The RDA Blog

News and musings around organisational change.

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

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