The RDA Blog

News and musings around organisational change.

Applying Systems-Centered® Theory and Methods in Organisations

Rowena Davis - Sunday, October 14, 2018

Applying Systems-Centered®
Theory and Methods in Organisations

Systems-Centered Training offers an innovative and effective approach to change at the individual, team and whole system levels. Uniquely, SCT is a theory-based approach to organisational change which also has associated techniques for effective intervention. It offers a map to make sense of organisational life as well as ways to influence our working contexts to make them more of the kind of systems in which we want to live.


We will learn SCT theory and methods and apply them to our here-and-now experience and in participants’ work contexts. This is a living experiment in using both structure and emergence to guide our work and to build a fun and stimulating learning system.


Three two-day sessions:
24 & 25 January, 25 & 26 April,
7 & 8 November 2019



SCT Applications Map
Click to view full size version


The trainings will be led by Rowena Davis and Mike Maher, both experienced Licensed SCT Practitioners with experience of working within organisations and consulting to them.


The Early Bird fee for the six days is £920 + 20% VAT for SCTRI members and £980 + 20% VAT for non-members if you register by 7 December 2018.
After 7 December 2018, the fee is £990 + 20% VAT for SCTRI members and £1,050 + 20% VAT for non-members. The fee is payable upfront and non-refundable if you miss individual sessions.


  Register online now

  For more information email  |

  SCT® and Systems-Centered® are registered trademarks of the
Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute Inc., a non-profit organisation.

SAVI® Introductory Workshop 2019

Rowena Davis - Monday, October 08, 2018

SAVI® - System for Analyzing Verbal Interaction

Introductory Workshop 31 January & 1 February 2019 London


Come & learn the nuts & bolts of SAVI & practise having more productive & satisfying conversations

SAVI is a practical, theory-based tool created by Agazarian & Simon for diagnosing & having more productive & satisfying conversations at work & in our personal lives.

In this two day Introductory Workshop, facilitated by certified SAVI trainer and experienced organisational consultant Rowena Davis, we will:

  • Explore through the SAVI lens why some conversations flow & others get stuck
  • Discover ways to reduce ‘noise’ so more information gets heard & problems are solved more easily
  • Try out new verbal behaviours to build our teams, groups, relationships & organisations
  • Aim to have fun co-creating an exploratory, collaborative learning climate

Comments from participants in previous workshops:

‘Astounded how just changing the verbal behaviours shifted my view of the people in my team to more open & curious’

‘Good tempo; meaningful exercises using our own examples; good theoretical lecture at start & all the way through’


Self-Employed / Voluntary / Public Sectors up to 7 December 2018: £395 + 20% VAT, after 7 December 2018: £425 + 20% VAT;
up to 7 December 2018: £495 + 20% VAT, after 7 December 2018: £525 + 20% VAT


Thursday 31 January 2019: 08.45 – 17.30; Friday 1 February: 09.00 – 17.15

Location: London

Registration: please register online here

SAVI® is a registered trademark of of Claudia Byram & Frances Carter.

Working with Unpredictability in Organisations

Rowena Davis - Monday, September 18, 2017

Click to view SAVI® Grid full size
Working with Unpredictability in Organisations
A One-Day Workshop London, 20 October 2017

For full event details download this flyer

Creating conditions so that all voices can be heard

Rowena Davis - Saturday, March 16, 2013
Opening up to differences

I’ve been using Systems-Centered® Theory (SCT) (Agazarian 1997) and complexity theory (Stacey 2000) as my main maps to make sense of how we co-create dynamics in human systems and how change happens. Both approaches acknowledge the emergent (and often unpredictable) nature of human interaction. Potentially novel solutions emerge at what Stacey calls ‘the Edge of Chaos’ and which Agazarian calls ‘the Edge of the Unknown’, if (and it is a big if) we can listen to our differences and explore the information they contain. 

What is it about differences?
‘Living human systems survive, develop and transform by discriminating and integrating differences.’
(Agazarian 1997)

Many approaches, from genetics to encouraging innovation and development, recognise the importance of difference. Difference is central in Systems-Centered theory, which posits that we need differences to develop and transform even though, on the whole, we hate them! Read more in this article

Similarities first

Rowena Davis - Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Functional subgrouping The Systems-Centered method for working with differences 

The importance of difference

Rowena Davis - Tuesday, September 18, 2012

How we need differences and how hard it can be to work with them. A great video from Margaret Hefferman on what helps and the benefits of persisting. 

Task and Process in meetings

Rowena Davis - Sunday, June 24, 2012

Blake and Mouton's Leadership styles highlights the importance of a balance when looking for collaborative, engaged work groups to pay attention to both these elements. 

Coaching - a skill, not just an add-on

Rowena Davis - Tuesday, July 05, 2011
Running a workshop recently brought home how much practice becoming an effective coach takes.

The participants worked in triads each taking turns at being the coach, the client and the observer. The coach sometimes found it hard to keep on task and only focussed at the feeling level. Other times they drove through the task and ignored their own or the client's gut level experience. Often they steered the client, rather than asking open questions or offering choices and letting the client discover their answer.

This brought home what a tough job it is for people in organisations to become coaches without sufficient support or coaching themselves 

Welcome to the RDA Blog

Rowena Davis - Sunday, June 12, 2011
RDA helps clients work with both the planned and the unplanned sides of organisational life. We work in an open, collaborative way. We pool our own and our clients' analytical thinking and intuitive common sense

. We find practical, creative solutions people can work with.

 We intend to use this blog to communicate with clients, associates and interested parties our take on recent hot topics affecting our field.

Comments will always be welcome but, understandably, moderated - so please be patient - we will review your responses as soon as possible, so do check back.