing Process,5 which reminds me of Robert Hartman’s theory of value.6 Organismic valuing is based on authenticity, autonomy, internal locus of evaluation, unconditional positive regard, process living, relatedness, and openness to inner and outer experience. All this is related to life enhancing and life sustaining organizing.

What was good? What can be improved?
It’s so interesting to notice how books I’ve read recently gives me new perspectives on books I read several years ago. I need to re-read Carl Rogers’ books.

Notes:
1 Floyd Merrell, Becoming Culture (CreateSpace, 2012), p.159.
2 Ibid., p.156.
3 Ibid., p.158.
4 Floyd Merrell invites the reader to contemplate this table in view of what is suggested throughout the book. Ibid., p.159.
5 Samuel Tenenbaum, Carl R. Rogers and Non-Directive Teaching (ASCD, 1959) (assessed 2017-04-23).
6 Nicola Davies, The Organismic Valuing Process (2014-11-21) (accessed 2017-04-23).
7 Robert S. Hartman, The Structure of Value: Foundations of Scientific Axiology (Wopf & Stock, 2011, first published 1967).

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Organizing retrospective 37

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 Petra Kuenkel’s The Art of Leading Collectively. What I particularly like about this book is that she emphasizes the importance of ”life” and deep human values. If problem solving and conflict resolution is increasingly important in our complex world, then the skill of dialogue becomes one of the most fundamental of human skills.1 One of Petra Kuenkel’s conclusions is that we know deep inside how collective leadership works. It’s, in a way, about setting free what is already there. Here is my book review.

P. Kuenkel, The Art of Leading Collectively.

I’ve also written this post about enligthened organizing, which is a notion from Organizing a Buddhist Way by Dian Marie Hosking.2 Organizing is based on many different assumptions and beliefs. A dominating one is the positivist belief in rationality. There are, however, other possible beliefs. Dian Marie Hosking’s enlightened organizing is relational rather than rational. Again, dialogue plays a central role.

What was good? What can be improved?
The ongoing conversations with Skye Hirst. Giving expression to my personal voice.

Notes:
1 Petra Kuenkel, The Art of Leading Collectively (Chelsea Green, 2016), p. 107. See also Edgar Schein on dialogue, culture, and organizational learning, Reflections, 4(4), pp. 27–38.
2 Dian Marie Hosking, Organizing a Buddhist Way. See Peter Case and Hugo Letiche (editors), Belief and Organization (Palgrave MacMillan, 2012), Chapter 5, pp. 69–89.

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts