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A Thought-Piece: a Cursory Exploration of the Dichotomies inherent in Life & Living
The linkages to Fragmentation & Sympto...
Systems Theory * Systems Thinking * Systems Design * Design Approach * The Learning Organisation – Life-long Learning & Pe...
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This brings us to THE key issues which we seek to address: Fragmentation
...
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Defining, understanding & contextualising Wicked Problems and Social Comp...
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Through a process of synthesis – of making inter-connections – creating l...
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5 Disciplines or Approaches * theories/methods * for developing 3 core le...
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 Mental Models = deeply ingrained assumptions, generalisations, pictures...
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4. Building Shared Vision  This is about binding people together around ...
Personal & Communal Statement of Positioning, Purpose & Intent: Linked to Commitment to Action
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emergence * discovery *creation* organisational culture of generative dialogic
a developing conversation – seeding a cultu...
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“ passage or progress from one stage to another”
1. Life & living are the beginning of a journey of discovery, re-inventio...
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Thought piece about the dichotomies of life and living fragmentation systemic theory and personal mastery 4 march 2015

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A Thought-Piece: a Cursory Exploration of the Dichotomies inherent in Life & Living

The linkages to Fragmentation & Symptomatic ‘ Solutions”, Reductionism –

And

Systems Theory * Systems Thinking * Systems Design * The Design Approach
* The Learning Organisation and the Learning Society & the Learning Individual

And a Personal Journey towards Personal Mastery & Life-Long Learning
Linked to trying to balance out ' Having a Great day" and " Being Real and Authentic" - and life's journey -

Tools, methods and personal disciplines to find the elusive balance between all of the contradictions, tensions & dichotomies inherent in life, living & becoming a Co-Creator of Learning Societies - towards becoming a Life-Long Learner on a Journey of Personal Mastery

Published in: Self Improvement
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Thought piece about the dichotomies of life and living fragmentation systemic theory and personal mastery 4 march 2015

  1. 1. A Thought-Piece: a Cursory Exploration of the Dichotomies inherent in Life & Living The linkages to Fragmentation & Symptomatic ‘ Solutions”, Reductionism – And Systems Theory * Systems Thinking * Systems Design * The Design Approach * The Learning Organisation and the Learning Society & the Learning Individual And a Personal Journey towards Personal Mastery & Life-Long Learning Created & Published by: Amanda Brinkmann CEO & Management Consultant: Indigo Consulting & Associates © Amanda Brinkmann - Indigo Consulting
  2. 2. Systems Theory * Systems Thinking * Systems Design * Design Approach * The Learning Organisation – Life-long Learning & Personal Mastery ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. The departure point & indeed one of the core objectives of life’s journey, is to discover & embrace the tools & methods towards Within the context of Systems Theory as foundational methodological approach in use, so as to seek balance, create new UNDERSTANDING - the Design Approach – or Systemic Design – provides the most optimal & practical process & outcomes – to clarify Idealised Future & back-cast to Idealised Reality – which creates a Realistic Framework to apply Strategic Decision Modelling Processes as well as to attain constantly elevated & improved levels of Personal Mastery & Evolution of Consciousness and Mental Models – to understand & face our Mental Models, the mechanisms which create the patterns in our lives, which in turn conspire to create the observable outcomes & events of our life ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. Wicked Problems – inter-connected systems of problems – Social Messes – which is what we are dealing with from a Developmental Perspective, can generally not be solved. They are resilient to analytical – reductionist methodologies – and are best dealt with from a systemic, root-cause level – towards DISSOLUTION DISSOLVING = “ to change the nature and/or the environment of the entity in which the problem is embedded – the intent is to remove the problem at it roots. Problem DISSOLVERS idealise – rather than to satisfice or optimise as far as quick fix solutions go – the objective with dissolution is to change the system involved Or its environment, so as to move it closer to an ultimately, idealised, desired state. Dissolution at the systemic level – so that the problem cannot arise again. This is the basis of The Design Approach. The approach is based on synthetic thinking – synthesis – rather than analytical thinking – which is representative of the reductionist, fragmented approach to Attempts at solving problems. This is about finding dissolutions within the containing – embedded – nested – inter-connected whole ; rather than topical Solutions within the contained, separate parts. Ideally – how we should approach our own lives. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. The principle ORGANISATIONAL & Personal Mastery/Learning objectives of using the Design Approach, is DEVELOPMENT – rather than growth or survival. To DEVELOP = to increase the ability and desire to improve your own quality of life and that of others Growth and Development are viewed as not the same thing and as not necessarily having to be related. © Amanda Brinkmann - Indigo Consulting
  3. 3. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. This brings us to THE key issues which we seek to address: Fragmentation Our question: What are the root causes of Fragmentation? …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. einstein reminds us that : “ we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them” aristotle’s principle of non-contradiction & his theory of knowledge – the basis for human logic & reasoning 1. you cannot be a & NON-a at the same time 2. thus - to find the answer to a question OR the solution to a problem OR to be seen to reason logically 3. one constantly divides something between a & non-a – x & non-x = a process of near infinite reduction 4. leading to a system with large distinctions in knowledge – divisions into areas of specialisation - siloes 5. fragmentation * horisontal & vertical hierarchical structures & systems * only the parts visible 6. parts cannot ‘ speak ‘ to one another = no common, inter-connected language to create wholeness ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 7. the enemy of progress * perpetuating diseases of hierarchy * problem wickedness escalates Outcomes & Consequences  Any strategy or plan can only be expressed as a mirror-image of the system within which it exists  There has therefore been no way of designing & crafting integrated, systemic & inter-connected strategies – and by inference – this has kept implementation in a state of fragmentation – with no way of understanding how the performance of one part of the system may negatively impact on the system as a whole  To create WHOLENESS in our own lives, there’s a need to find inter-connections & a rich picture of reality © Amanda Brinkmann - Indigo Consulting Systems Theory * Systems Thinking * Systems Design * Design Approach * The Learning Organisation – Life-long Learning & Personal Mastery
  4. 4. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. Defining, understanding & contextualising Wicked Problems and Social Complexity In context of their role as being primary under-lying causes of Barriers to Collaboration – and of perpetuating Fragmentation Wicked Problems are essentially Social Messes – a system of inter-related dilemmas, issues & problems which are situated within and at multiple levels of society – inter-connected and brought forth by systems within systems. Because of the sheer scale of their complexity-Wicked Problems are viewed as intractable – too overwhelming to attempt to deal with or solve. We deal with this reality EVERY day of being alive – yet – do we introspect & try to identify the root causes? Social Complexity = the sheer numbers and diversity inherent in life, increase in Wicked Problems. Under the prevailing paradigm – the more stakeholders & role players involved, the higher the probability that because of the individual stake in specific outcomes, finding solutions – or even getting as far as ‘ Defining the Mess’ – what the problem actually is and where it stems from – is sabotaged. We have to start by Mess Mapping to define “ The Mess’ in our own lives. Social Complexity creates tension, the inter-play of conflicting dynamics escalate the sense & experience of chaos. Fragmentation – different disciplines, specialised language, cultural differences – all conspire to making it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to achieve a state of shared meaning & context, In RSA – this inability to enter into generative dialogic & to experience life mainly at the Events level, is perpetuating a negative discourse & siloes. Members of teams represent their respective management chain of hierarchy – or their divisional, sectoral, departmental – chain of hierarchy - thereby remaining in a perpetual state of polarity & fragmentation. As individuals, our own perspectives tend to become our ‘ Truth’ = stops us from generative & learningful engagement, sharing of diverse, yet very similar narratives with one another = perpetuates & escalated Wicked Problems. Dynamic Complexity = where cause and effect are subtle and where the effects of interventions are not obvious, over time – The level of detail of the sheer scale of complexity is directly attributable to the increasingly unmanageable volumes of information – more than anyone can absorb – fostering greater interdependencies than anyone can manage – accelerating change at a rate at which the human capacity to keep pace has been exceeded Within the Systems Archetypes , problem wickedness is perpetuated by the use of Archetype 2: Shifting the Burden: - The under-lying problem – root cause, systemically generated – generates symptoms that demand attention, but that are difficult to address because they may be obscure of costly to confront – The burden of the problem is shifted to other ‘well-intentioned’, easy fixes – topical, symptomatic solutions – These easy fixes only ameliorate the symptoms, but leave the under-lying, systemic problem unaltered – which has the effect of worsening the nature, complexity & outcomes of the original problem. To move ourselves closer to reality, to be part of sustained change & of creating unity – we have to turn our mirror inward. Symptomatic solutions increase dependency – and via the system’s reinforcing loop, additional side-effects of the symptomatic solutions are generated – in Health Care – taking a curative approach – prescribing medicine – rather than dealing with lifestyle changes = an escalation of problem wickedness – for which the Health Care system & Society have paid an enormous price. Therefore the plea to understand & use a SYSTEMIC approach to create a real rich picture of reality ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. © Amanda Brinkmann - Indigo Consulting Systems Theory * Systems Thinking * Systems Design * Design Approach * The Learning Organisation – Life-long Learning & Personal Mastery
  5. 5. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. Through a process of synthesis – of making inter-connections – creating linkages – and allowing ‘the logic’ to emerge organically We contemplate the Surfacing meaningful ConstantlyMoving through a process of Bringing everything together as Allowing drawing of Through synthesis moving to This aspect of creating an Integrated – inter-connected View of the South African Developmental Landscape & of that which UNITES us – sweeping in of multiple perspectives - - has the following purpose - moving away from reductionism, hierarchies, siloed thinking & doing = designing [ PERSONAL & INTER-PERSONAL] systems, strategies & implementation plans to deal with fragmentation fragmentation – social & societal fragmentation – internal fragmented conceptions of reality - ict’s fragmentation – sectoral Fragmentation – developmental fragmentation = The PRIMARY Barriers to Collaboration & Progress From the whole-person – whole-of-society – over-arching - macro-developmental perspective & vantage point We need to ACTIVELY explore the alternative methodologies – and link those to the Strategies & Approaches put in place by Government – to give effect to the shift to Whole-Person Wellness outcomes  what are the alternatives to a fragmented system ?  what are the alternative approaches which would dissolve Fragmentation?  will the alternative approaches, plans, methodologies & strategies help us achieve our goals? ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. © Amanda Brinkmann - Indigo Consulting Systems Theory * Systems Thinking * Systems Design * Design Approach * The Learning Organisation – Life-long Learning & Personal Mastery More importantly – we need to constantly seek our own alternatives – to find inter-connections – to understand how we each impact on the outcomes of the WHOLE system of life, living and development
  6. 6. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 5 Disciplines or Approaches * theories/methods * for developing 3 core learning capabilities 1. Systems Thinking  Things appear to be distant in time & space, yet are all connected within the same pattern[s]  Weather/Storms/Human Development/Health Care systems are tangible, observable examples of these connections  Each ‘thing’ has an influence on the rest – this influence is mostly hidden from plain view – difficult to perceive and observe  Systems Thinking provides a Conceptual Framework – a body of knowledge & practical tools – so that we can make the full patterns evident & clear + to help us to see how we can change patterns of behaviours, outcomes & challenges effectively  To be [become] committed to one’s personal journey of life-long learning2. Personal Mastery  This becomes a discipline * of continually clarifying and deepening one’s personal vision – of mastering the art of focusing one’s energies & resources on what matters & on what creates meaning & value in work and life The practice & discipline of Personal Mastery become the Spiritual Foundation of The Learning Organisation & Human/Individual  Mental Models = deeply ingrained assumptions, generalisations, pictures & images that influence how we understand the world & our own world  To develop patience  Constantly seeking signposts & sensing current & actual reality – viewing it objectively & with realism  From clarification of personal vision & meaning – flows the foundation upon which individuals – teams – leaders – organisations- are enabled to clarify what really matters to them – a process which leads to the ability & motivation to “ live our lives in the service of our highest aspirations” = meaningful work 3. Mental Models Linked to Mental Model Theory – the Ladder of Inference ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. © Amanda Brinkmann - Indigo Consulting Systems Theory * Systems Thinking * Systems Design * Design Approach * The Learning Organisation – Life-long Learning & Personal Mastery
  7. 7. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….  Mental Models = deeply ingrained assumptions, generalisations, pictures & images that influence how we take action  We are mostly unaware of our own mental models  By turning the mirror inwards – we seek to unearth our internal constructs &  Our internal pictures of the world – surface them & hold them to rigorous scrutiny = challenging static thinking & limiting beliefs  Through this gradual process & discipline = we enter into learningful conversations = generative dialogic practice = learning to balance advocacy – our point of view – with inquiry – being inquisitive & curious about the views of others Which catalyses Via an organisational & PERSONAL - Individual Culture & discipline of and Towards co-creating & surfacing useful Creating the trusting & enabling Organisational & systemic environment of constant, collaborative ………….…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. Leveraging the evolution of personal consciousness – its Internal, collective intelligence towards a culture Of Constant improvement, innovation & thought leadership Leveraging our thought leadership, openness to dialogue & Change - Practices, insights & outcomes – to catalyse a Social and Societal, Collaborative dialogue to produce a real commitment to act ………….…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. Moving ourselves & our Country FORWARD © Amanda Brinkmann - Indigo Consulting Systems Theory * Systems Thinking * Systems Design * Design Approach * The Learning Organisation – Life-long Learning & Personal Mastery
  8. 8. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 4. Building Shared Vision  This is about binding people together around a common identity & sense of collective destiny  Entering into a process which unearths a ‘shared picture of the future’  A vision cannot be dictated or forced upon people We have to deal with the pitfalls & opportunities inherent in how to best build a shared vision - as part of this emergent process To clarify our own new unified vision + to leverage our stature & thought-market leadership to facilitate the process of creating a SOCIETAL shared vision & commitment to collaborative action Mental Model Theory Principles of The Learning Organisation Which are in turn, linked to & inter-connected with 5. Team Learning  Which starts with Dialogic Practice  Developing the capacity to suspend all assumptions  To actively work towards the authentic discipline of “ Thinking Together”  To embrace Mental Model Theory of Practice & Dialogic – to go beyond the Events level, to the level where patterns emerge = developing a trusting, respectful & generative environment where the patterns that undermine learning are surfaced & dealt with  These 5 disciplines – theories & methods – conspire to foster & develop 3 core Learning Capabilities in Organisations & Personal Systems of Co-Learning : - #1 Fostering Aspiration #2 Actively developing Reflective Conversations # 3 The capacity & capabilities to understand Complexity Teams & Systems of Teams/Communities of Learning are fundamental learning units = need one another to produce mutually beneficial outcomes ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. …………………………………………………………………. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. © Amanda Brinkmann - Indigo Consulting Systems Theory * Systems Thinking * Systems Design * Design Approach * The Learning Organisation – Life-long Learning & Personal Mastery
  9. 9. Personal & Communal Statement of Positioning, Purpose & Intent: Linked to Commitment to Action ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. Glimpses into Key Differentiators in Organisational Design – Culture – Personal Learning & Balance ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………  A place where we are all continually discovering how we create our individual & societal reality  Understanding how we each contribute, influence & impact on creating meaningful & relevant change & adaptation  Knowing & embracing that real learning gets to the heart of what it means to be human =  through learning, we re-create ourselves & that we are therefore each an integral, inter-connected part of the  generative process of life – the whole is larger than the sum of the parts Creating the conditions & enabling environment to gradually transition & transform into “ The Learning Organisation” or Learning Individual – evolving personal vision, consciousness, scopes of practice & co-creating a balanced Life and Society  Enter into an organisational & societal generative dialogic towards enabling collective intelligence to emerge-with the intent of producing insights & a collective commitment to act – to implement – to achieve  Suspending any & all assumptions – which enables true innovation – based on respect for differences & diversity – and encourages the discipline & practice of constantly sweeping in multiple perspectives  Every aspect, facet, process, insight, understanding & conclusion reached, has purpose, meaning & translates into relevance & usefulness – if not in the now – then as catalyst for deeper insights & understanding, leading to future innovation & actions  A departure point – a beginning – a model & framework for interaction, for engagement – a living, organic & emergent journey  Involving all of the parts of the system – breaking through functional ramparts, hierarchical structures & siloes – bringing ‘ specialists’ & ‘experts’ together – to develop, over time, a new & mutually understandable ‘ language’ of holism  Leading to a process of constant learning, improvement – towards balancing out life’s contradictions, tensions, dichotomies – co-creating a semblance of moments of EQUILIBRIUM in life & Living …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… © Amanda Brinkmann - Indigo Consulting
  10. 10. emergence * discovery *creation* organisational culture of generative dialogic a developing conversation – seeding a culture of generative dialogic towards finding a shared vision  We accept the fact that a great many organisational, societal & personal visions are often illusions – if not delusions  We therefore interrogate our idealised social & societal design – the inter-connected ecosystem – the vision – the values – the purpose - to ensure that it is & remains operationally meaningful – in this instance – given the multiple stakeholders, role players, partners –  whether what we propose for implementation would be operationally meaningful – if all stakeholders could have any organisation or system – without the imposition of any limitations or constraints  We take the time to find “ the delta” or “ new basins of stability” – which is where we bring together & synthesise mutual principles,  philosophies, objectives & outcomes – as foundation to a shared vision & methods for action moving from the prevalent systems & organisational & Personal socialised culture of organisational & personal systems design & adaptation within DNA – our lived, inter-connected experience of & Contribution to shaping life’s Trajectory, balance & development ………….. ….. © Amanda Brinkmann - Indigo Consulting
  11. 11. ……………......................................................................................................................................................... ……………......................................................................................................................................................... I find myself pondering the plethora of contradictions, tensions, dichotomies inherent in just being alive, living – and doing my level best to live in meaningful * purposeful * generative * humane * co-creative and mostly AUTHENTIC way = being REAL The whole thought process really started with a form of ‘ decision’ to try and post a “Good Morning – Have a great Day” type of message in every day.  That sent my mind into wondering about how we each define our OWN good or great day – AND – how my “noble” idea & conception, related to mindfulness & inspiring a positive attitude to life & living – finds alignment with the notion of “being real”, accepting that life is often difficult, filled with darkness & immense pressures & stress –  We are all so over-loaded with information, multiple priorities, attempting to find that elusive “ Equilibrium – Balanced” way of being – and we have a penchant for hiding our real feelings from the World – thinking that we can’t possibly “ let the side down” and be perceived as a negative force  So – we all end up creating the FAÇADE of a near perfect, happy life – whilst doing one another a HUGE disservice – which perpetuates this cycle of all of feeling ‘ not good enough’ – ‘ having to try harder’ – ‘ falling SO short”…………….........................................................................................................................................................  Life IS a series of inter-connected contradictions & tensions – it’s okay to HOPE for that ‘ great day”  We’re all here to do our best with what we have at hand, at any given moment-so let’s actively “ BE REAL”- acknowledge the good, admit to the crap – share the burdens & loads along with the lightness of being SO: - BUT: it’s OKAY that © Amanda Brinkmann – Pages in the Story of my 2015 Life & Living© Amanda Brinkmann - Indigo Consulting
  12. 12. “ passage or progress from one stage to another” 1. Life & living are the beginning of a journey of discovery, re-invention, improvement – for action defined as: therefore – the invitation to each one of us, is to suspend all of our assumptions – to open & free our minds – to be receptive to the flow of the journey – to discover – to learn – to innovate – to co-create  Normally – a journey is NOT embarked on just for the sake of it – it needs to be planned & it HAS to have a clear purpose.  Life’s journey is a tad different – especially for the evolved soul. There IS PURPOSE – generally it’s about openness & a quest to learn, to create new knowledge, understanding & insights. We are constantly assimilating new experiences, open ourselves up to discoveries – BUT – we cannot have an end Destination – which is planned and cast in stone – it really IS about the journey & NOT the destination ……………......................................................................................................................................................... ……………......................................................................................................................................................... ……………......................................................................................................................................................... disciplines “ discipline = to learn : a developmental path to acquire certain skills and competencies – ergo – to practice a discipline is to be a life-long learner – spending a life in the pursuit of mastering disciplines” Throughout our journey – in every NOW – which IS ALL we ever have – we acquire and are exposed to new …………….................................................................................................................... So – my dearest Gerry – we’ve plotted our course. Not so much about WHERE we’re going – because we KNOW that by trusting the flow, our end destination will determine & show itself – through emergence. We know – that in EVERY NOW – in moment-to-moment awareness & mindfulness – we’ll continue discovering, expand our horizons –” The beginning is the end and the end is the beginning” [© Amanda] © Amanda Brinkmann - Indigo Consulting

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