MindShift

TRANSFORMATION – INSIGHT – LEADERSHIP


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We-Space revisited.

Tune in to the We-Space Summit:  http://www.thewespacesummit.com with 150 friends and colleagues from all over the world. 

Our own contribution:

Wednesday, October 11: The New Workplace: Panel Discussion with Johann Entz- von Zerssen, Mushin Schilling and myself:

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In this conversation, Anne Caspari and Johann Entz-Von Zerssen begin by clarifying their approach with Mushin Shilling, which redefines theWe-Space and presencing in the context of their work with individuals, teams and OD. They begin by framing the emotional dimension of our experience, where they work with helping clients and teams develop the capacity to face the difficult places in their actual experience or “what they can´t be with”, in order to establish a more grounded and realist position collectively. In pointing out some of the hazards of conventional presencing approaches, they problematize some of the common presencing assumptions such as “leading from the future as it emerges” and point out the challenges of working with the chaotic messiness of here and now. By bringing a curiosity for the process and culture organizations are in the middle of, they work with holding the We-Space via Dave Snowden’s work with Sensemaker® by engaging people as a ‘human sensor network’ to enable them to contribute to getting a more accurate picture of what is really happening in their organization or community. This helps develop a participatory engagement in the We-Space through a more experiential and practical approach that empowers people to work from where they are. The conversation ends with clarifying key distinctions between emergence and structures in formal We-Space practice as well as alignment, coherence and other terms of complex adaptive systems.

This Thursday, October 12: Panel Discussion with Tom MurrayBonnitta RoyMushin SchillingAndrew Venezia and myself: “The Participatory Panel” – The We-Space Summit, Day 4 https://www.thewespacesummit.com/workplace-3/

Screen Shot 2017-09-21 at 11.44.39 AM_previewThis panel conversation takes a critical turn in problematizing a few of the dynamics of collective process in groups and ventures perspectives on how this implicates and limits the We-Space. When groups engage in collective practice, the question this panel returns to is what are we actually participating with? They point out, for some groups, there is a tendency to be caught in projection, in thought or perhaps our own social anxiety or social agenda among a wide diversity of possible experiences. As this panel explores, facilitators in such contexts often default to professional strategies to control the direction of the process toward desired outcomes based on their particular preconceived ideals of group process. Such groups then become bound to an idea or ideal of “we-ness” and then go out of their way to make this particular flavor of we-ness happen. In this panel, the participants take a step back and call into question any kind of position that is projected onto the field of collective practice.  Connected to this inquiry is problematizing any pre-conceived sense or ideal of “We-ness” that is a reflection of this more conventional stage approach of engaging the shared field. Turning instead to the more radical or post-conventional possibilities of collective practice that lie beyond the mainstream layers of social habit and convention, the panel posits the possibility of a more open and direct participation that proceeds instead from sensory clarity as the basis for authentic participation.  What creative potentials then emerge in such groups where participants are no longer constrained, via positive or negative associations and projections of the We? Panel members share their stories and current practices as examples of what they believe lies beyond this more commonplace variety of conventional We-Space practice.

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Company Values

Image result for cartoon bad culture

Companies have become aware of the fact that core values – integrity, trust, fairness – can function as attractors that drive beneficial behaviours in the workplace. What they are not getting is that core values just can´t be prescribed, top down or in any other direction.

While many companies large and small have come to the laudable conclusion to focus their organizational development efforts on values rather than behaviours, most go about this strategy in a wrong way.  When values are defined upfront without letting them emerge through a process and paying attention to which values are currently operative, people tend to game the system and display what HR and HQ want to hear. Dave Snowden puts it this way: “As soon as you write your values down, you´ve lost them”.

Even if you work with more sophisticated approaches that try and distinguish between actual and desired values in the organisation, the methods used to survey those values most often distort the results. Questionnaires and 360s are gamed easily and you know where to put your x-es in your sleep. Experts are biased with unconscious hypothesis while surveying and indexing the data.

Apart from inviting staff members at every organisational level to find workarounds and game the organisational system (infamous example: VW emissions), announcing a change initiative and defining the marching order and direction is having yet another detrimental effect that is largely underestimated.  Once a desired future state – or a value – is defined and plans are made that define and prescribe how to get there, present time weak signals, resistances or value streams that are not in line with the goal are not detected and neglected. Their information content is lost. It could be anything from a warning, a wisdom, a diversification, a potential innovation or a completely different emergent field for the company.

In organizational development, the key is to work with what is actually happening; not what should be happening. What are people really telling each other, their friends, peers and partners about their work? What if you could tap into that vast intelligence and get authentic, real time, immediate and relevant data that you could milk for existing problems, challenges as well as emergent trends and solutions?

Dave Snowden suggests a few things that need to be happening.

  • We make it easy for people to tell little stories that are indicating what is really happening in the company. The stories can be about a a certain attitude towards change or safety, they can indicate problems, challenges, or trends. The stories tell about the way things are done in the company.
  • A software, SenseMaker, can capture the stories and search for trends and challenges and the actual tendency for the company to engage a certain topic (like change, leadership, safety, collaboration, etc.). Snowden calls this mapping out the current dispositional state of the organisation.
  • Then the whole organization, or a department, can be nudged into the direction of the next possible generative steps. A guiding question is: “What can we do tomorrow that gets us more stories like these, and less stories like those”

I find this approach extremely relevant and elegant. The first is working with what is and with people as they are now. The basic assumption is that people know their jobs, and they know what is happening, both good and bad. This is mining the organisational gold. In its simplicity, this must also be a huge disappointment for most change agents and developmental experts. No big change initiative, no mindset change for employees, no bringing staff members up to a higher level of consciousness for them to do their job better. They can all stay as they are. And yet, we can work story by story and work with the systemic structures. Values can be exposed through the stories in the process – the actual, lived values. They are part of the current dispositional state of the system and the emergent one. We can work with what is doable, accessible, sense making and generative, now. This is extremely powerful.

In our opinion, this approach has an immense potential that goes far beyond organizational development. It can be applicable to working in a much different way with communities, governance, climate change, refugees, environmental issues, projects, leadership development and evaluation. Stay tuned. We will report back from our first experiences with Snowden`s SenseMaker software soon.

Here is a recent fun talk by Dave Snowden where he talks about this topic in more detail and depth. Listen up, since he tends to talk in zip-files of meaning you will need to unpack.


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Impressions from the workshop with Bonnitta Roy from APP Associates, Alderlore Insight Center, USA, Ct.; April 1 – 3, 2016

With fantastic people from all over Europe (and some US) we spent 3 fun intensive days looking into a kind of organizational development that deals with self-organization, elegant architectures and those principles that foster emergent behavior, team intelligence, distributive power and decision-making – without rigid new governance models. We explored and examined the key principles, central practices and deep processes of open authentic participation in organizational life.

These were some of  our other topics:

  • succeeding with uncertainty
  • how self organization happens and why we can trust it
  • how values both enable and constrain participation
  • expanding our trust network
  • intention, identity and interaction in group dynamics
  • asymmetric needs and power relations
  • strategic conversations in four languages of change
  • participatory governance
  • how resource allocations drive innovation (or not)
  • assessing team action-potentials
  • building team synergy and high velocity performance
  • method-free facilitation
  • catalyzing insight in teams
  • creativity and cognitive flow

APPWEBLOGO (1)Playing with complex adaptive and complex responsive systems, we gained a new understanding of the nature of emergent processes. We explored new guidance and design principles for organzational life. We looked at how to negotiate organizational and personal intentions, value streams and identities, how to solve the tension between our uniqueness, asymmetrical needs and the distribution of energy, decision and power in a group. We looked at the design of the architecture of the organizational space– one that allows for the release of built up complexity, for emergent behavior and novelty to arise.  We experimented with the four languages of change, that are at the core of Bonnie’s new approach: “I call this new design The Open Participatory Organization, or OPO for short. The OPO is a fully integrated design. It is an open architecture that is supported by a participatory communications platform and is backed-up by a governance that evolves as the organization evolves” from Bonnie’s blog post).
4 languages of changePicture: Bonnitta Roy, APP Associates. 

There are four ‘locations’ with distinctly different values sets, objectives, outcomes and strategic conversations to be held around them. Most organizations have one or two of them, but hardly any are engaging in all of the necessary conversations.

At the end, we explored why this really matters: we are working and living in environments where we have to make choices when we cannot predict outcomes.  Knowing how to allow group dynamics to be emergent becomes invaluable.

Bonnitta Roy’s workshop left us totally inspired, and with many many kind of thoughts and processes to unpack, think about and apply. It opened up new, generative, collaborative spaces. Turning howe to our own business, we have started applying the OPO principles, practices and processes – with first insights and their consequences. We know there are many more insights to come. In some instances we are holding new strategic conversations around our trust networks and new alliances, for example www.eclp.eu and with our Swedish friends around the Crisp Network. Watch this space!  Comments welcome.

More about Bonnitta Roy’s work here in her blog posts.  The next workshop with her is in the US, Ct, in June 16 – 19, and with us in Schmagerow again November 4 – 6. Do not miss it. Also, check out the pre-conference workshop at the Berlin Change Days the week before, October 26-27.


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Think Tank & Workshop with Bonnitta Roy

FACING ORGANIZATIONAL CHALLENGES 

April 1 – 3, 2016 in Germany

3- DAYS with BONNITTA ROY  – An invitation to step into a new way of understanding organizational life, based on principles of open, authentic participation, which we find quite ingenious.

This is for you if you are into the kind of organizational development that deals with self-organization, creating elegant architectures that foster emergent behavior, team intelligence, distributive power and decision-making – without rigid new governance models.

APPWEBLOGO (1)During the 3-day workshop, we will explore in depth headlineswhat is actually happening with relational dynamics in groups. You gain a new understanding of how self-organization works and why you can trust it, whether you work in a conventional set
ting or an open one. You learn how to negotiate organizational and personal intentions, value streams and identities, how to solve the tension between your uniqueness, asymmetrical needs and the distribution of energy, decision and power in a group. Then we look at the design of the architecture of the organizational lab – one that allows for the release of built up complexity, for emergent behavior and novelty to arise. We do that with real organizational problems, so bring your cases. At the end, we wilApp retreat picl explore why this really matters: we are working and living in environments where we have to make choices when we cannot predict outcomes. Knowing how to allow group dynamics to be emergent becomes invaluable.

For more information, please contact Anne: anne.caspari@mindshift-integral.com or over skype. Download the flyer here: App retreat Europe

 


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Leading Change by Leading Self, Feb 2016, Stockholm, SE

EkskäretWe all have unconscious reactive patterns or blind spots. These get in the way when we want to lead and be creative, especially in challenging situations. A key is the ability to catch ourselves before we stumble and in that way become effective leaders in our lives. In this course you get to practice increasing your awareness of the hidden, unseen and illogic patterns that are holding you back so that you can get the results you want as a leader and change agent.

Leading change by Leading Self is a two day full immersion training for coaches, consultants and leaders, who

are familiar with the latest tools, models and approaches ranging from Teal Organizations, Integral & U Theory, to developmental Coaching and Immunity to Change;

still experience challenges in getting expected results and leading change in highly complex environments and global change/ sustainability initiatives.

Leading change means knowing intimately how change works. The potential for deep, permanent and transformational change is found in working with resistances, blind spots and ‘set-points’ found in your own and other’s experience. The cause of a set-point – and the potential for change – is often hidden from introspection and is well protected from insight. Finding the cause of a set-point means catching subtle shifts in your experience just before you employ an automatic escape mechanism, like becoming tired, intellectual, embarrassed or distracted. In this course you learn how to catch these shifts, and similar to martial arts, you learn how to turn them around to your advantage.

We call this aikido move of self leadership the ‘Lucky Luke Move’: we learn how to shoot faster than our own shadow. clipart_lucky-luke_animaatjes-23

Leading self comes before leading others. Doing the work on your part will greatly increase your skills in helping individuals and organizations change. This is what Bill O’Brien or Otto Scharmer talk about when they tell us how much the `inner place of an intervener´ matters to the success of an intervention. When doing this work you will see your choice field widen, and you can play with new possibilities you didn’t know were possible before. You can start leading and teaching the martial arts of change.

The course is for you, if recognize struggles where you are

  • Working in a highly complex environment and are not having the impact you desire
  • Struggling with important professional relationship
  • Feeling torn between competing expectations
  • at a point in your life, where you believe advancing professional capabilities is more about diving deeper into who you are than it is about learning how to use yet another set of concepts or techniques
  • Feeling powerless when trying to convey your vision
  • Wanting to find the purpose in your work
  • And would like to experience yourself in a depth and clarity you couldn’t access before

With this course you will get impactful insights into the following:

  • into the deeper, most hidden mechanisms of self leadership and change
  • Different kinds of options and decision making processes
  • What makes up personal authority and control over what you want to achieve
  • have insight into the deeper, most hidden mechanisms of self leadership and change
  • Foster your own vertical development from socialized to self authoring to self transforming mind
  • go from effectively lead yourself to effectively leading others

If the time has come to explore your interior landscape in order to have a greater external impact, this two-day workshop will provide guidance, experiences, resources, and a community of fellow travelers.

Methods: The course speaks to your own level of expertise and takes place in a safe and light environment. It uses methods and materials that can be seen through the lenses of Ken Wilber’s Integral Theory, Otto Scharmer’s U-Theory or Robert Kegan’s Immunity to Change work. They can also be cross-referenced with other more intuitive transformative processes, tools and methods.  This two days intensive delivers powerful lasting insights. It is also a preparation for a deeper transformative course that lasts 8,5 days.

What past participants say

“After just a few hours I had made more progress in my self leadership than I had done in any other course in my life. After two days you don’t want to stop, the insights you get about what really is going on are just awesome! The exercises – which are fully experiential – will take you deep into those pressing issues which are curbing your power, and this is also where the potential lies for major improvement, and with that I really mean major” /E

Prerequisites

No prior knowledge of the mentioned tools, models and approaches is necessary. However a willingness to look at your own patterns is. Prepare by thinking about and identifying some key challenges that you are facing in your life. This can be in your job, at home or any other situation.

We want to make sure that there is a good fit for you attending the course so we would like to make a short interview with each participant before the course. Download the flyer:  Leading Change by Leading Self

 

Next courses in Germany:  A 4 Day Module in München, Mach 11-14: Munich, Germany and the 9 day Transformative Intensive, April 9-17 in Schmagerow near Berlin. Course Description Schmagerow April 2016

 


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Leading change: First in the subtle, then in the world.

If you want to lead change – personal, organizational or societal – you have to intimately know how change works. This includes experiential clarity in knowing how to overcome – and help overcome – resistance towards change. It also includes knowing the ever so subtle, almost unnoticeable shifts in your own inner experience when facing a challenge to change a personal reality in the face of a conscious or unconscious resistance. This is especially true if the change you want to induce is not just incremental change, i.e. getting better at something, but a real transformational shift, or even a paradigm shift, personal or otherwise.

This is what Bill O’Brien or Otto Scharmer talk about, when they tell us how much the `inner place of an intervener´ matters to the success of an intervention.

217868_454397854583456_2109798001_nLeading self comes before leading others. Let us illuminate that ‘blind spot of leadership’ and take a closer look at what happens in our own spaces first. How do you deal with your own personal change? How do you overcome your own resistances when they are well hidden from your own insight and logic? How much do you know your own inner quiet place where you examine your own assumptions, what you are unconsciously knowing (e.g. “I am not good enough”) and can you unlearn what you know? What you are ignoring (“I can’t bear feeling that”)?  Are you aware of what it is you are secretly protecting?  What encountered knowns and unknowns do you leave unexamined? With which consequences?

The answer to these questions lead to the areas, where leaders of change need to develop a kind of mastery that is similar to that of martial arts: In dealing with the inconspicuous, lightning fast impulses, and in handling most uncomfortable pushback, shadow impulses and resistance.

We tend to think that facing change and leading change are about the bold moves, that paradigm shifts are spectacular, that holding unknowns or paradoxes is something very noticeable and in your face. This is not the case –  the trick lies in the subtle, in the almost undetectable vibrational shifts and minute impulses that are going on in the background of your own mind, without you noticing them consciously.

There is this old Zen joke, that has been around, about the old fish that meets to young fish. While passing he friendly asks: hey guys, how is the water today? After he is gone, they turn to each other and ask: what water??

Here, the unconscious is exactly what the word says: what is least conscious because it is most usual, most familiar, most every day. This is why people don’t easily change even their most unwanted realities: “Every day” is what we call a reality that is constructed around homeostatic systems with adaptive ‘set points’ around money, happiness, confidence, relationships, success, etc. What are your assumptions around this that hold you, like invisible rubber bands, in your old reality? Noticed any patterns lately?vortex

What you might notice if you are being challenged to change even a minor set point or a status quo in these areas are things like; becoming tired, embarrassed, distracted, ill, angry, intellectual, nice, pleasing, aggressive. Now become quiet and listen in, feel in: what happened inside, in your ‘inner place’ just before the avoidance mechanism?

nimbusD'aspremont_webBecoming good at identifying and handling these impulses needs a different set of skills and capacities. It needs noticing where your attention goes in automatic and where it is stuck. It needs awareness of the mechanisms that you use to escape from the ‘inside of a feeling’ that you protect yourself or others from. It needs the willingness to feel something that is deeply uncomfortable, oftentimes painful. It needs the will power to stay and feel it through. These minute moves are silent, not loud; you need to catch frequencies, not words and mental concepts; you need to move at the speed of emotion, not slow changing matter. Draw faster than your shadow. And, just like in martial arts, the resistance and impulses can be used to our advantage: there is usually a treasure to be found at the bottom of each illusive impulse. Follow that resistance, use its tension and its origin for your own goal of becoming whole again and greater awareness, and come out shiny at the other end.

You learn to stay some more and make this new, unchartered unfamiliar territory your place. You start playing with new possibilities you didn’t know were possible before. The choice field widens, and welcome to prototyping. You can start leading and teaching the martial arts of change. New realities emerge from the subtle first, and the rewards are priceless.

Are you ready to play?

Photos: Cloud in a room. Artist: Berndnaut Smilde/Photo by Cassander Eeftinck Schattenkerk.


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An Update: Mapping out Transformative Processes – Stages (1), Adaptive Pushback, Fallacies & Escape Mechanisms (2) and Tools & Methods for Course Correction (3)

The following slides picture transformative processes in their stages, the adaptive pushback and escape mechanisms that usually get triggered on the process path, as well as a variety of tools, methods and conditions (internal and external ones) that can be used for course correction or are favourable to the process. The diagrams picture patterns that I have observed in my work as coach for personal adult development over the last 15 years. These recognizable patterns are indicative of the stages of the process, its depth, the amount of resistance and the type of assistance needed. They have proven useful as guiding indicators, both for personal work and professional coaching. They are valid for both individual and group processes, although they would slightly differ for the collective transformation.

I used the U-shape as a visual metaphor, as it lends itself neatly to common archetypes of transformative work. The invitation is, however, to use your imagination and picture this as more than a linear process. Transformative, non-linear processes don’t follow a neat path with steps from 1 – 8. Rather, much like a holographic image, all of the process goes on all of the time. Just feel into this: some of the escape mechanisms and fears aren’t even triggered unless there is a goal that leads out of comfort zone.

The approaches for creating favourable conditions and the methods and tools for course correction that are listed are examples of tools that I have personally worked with and that have also proven extremely helpful. The Transformation Intensive Courses are conceived with most of these tools, approaches and frameworks in mind – an eclectic mix of instruments, used with experience, subtlety and high precision to make this work as simple, deep, light, and exciting as possible.

Listen here to my conversation with Ken Wilber about these 3 Diagrams and my work so far.

mailing list entwurf 1 Pushback - Mindshift IntegralCourse Correction - Mindshift Integral