Tag Archives: Personal Transformation

Systemic Constellations | Where’s the Money?

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Where’s the Money? Exploring for Clues.

Does the collective field have anything to tell us about where the money is?

Diana Claire Douglas joined us from Ottawa to share a brief (3 hour) orientation to Systemic Constellation Work, based on Bert Hellinger’s well-established practice for engaging families, organizations, and all types of social systems within the “knowing field” – a multi-dimensional field that is always present and has also evolved over the last 30 plus years. Systemic constellations consider issues, questions and propositions from a very broad, human and universal systemic perspective. It is used for diagnosing and resolving issues, making decisions, experiencing other ways of knowing, gathering collective intelligence, testing propositions, and creating new processes, services and products − for individuals, families, organizations and larger systems such as cities. For participants, the engagement process is highly experiential, felt, and mostly-nonverbal. The constellation process accesses information and energy that is beyond our mental conceptions through participants representing the elements, reporting their bodymind experiences with no interpretation, finding their place in the field, and allowing movements to emerge from the field as the representatives interact. -In the June DwD session 22 participants engaged in an experiential “experiment’ around the intention of discovering the sources and flow of money as a systemic cultural issue shared among people self-selecting to be in the field.

Stitched Panorama

Photos by Codrin Talaba

Systemic Constellation Work is a systemic perspective that embraces families and collectives as living systems, with an inner stance of the facilitator being in relation to the “Knowing Field.” SCW holds an extensive body of knowledge including premises, principles and themes based on the understanding that living systems are guided by principles of balance, internal order and exchange. This supports an experiential process and practice that allows for embodied energy and information to be made visible.

After a series of individual and paired constellation exercises that located the sources of money issues within family constellations, a large group process proceeded and evolved into configurations like those in the photographs. In asking the question “Where’s the money?” in two ways “Where’s the money out of need?” and “Where’s the money in the flow?,” the group generated about a dozen different elements to be represented in the field (yang money, alchemical goddess of money, new paradigm money, power, love, sex, purpose, past, future). These were randomly selected by participants and then represented in locations and relationships in a physical mapping of the field.

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The process is quite dynamic, as particpants move in relationship to re revelation of inquiries within the field. The attitude of response is one of “knowing” and is felt as a response from the representation of an identity or issue in the field (people represented the four dimensions of past, future, above and below – but also selected power,  mystery, “yang money,” love, and the new paradigm of money).    Background presentation on Systemic Constellation Work (1Mb PDF).

Reflection from Diana Claire Douglas, as facilitator:

For many months now, I have been hearing “where’s the money?” from almost every individual or group involved with (social) innovation. The DwD group seemed a wonderful opportunity to explore what the Knowing Field could show us about where the money is while introducing the systemic constellation work process.

The first three partner exercises allowed participants to experience what it means to be a representative in the knowing field, through exploring their own relationship with money and the impact of knowing why they wanted money. This was working at the personal and family system level. We moved to working at the collective level when doing the whole-group process. The original question “where’s the money?” became two questions: “where’s the money out of need/fear?” and “where’s the money in the flow?” There were a few surprises while we were doing the process: although both yang and yin money were named as elements to be in the constellation, no one chose to represent yin money, so it was not in the field; and in the middle of the constellation an apparent street person lay down across the outside of the window behind the Past.

The process is dynamic, as the representatives move in relationship to each other, revealing what is missing in the field, what is blocking the energy flow, and what needs to be seen, acknowledged and healed before there is flow in the system. This constellation ended when the Past and Future could see each other, when Love and Sex connected, when missing elements (Patriarchy and Family) were added, when Yang money felt it encompassed the whole field, and when almost all the elements were connected in a line from the Past to the Future.
In the short time we had to constellate such a big issue, we saw many movements and elements coming into alignment with each other…each of these planting a seed in our personal consciousness and the collective consciousness that will eventually emerge and show impact in the world. Afterwards, participants often report being more aware of the shifts they saw happening during the constellation — their perception had opened in a new way — and thus are tuned into what is emerging.

Some have called this work “action inquiry in the causal field!”  And I believe there are several further constellations that could be done emerging from this first constellation asking “where’s the money?” For example: what would happen if we did a constellation just with Yin money and did not have Yang money represented? What might we see when both Yin and Yang money are represented in the same process? What would happen if we explored the “who” of Who-has-the-money? New-paradigm money was not able to connect with Who-has-the-money until a missing element was added (patriarchy). As this element was put at the feet of Power, we could use a constellation to unpack the relationship between New-paradigm money, Power, and Patriarchy.

 

About Diana

DCDheadshotDiana Claire Douglas is a systemic  facilitator, coach and trainer (family, organizational, and social issues), social architect, artist, published author, and explorer of the depths. She is founder of Knowing Field Designs Aligning human systems with Life. She is internationally certified as an Organizational Constellation Work facilitator through the Bert Hellinger Institute of the Netherlands. She is the lead facilitator for systemic constellation work for Integral City and The Hague Centre for Global Governance, Innovation and Emergence, where SCW is used regularly for decision-making, designing creative projects, and team building. She has facilitated constellations at international conferences including INFOSYON conference in Amsterdam, Integral Theory Conference (ITC 2015) in California, and Integral European Conference 2016 in Hungary.  See more at The Knowing Field Issues 19, 22, 26, 27, 28.

Strategic Learning: Personal innovation in a fluid environment

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How might we enhance our experience of learning to accord with personal or professional strategy?

Can we strategically direct our learning individually and together to adapt and lead through a changing world?

June’s DwD was hosted by Donald Officer, delving into a shared inquiry and practices toward discovery of our personal lifetime learning potentials.  Strategic learning can be viewed as choosing what we specifically need to know and practice to reach goals and commitments, during a time when traditional practices of learning are themselves in the midst of change.

Learning practices have become diffused, breaking boundaries of media and form, and can be seen as chaotically disruptive. Universities have launched MOOCs of their top professor’s courses, diploma mills have gone online, and students become debt burdened in pursuit of formal educations that may be obsolete before program completion. Training, facilitating, coaching abound.

Each of us has the opportunity to remake ourselves in a serious powerful way while connecting with others to make massive significant change. To do this we have to realize something so obvious it’s as invisible as the air we breathe.

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The session further developed ideas in small group exercises and open reflective dialogue:

  • Recrafting personal mission statements to build transformative learning
  • Learning for them versus learning for you – no, it isn’t self indulgent
  • Ways we learn that schools won’t acknowledge and what to do about it.
  • Just in time, just in case and just because we feel like it
  • Necessity not curriculum is the mother of invention
  • Learning to think strategically (and save yourself from the planners)
  • Powerful media (new and old) tools we all can access
  • How to curate your own learning space

 

 

 

Informal like strategic learning is by nature non-linear. During the June DwD workshop we made some important connections while many more remained implicit. Don provides further context:

Microlearning Experiential learning and neuroscience: The neuroscience lies in the way we both construct new associations on the neural framework of existing linkages and also on the way the brain becomes more fully engaged via novelty, especially confronting potential threats. A little danger is a learning thing. The inner game: Timothy Gallwey’s approach to learning as evidenced in his inner game books, is to bring the routine into focus as though it were novel, since we never intentionally change what we do not take note of. Meaningful deliberate change starts with reflection and then proceeds to the rallying of motivation.

Metalearning Building a self: we touched on this only lightly and indirectly in the workshop. The simple definition of metalearning is learning how to learn which, presumably, leads to a helpful form of self knowledge. See also learning curation. At greater length we discussed surfing and diving, a fairly intuitive double metaphor to, on the one hand, approach information or data that requires little analysis before it presents its meaning versus delving deep into interpretation which on the other hand, demands murky speculation before it offers up meaningful results.

Learning curation did not really get discussed. This concept comprises everything from scrapbooks to blogs, always implying significantly more. It includes live links, all manner of graphic representation, wikis, webinars, contact lists, notes in any form or whatever else keys into learning touchstones that might in the manner of a museum diorama grow into an entire expanse or long thick thread of knowledge.

Informal learning model (diagram and discussion)- During the session we briefly examined an experiential learning diagram of David Kolb’s 4 point Concrete Experience through Active Experimentation model. Kolb’s representation resonates with neuro-scientific research shown below as is Julia Sloan’s dynamic 3 step Strategic Thinking model (Preparation, Experience and Re-evaluation). In the full version, arrows and the rectangle connect by multiple feedback loops while a series of curved arrows represents turbulence and resolution within the Experience phase. Both depict change models alluding to cognitive and affective challenges as well as conflicting mindsets or paradigms , but to be precise, both operate more from a learning perspective than from a general psychological framework.

 

Triangulation to assess informal or strategic learning – was suggested as a form of disconfirming heuristic. The idea is that without the more familiar landmarks of formal knowledge the informal learner might test a particular learning against intuitive, perceptual and reasoned benchmarks. These modes are not infallible even in concert of course, but might very well keep the learner focussed and oriented on the bigger picture until the landscape better defines itself.

 

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Part 2 in DwD Series on New Learning: Paths to Discovery

An evolving bibliography and references

  • Postmodern Education: Politics, Culture, & Social Criticism by Stanley Aronowitz and Henry A. Giroux; University of Minnesota Press; Minneapolis, 1991.
  • Informal Learning: Rediscovering the Natural Pathways that Inspire Innovation and Performance by Jay Cross; Pfeiffer (John Wiley &Sons); San Francisco, 2007.
  • The Inner Game of Work: Focus, Learning, Pleasure and Mobility in the Workplace by W. Timothy Gallwey; Random House; New York, 2000.
  • Learning to Think Strategically: Second Edition by Julia Sloan; Routledge; London and New York, 2014.
  • Infed – The website on Informal Education (highly recommended)

 

About the Host

Donald R. Officer has been a writer, planner, communicator, management consultant and educator for over three decades. Persistently seeking better ways to approach the fuvaluesture and how to live there, he has become a strong advocate for a major rethinking about our ideas on innovation. Don’s recent career as life coach has launched a serious innovative rethinking of his own life and the meaning of learning and professional practice, insights which he shares with DwD in this session.

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Don has written articles for newspapers, journals and magazines and edited policy papers, newsletters and on-line forums. He continues to review books and write articles on many social change topics, especially strategic thinking,for magazines and his blog, The Intention Coach.  Meanwhile he continues to toil away writing longer works on psychology and education. These are destined for wider publication.

Framing Four Perspectives on Mental Wellness

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DwD 11.13.13

Adapting a method we call an Innovation Town Hall, November’s Design with Dialogue explored the landscape of campus and community mental wellness, the innovation of responsive care, and the experience of health services. The session was organized as a collaboration with OCAD University’s Health and Wellness Centre as part of their service design to provide a positive, growthful experience with students and clients. Recent campus dialogues and news stories have contributed to deepening our understanding of the student experience of emotional and mental health in learning and dealing with stresses and growth. Partnering with the Wellness Centre in a community-focused DwD, students, faculty, and professionals joined to explore the experience and struggles of mental health and the enhancement of health services.

Several significant questions were introduced as starting points:

  • How can we move beyond the conventional views of mental health and learn from each other?
  • Are there innovations in community and social health that might enhance awareness and improve mental wellbeing?
  • What might we understand together to cultivate empathy and insight about the experience of emotional and mental health journeys?

A visual summary of the proceedings, live sketched by Patricia Kambitsch, illustrates the main issues that emerged from the dialogue:

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The Innovation Town Hall engaged the perspectives of four committed presenters who shared about their current, personal and professional issues in mental wellness and care:

  • Canadian society, Mark Henick
  • OCAD / Institutional, Andrea Yip
  • Psychological,  Jennifer Robinson
  • Student perspective, Alicia Raimundo

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 aliciaThe four speakers engaged in whole group dialogue, then moved to small groups based on their perspective, and developed contextual stories and health concepts co-created within each groups.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inquiries by each of the four perspective groups led to unpacking of concerns and issues, including the systemic drivers and experiences in each worldview. The Psychological group, for example, identified concerns and suggested remedies found later to be very well aligned with the student experience. The inclusion of peers and education of faculty and other campus employees were found to be significant opportunities for complementing clinical services with safe, trusted caring relationships in the immediate learning context.

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Group moderator Karen Oikonen presents the conclusions from  the Psychological group’s inquiry.

 

 

 

Session Hosts

Peter Jones
Peter is co-founder of Design with Dialogue and associate professor at OCAD University, in the Strategic Foresight and Innovation MDes program.

Andrea Yip

Andrea Yip, MPH is the Coordinator of Mental Health Initiatives at OCAD U and Ryerson University and is working to co-design a collaborative mental health strategy between both schools. Working along the intersections of art, social design and health promotion, Andrea is coordinates community-led initiatives that have human-centered impact. ayheadshot

Andrea is an advisor to the Canadian Commission for UNESCO and the Wellspring Centre for Innovation.  MentalHealthxDesign.com   AndreaLYip.com  Twitter: @andrealyip

Discovering Your “Why”

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Oct 9, 2013

Guest host Stephen Shedletzky led a full house for the October 2013 DwD.  The session convened on a simple and powerful idea:

Our “Why” is our cause, purpose or belief that guides our every thought, action and behaviour. All individuals have one Why, as do organizations. The challenge is that our Why is hard to discover and articulate on our own.”

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This session uncovered value in:

  • Helping discover our Whys
  • Teaching us how to lead the Why Discovery process so that we can help others find their Why
  • Creating a larger network of trusted friends who we can call with future issues
  • Providing a fresh perspective on what it means to be a leader

When we are in the right conditions, human beings are naturally trusting and cooperative. However, in the wrong conditions, we become cynical, paranoid and selfish. The best organizations, and the best leaders, create conditions in which we naturally work together and help each other. This session focused on what it takes to create a culture of leadership, cooperation, and trust in our lives, organizations, communities and families.

When we are clear on our Why, disciplined in How, we bring our Why to life and consistent with What we do, fulfillment is our result. These concepts are called the Golden Circle, which were discovered and made popular by thought leader and author Simon Sinek in his book Start With Why and his TED Talk, How great leaders inspire action.

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ABOUT THE HOST

Stephen Shedletzky believes in a world in which the vast majority of people are fulfilled by the work they do. He leads inspirAction.ca, and collaborates with Simon Sinek’s team at Start With Why—an organization that exists to inspire people to do the things that inspire them. Stephen engages leaders and organizations to discover and create their “Why”—their higher purpose that provides the clarity needed for fulfillment. He speaks, coaches, consults and creates content all with one purpose: to connect with people in meaningful ways. Stephen has received leadership and coaching training with the Richard Ivey School of Business and the Coaches Training Institute.

Exploring the Neuroscience of Peak Performance

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Bodies, Brains & Peak Performance in the Workplace

How do we reach a flow state and perform at our best?  How might we enhance self-awareness of our capacity to perform at peak?

Reaching peak performance at work is not just about having high-tech systems and efficient processes in place, but about how we engage with our bodies, brains, and their fluctuating states throughout the day.

The September DwD drew about 25 people to Theresa Cooke’s exploration of these questions with a group of designers, grad students, business leaders and professionals. She delved into some of the key factors in tuning our bodies and brains for peak performance based on recent findings from social psychology and neuroscience. With a combination of theory and interactive explorations, we learned how we perform in high-pressure situations, and how the brain’s strong response to social threat and reward affects our performance in common workplace situations.

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Sketchnotes by Patricia Kambitsch
  (Complete set on Slow Learning)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the Host

Theresa Cooke holds a doctorate in Neural & Behavioural Sciences from the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Germany, and a B.A.Sc. in Systems Design Engineering from the University of Waterloo. She currently works at Siemens Canada as Director of Strategy for the Energy Sector, and in her spare time, cultivates her interest in the connections between neuroscience, leadership and health.

tcooke In 2012, Theresa became a certified coach with the Coaches Training Institute and completed a 200 hour yoga teacher training at Downward Dog Yoga Studio in Toronto.