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PatternDynamics™ Create Systems that Thrive Podcast

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Cutting edge insights into systems thinking, wiser decision making, and how the principles of nature can help us solve the more complex challenges required to create 21st Century communities and organisations.

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Cutting edge insights into systems thinking, wiser decision making, and how the principles of nature can help us solve the more complex challenges required to create 21st Century communities and organisations.

Cover image of PatternDynamics™ Create Systems that Thrive Podcast

PatternDynamics™ Create Systems that Thrive Podcast

Latest release on Jul 26, 2016

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Rank #1: Aspects of Exchange In Organisational Life

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In this post members of the PatternDynamics Community of Practice discuss aspects of the Exchange Pattern and how these principles help us think more deeply about business processes, value creation, and talent management that optimise everyone’s capacity to learn and grow in the workplace. This wide ranging discussion touches on how thinking more clearly about diversity, generativity, education,  and the concept of the Baroque can play a role in helping create thriving organisations.

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Topics Discussed:

3:57 to 6:40 Tim’s Introduction
6:41 to 16:09 Process Pattern
16:10 to 20:32 Source Pattern
20:31 to 25:35 The Trade Pattern
25:36 to 34:33 Organisational Diversity and the Uniqueness Pattern
34:34 to 41:14 Diversity, Specialisation, Generalists and Talent Development

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What Kamya did about special complex; it’s a good example though if we just step back there for a sec because when there’s lots of stuff units and there’s lots of relationships between them you can’t know. You can’t predict anything. Anyone who says they can is mistaken. I mean as far as we know, no one has reliably able to predict the future of complex adaptive system.
More than three variables in fact – it’s called the three body problem in physics, it means that it’s almost impossible to predict too far in the future on what’s going to happen. Probability works but the terministic outcomes those are thing of the past sometimes it helps physics consider how the world works. That has to do with complexity. Let’s get back over to process then Ben Sconnish. If I do that, do you see the workbook? Or do you still see the matrix chart?

BEN & Kamya: Matrix chart.

TIM: Ok let me try something here, still learning to drive apparently.
Ok, so if we look at the process pattern, the diagram itself helps express; it’s really a sequence. Process pattern represents a linear stage by stage development through a sequence of steps. It illustrates the development of value through stages where an element is added to and transformed at each step. The amount of steps has been pointed out must be balanced with the amount of value being created and its goal is to create a value through sequential development.
So that’s interesting. There’s this aggregation that happens at each step, there’s some kind of value transformation but there’s also a building value. I think the question is: Is there any point in having a process or a step in a process if it doesn’t add value? And that idea of adding value is a very, very interesting question. What exactly does that mean?
You know it’s worth spending a bit of time talking about this concept of value in the exchange patterns because their almost all about how you build “value”. Or however we might conceive of that but I think we should conceive of this in an exquisite way and we should talk about the meaning of that signifier.
So Ben, can you just give us a bit more insight into your world about process.

BEN: ‘yea well, I guess I was going to go beyond just the idea of how we model these steps in the computer as instructive . The other thing is that you work in businesses of any sides or government they say this too, they have business processes as well.

TIM: of course

BEN: And I think we probably all had experience of some probably pretty ordinary business processes, and I guess that will often come up; people will say this a terrible process and what do they mean by that? And I think that it’s often that is the case that there’s too many steps? Or it’s figurely? Or repetitive? Or something like that. I guess that if maybe we try to get much of an example of a good process, I guess if I could just try to run one by the group at the moment we’ll see if it fits by the number of steps fits. Yes? So it become popular these days the organizations lure an on boarding, off boarding process. Are you all familiar with that? A new hired staff never turns up and from day one they need to be registered in their email system, they need to get in their payroll system, they need to get a desk, and they need to get access to the building. All that kind of stuff they need to prove their qualifications within the learning management group. So, there’s a quite a sense of quite of complex process that could go on there. I guess my experience with that when I see it done well the number of steps was kind of irrelevant if they were pleasure to use and work reliably, that’s my sort of a little bit attention with the definition there.
And just a concrete example I can give you; this is from 1980’s, there was an off boarding process where I work that was really just so thorough that from the time that that person actually finished on their last day. All their computer accounts had been disabled all that cards just stopped working. basically, just felt like a bullet proof process and the value that they added is that sometimes people would lead in bad circumstances and have the potential to press do some damage to the organization if they left on bad terms. So, that was some of the value of same of having automated, well in fact there are a lot of steps there. The point is that they will automate it in a pleasure to use. So that explains a little bit of my verbal kind of tension I have bit of definition?

TIM: ‘yea, it does for me. The major variable here or the major polarity that we talked about in PatternDynamics with regard to each pattern might be the number of steps in relation to the creation of value that you know; a lot of steps versus the little steps might not be the main polarity at work. It might be how effective each step is. Is that what you’re saying?

BEN: ‘yea, exactly and how the train of events goes through very well recognized states. And maybe I’d even look at it as being in terms of getting that state changed to be complete or for that to be done with little input effort as possible. May be something like that. And I guess this is because this is so close to m y heart probably got a bit of a weird focus on it because I guess I’m a process –oriented guy and I worked in organizations that seem to me to have a lot of really inefficient and can be some processes. It can be more than just the steps to it for me. It’s a specific problem I had is its in completing the steps even if the work that you actually got to do is boring or repetitive or mind numbing in some way people intend to not do it. Well to me a really good process is one that is kind of a pleasure to use.
I’m not sure if I come on up to your normal at nub young through their timid definition major, minor an example and so forth. I think I’m somewhere close.

TIM: I think this is interesting because of the chart position between how do you process and how PatternDynamics process. So, Kamya do you have a comment?

Kamya: Yea, I just wanted to, remember one of the Melbourne Level 2s we did; around process that one of the discussions was about the value adding the value in each step. I made this little notes because I remember one of the, if anybody can see them, I’m holding them up to the camera. It is about putting each of the things: so you start with the circle and then the circle is in a triangle because you’re adding a depth or value — so you’re taking along with you. And I think one of the things about that diagram we talked about was that maybe it looked too much like it was transforming into something else and it wasn’t acknowledging the thing that came before in a kind of almost iterative way. Anyway, I just wanted to share that. I don’t know if anyone feels that about the diagram but I think there is for me something around process that is about adding value from one step to the next step, taking each step along with you.

STEVEN: I like what you just did Kam, and I’m just saying you know and it’s transcend and include. So perfect example and I love the way you diagramed that.

TIM: So were starting to interpret, were starting to bring meaning to the symbols — that is the signifier: the symbols. We’re starting to craft what were signifying and that’s just the important part.
Brent?

BRENT: Kamya I really like what you did there. I written it into my book as well. To me, it’s about getting to attend to your question: What is value in this context and what do we mean by value in patterns? Over all I’m thinking about conversation I think you and I Tim had at some point about generativity.

TIM: –yea, read my mind. Go ahead.

BRENT: The system is to become more valuable, what that means in this context (PD context) is that it becomes more generative. It generates other systems and it generates more complexity. And its ability to create more complexity is that it’s increasing value for me. I’m curious about your thoughts about that.

TIM: –yea so, this goes right to the heart of what PatternDynamics is about and what source actually means. And I’m going to put up a copy of the Holarchy Chart here. Just give me a moment because I think this will better illustrate. So, if we look at the Holarchy Chart this is a different perspective on the PatternDynamics system, and part of that perspective is that source is in the middle and source has this meaning of the origin and evolution of a system, something that exists and it’s a bunch of parts that have things that they do and they’re in some kind of dynamic relationship. There’s a why question. Why are they in some kind of dynamic relationship? The why has to do with this idea of generativity. And now I think we can see the whole chart. So implicit in the PatternDynamics system is that there’s something going on, there’s something rather than nothing. The universe is configured to hold value or to be generative that is to put things to continue to exist and not only continue to exist in their static form but to actually have processes. So where there’s an aggregation of value in each step, there’s a bunch o f states that are transcended and included and that something happens and this something that happens this generativity or this creation of value is really interesting. It really goes back to the cosmology that we talked about last time, the view within PatternDynamics of being related to sort of energetic singularity that is expansion from nothing that allows everything to manifest and continue to unfold in levels of hierarchy of multiple complexities. It’s sort of energetic, and I explain that energy is a curious automotive status it’s neither fully material nor fully kind of alive you might say, subject-object sort of idealist materials split and how that relates to exchange. You notice that if we go back to the Holarchy or the Matrix chart, the trade is right in the middle of the chart; it’s smacked in the middle and the whole thing turns around in fact. If we look at the second order pattern and you look at the matrix.

STEVEN: Excuse me ben? Could you turn off your mic, there you go, thank you.

TIM: Ok can you all hear me reasonably clearly?
You’ll notice the trade is right in the middle, because PatternDynamics is a systems thinking view, so everything is viewed as a system. A mostly physical thing or a mostly kind of a non-physical thing let’s say. Trade is at the part of it because any system is a bunch of unique parts that come in to some kind of relationship and those relationships are all about exchange; they’re all about trading one thing for another. And in systems with many different sub components, they all do different things and they all enter to an exchange and the reason is because “that gives you a generative advantage over competitors.” If you want to exists in a universe you have to hold your flow, you have to hold your place in the flow stream of energy, and in the case of life on earth, it’s the flow is either the heat of the earth or the energy from the sun. And incidentally, it’s about a 50/50 split in terms of the gross amount of energy that’s available to us at the surface of the earth. But half of it comes from the heat of the earth itself and its called core and about half comes from the sun. Both those things drive life possesses. There’s a deep ocean vent where there’s life that form, grew and evolve as far as we know on the energy of the core of the earth coming up to those volcanic vents and then there’s lots of life on the surface of the earth which evolved into mostly predicated on the energy of the sun. Both of those came from the cosmic source, you know some sun that blew up and created high elements which was in fact condensate out of a gas cloud which was a feature of the energetic expansion called the Big Bang.
Everything kind of work its way back and you can ask yourself a question about value or generativity. That question is: ok well, for instance, why do I want a job? I want a job so I can make money. I don’t really want a job but I do need to make some money. Why do I need to make money? Because it makes me happy. Why does it make you happy? Because I have a place to live. Why is that important? Well, if I don’t have a place to live, I’m outside. And so what? Well if I’m outside I might be cold or die at exposure. Okay, then were getting back to existing. If you ask yourself the question enough why, why am I doing this? Why is this important? Why is this valuable to me? Almost always you’ll come back in the series of questioning to the question of existence. In the PatternDynamics view, being this kind of energetic semi kind of view is that the conversations, where the exchanges that would take place in the universe and this is a general pattern are all based on the idea of existence that is you need to be in conversation cause it need to be in a system to have the productive capacity to hold your energy flow in order to exist. Because if you don’t then you’re very likely to be out competed then your parts will broke down and you will substrates but you won’t exist in time. So this trade being in the middle of the chart is really, and if you can see above exchange as a productivity function and if you read the definition of exchange its very much aligned with how systems become productive, a bunch unique specialists in relational exchange that gives that system a productive advantage over a bunch of generalists for instance.
The very formation of life on earth and the advent of the evolution of the caryote itself, this is more advanced than just a simple cell. It’s actually an assembly of bunch of a different bacteria and a bunch of different elements that create quite complex cell and there’s relational exchanges between the elements of that cell, the nucleus does those job, the core passes through the job the cell membrane does the job the micro tubules do a job. All of those elements are in some kind of relational exchange so that those kinds of cells would have an advantage were in fact when those cells get together and they do different jobs within an organism which allows organism to exist but if we’re really looking at exchange, I think it’s about productivity, it’s about the ability to create value and be generative and therefore to hold the knish.
Do you have any comments about that? Even in terms of organizational life or ecological? Aiden?

AIDEN: Hi, so sorry I disappeared, my connection completely dropped out it seems to have restored itself now. So sorry about that, I wasn’t just disappearing. I just wanted to share just a little story, was recently doing work with a client one of Australia’s largest banks, the topic of diversity and we were actually working with the head of leadership in talent she was initiating a big project on diversity within the organization and I talked to her a little bit about why diversity was important and what kind of diversity that we’ll prioritize and as it happened we really focused on gender diversity. You know which of course a critical topic but its only one of many ways to think about diversity. I was asking them why it is important for them to have under this work force, both in the leadership team but also in staff. It never been cleared why there’s almost a thought like kind of a tick the box exercise, not really entirely short reasoning was having diversity until she twist the talking little bit about systems principles on how a systems become complex that the system actually relies upon greater specialization in the system to perform specialize functions but because you have great specializations you actually require more diversity. So, complex systems like organizations actually necessitate things like diversity in order for a complex system to run and I think that having this kind of perspective really help them to shift their views around either the necessity of a work force and it became more than just gender diversity to actually being about diverse perspectives that they require within the organization to support the outcomes of businesses.

TIM: –yea, and what’s really interesting for me about that Aiden is that you did what I call the subject-object move. So, what was something that was subjectively important to them? Was emotionally important probably, intellectual important, it was probably cultural important? Was that a fair assessment? Yea, ok.
That’s often how these assertions come up people will assert that diversity is a good idea but then it’s really useful to make object the principle behind that assertion. What I was saying is that there’s a tactic here that we should put on place a very specific thing we can do. Lets treat male- female gender diversity by doing this strategy. Tactic A, then I think it’s really useful to be able go on what’s the principle behind that? Because that makes it an object and when you’re operating on a principle it’s much different than you’re operating than perhaps talking about a tactic. But I’m interested in hearing more from you about why your client found it useful to be able think about or make objects or lead it to make object the principle behind it and explain it.

AIDEN: Yea, I mean I think there were two things. One was they were clear about they had a much stronger rationale for why focusing on diversity was actually important strategic priority rather just being told by the CEO to focus on it they actually had a clear rationale from a systems perspective around diversity actually fostered the effectiveness of the organization, I think that’s one thing. Secondly, I really have to broaden their perspective around what kind of diversity they were looking for? Not just how many men? How many women? But actually whole bunch of different diverse ranges of individuals, different perspectives, and different ways of working which felt far more integrative than just focusing on gender as an isolated issue.

TIM: That’s very interesting. I found this in the sustainability world as well, that because society is not used to or were not used to necessarily thinking about the principles of how whole systems work. We tend to default to tactics that you’ve seen work somewhere else or to would I refer to as cultural norms. In certain cultures it becomes normal and normative to value male-female gender diversity where in fact there are other cultures where the exact opposite is true. They value only, for instance the masculine perspective and this is called patriarchy it’s well on the stiff. But certain cultural groups nearly resonate with these patterns — the hierarchy pattern, with no uniqueness. So they value uniformed masculine views, they’re not interested in diversity and it’s a cultural norm; when you go to other organizations and they value diversity specifically but particularly gender diversity or race diversity but in both cases the principle the higher principle that give you a better rationale for adopting one or the other of those strategies doesn’t seem to be as pronounced, like I said I think that’s a feature in fact that just don’t have a history and a tradition of this holistic understandings while working with the principles of how whole systems work. That’s what pattern dynamics is all about its very, very powerful functional tool. I think Kamya did have this experience, Brent you had this experience and Aiden you’re relating experience in a organizational environment as a professional where we do the subject – object move.
–Cass?

CASS: Yea I also just wanted to mention I noticed all organizations ran talent strategies; often it is about growing more generalists. What I’m saying happened is you’d identify talent and they constantly move them around into different parts of the business so they become more generalists, and often they get them out or the talent ways? The talent is really focus on just developing leaders who can manage across all different parts of the organizations and without recognizing the necessity to have that progressity in terms of specialization and perspectives .

TIM: –Aiden?

AIDEN: I was going to say what’s very interesting by that, be very interesting to get Cass’s and other peoples feedback on that. And where I’ve seen organizations do that around trying to build generalists, what they often seem to do is put people in specialist’s roles in a sequence so even thou the people might be becoming generalized the roles that they’re performing are actually incredibly specialists or at least be in my experience.

TIM: –yea and then the pattern that’s at work here for me as I listen to Aiden and Cass, is that we are talking about uniqueness now. Uniqueness is over here is something like this; it’s purely the specialization of different roles or elements that processes and how different they are and how unique; another word for uniqueness is specialization but with this spectrum the primary polarity in uniqueness is between the specialist and the generalist. So, on the spectrum of uniqueness where you sit, you know, are you the CEO?, and have done many, many of these specialized roles therefore you have a very generalist capacity or had just been someone who’s worked in HR a specific role and burrowed down really, really deeply into that role for 20 years. And again its context dependent as we know in PatternDynamics the context is always changing and so to think about what is appropriate at the time. It’s not that a lot of uniqueness or specialization is good or bad or a lot of generalized experience is good or bad. It really depends on what you want to achieve or what context in this world you want to achieve at.
I’d like to get back a little bit more to..

BRENT: –Tim, just one thing before you get on the slide, when we started talking about diversity that’s kind of over my head when it’s stuck on the line of PatternDynamics , Aiden is talking about what people generally say is diversity and I thought, Aiden something you said was really interesting about your argument that to your client that diversity would cross their effectiveness in particularly diversity of thinking is oppose to just gender and I had this idea about, perhaps the why of that being that greater diversity creates better adaptability in a range of responses available for change whether that’s internal or external change and so if there’s a further argument to be made about what’s the value of having uniqueness or diversity it could be about that adaptability piece. So just a thought I had.

TIM: Yea, one interesting development in modernity has evolved I forgot where I read this. But the amount of specialized trades or professions in the yellow pages has grown at a certain rate as industrial society had evolved. And back in 1900’s there are only several hundred different roles in society and now there are hundreds of thousands. Those specialized roles that are continuing to grow and it’s about this idea of, we go back to structure the hierarchical complexity. The idea of that hierarchal growth, complexity grows hierarchal and that you get a lot of unique arts or elements come in to relational exchange and then they form a system and that becomes a sub system at the next level of the hierarchy of complexity. So our society for better or for worse is now at a point which requires a great deal of complexity. In fact if you’re going to existence in this world especially in the post modern western world you probably would have to have a very unique talent which you can integrate and go into exchange with other parts of the very complex world. So, you know the days of being that kind of ultimate generalists is not a whole lot of call for that but I don’t know, maybe someone could challenge that. Yes, I think both things are happening at the same time.
—Erkki?

PatternDynamics is in a sense is a general way to understand how the world work.

ERKKI: Yea I guess, you don’t have really broad on to tutor, I was just thinking about my own profession or my former profession about being a project manager and in some sense like a project manager is it tries to be in this general role whether a unique projects and at the same time is somebody who’s able to manage it more of course it doesn’t really say that much if this role diversifying or not, or becoming more unique over time or not. I guess the case could be made but there are actually different brands, different styles of project management now. But I was just thinking that, that’s sort of the generalized role still in the society and make sure there are other examples as well.
TIM: As you we’re saying that I was just reflecting, you know there is a requirement for people to understand the whole system where in fact that’s what PatternDynamics is and I’ve always been generalists and I think PatternDynamics is my attempt to make a specialization other than being a generalists.
Kamya?

Kamya: I just wanted to add to what Erkki was saying in this conversation about specialists and generalization and reading Sir Ken Robinsons’ book which probably many of you read the element and it’s very particular to me and my life around education systems. So, this idea OF you know how we are educating our children to enter the world that is before us and you know, we’re using a kind of primary and secondary education system that’s out of the industrial age and our treasury education has traditionally become more and more specialized. But I think there’s a big question about what are we specializing for? Because the world, the complexity, the hierarchy of complexity and our world is changing so much we don’t actually know what we’re able to specialize. So many universities are going backwards in generalizing. Did that make sense? There is an old friend in universities to do more general courses rather than specialized courses, that’s what I was sharing.

TIM: Yea and I think the interdisciplinary degrees that you can do now are a feature of that but Gary Hamsen, who did the last level 2 online training, he brought up this really important point, a really interesting point for me about the idea of the baroque not only is it a period in architecture or its expressed in music and so that, but I didn’t really understand what baroque meant., I thought it was a mognet architectural style but Gary pointed out that it’s both things at once, like there’s a polarity between a centralized theme very strong centralized theme and then all of this kind of , all of the flourishments, kind of you know complex expressions of it there is always a unifying theme that the baroque is quite different from say a plagiaristic post modern world where there is no unifying theme. Where in the baroque you can have both a very strong central theme where you have all this gourmet kind of ornamentation around and build that theme, build on that thing with all that ornamentation. But the baroque was not just about the ornamentation it’s based on the centralizing theme. So, this idea there’s a tension and all its utility between the polarity of the generalists and the specialists and in fact if you think about complexity they probably need both, they probably need to hold both at the same time; PatternDynamics is way, a literacy to gain some generalize understanding of how any system works. But we have to be specialists it’s kind of ironic and it’s kind of a useful insight that PatternDynamics is an extreme specialization in an extreme generalized way of understanding the world, right? And there’s something about that that’s important and this idea of the baroque you know the neo-baroque kind of mentality or understanding that’s really, really important.

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Jul 10 2015

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Rank #2: Getting Started with PatternDynamics™ Part 3: The Source Course

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Listen to this episode and discover how to put PatternDynamics to work straight away with a simple process that get’s you results every time. The Source Course takes you straight to the heart of the PatternDynamics framework to learn the three foundational aspects of it central organising principle. Understanding these 3 primordial dimensions within every system will help you gain critical insights for the better decision making, complex problem solving, and strategy design required to create systems that thrive in today’s increasingly complex world.

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Topics Discussed:

00:09 The Source Course: Getting Started with PatternDynamics
05:22 Source Tool: Demonstration
06:50 Purpose
13:24 Recommendations

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Transcript:

PatternDynamics helping you create systems that thrive.

Okay, now we move on to the source course. This is how we get started with PatternDynamics. It’s the very first thing we learn that allow us to get a result using the PatternDynamics framework. And we’re just working with one principle — that is, one pattern. The principle behind me, the organizing principle and if you look behind me it’s here, it’s the source diagram. That’s what we call the pattern — the diagram itself. And when we understand what that diagram means, what that symbol, the information or the meaning behind that symbol, then we’ll be able to apply it as a principle of how systems works, how it’s organized and how we can change it.

We look at the slide here, in the source course getting started with PatternDynamics. The source symbol that you can see there in blue is the source code. It’s what we call the collective awareness identity in purpose but you think of it primarily as purpose. That is, having strong purpose or strong aim as a system, as an organization provides a very, very powerful self organizing force — with all the parts, all the people within that organization are aligned and they can self- organize. They can determine what it is they need to do and they’re motivated to do it and that is an extremely powerful self-organizing force, and it’s a principle organization that work in all systems that we can come to understand and identify and then use as a principle. So, we call it the most central and important source of any system self-organizing capacity. So, PatternDynamics is the central organizing principle and it is the most important pattern in the PatternDynamics framework.

If we look at the diagram, that pattern represents three primary aspects of source or what we call the ‘three basic principles; sub-principles that work in source. Sometimes, we call it dimensions. So these dimensions of source, the part and the whole of the first one, you can see a bar; a slider we call it. In the diagram, you could see there’s two parts bounded by a whole. So, if you look at the chart behind me, we have these two parts and their bounded by a larger oval which is the whole. So, parts and whole are represented in this diagram. If we go to the next slider down, there are short term and long term as two different aims of a continuum because just like no system is just a whole. It always is composed of parts and nothing is ever a part because it’s always composed of parts itself. So therefore, it’s a whole. Then there’s a continuum between them — how we can look at a system as a part or a whole. There’s also a polarity there. When there’s a polarity, there’s also a polarity between the short term and the long term. Now, the long term here is represented by the infinity symbol which is very long term and the oval as one revolution as the short term; just one cycle. So again, when we’re talking about a system there are always short term concerns and then there are always things that need to longer term outcomes and finding the balance between that polarity is something that will allow us to adjust systems using the source principle or at least the dimensions of it.

And we have represented in the diagram the tangible versus the intangible. And the lines themselves are tangible; we can see them. They look like the thing that is the diagram but actually it’s only defined by the less tangible white space in and around it. And any system has its tangible things; things that we can measure and poke with a stick, more objective elements of the system and business sometimes. You know, money is a very objective tangible thing or plant in equipment is tangible but in the business world organization believes that the strength of relationships and trust in an organization — these are less tangible assets in fact, will be guided by the parts of the system. Again, it’s never ‘either or’ and they’re not really in conflict. They’re just two different sides at one point or two polarities. And we can evaluate systems or aspects of systems based on, you know, just how tangible thing are we talking about or how intangible and what difference does that make to a thinking and what does being able to make that distinction do for us.

And so if we go back to the slide, the whole course is on this one slide. And that’s what we call it getting started because it’s that simple and this is how you can get a result. You use, just draw the diagram or the pattern on a piece of paper or white board, label its source, draw the three sliders, put part, whole, short term, long term, tangible, intangible and use that to help you think more carefully about how this issue you’re talking about or you’re thinking about relates to the system. So, I’m going to do that exercise right now and just show you how simple it is and I’ll just put up my trusty white board. Okay, I’ve drawn the source tool up on the white board here direct from the source course slide. And what I’ll do now is I’ll go through an example from my own life and work to demonstrate how you can use this to get better insights about some of the issues in your own life and work. So the issue, I’m going to work with in this example is from PatternDynamics itself and its related to the creation of this level one training program as something as meaningful to me and this is a real life example.

So, I had a conversation with my, with Kenya O’Keith. She’s my chief collaborator, and my central flop partner in the development of PatternDynamics as a social enterprise. And in that conversation, we spoke about the creation of this training module. And my perspective, first of all, we use PatternDynamics on the development of PatternDynamics very often. It’s how we, it’s one of the central ways — this is not the only way but it’s our principal way of creating our own organization, designing it, making better decisions and solving our challenges. So, we sat down and the first thing we do is ask ourselves “What’s the source of this issue of what we’re going to discuss? We’re going to discuss the level one training program and its creation and make decisions about it. Then, “What’s the source of that? Well, you know the purpose. That’s where we start. “What’s the purpose of the level one training program? And the creation of it and how does it relate to our larger purpose, the social enterprise, the PatternDynamics itself? So that’s where we start, with source.

And then, we go on to explore our perspectives and point of view using the three primordial dimensions of source — well, ways that we can make adjustments to our purpose and in this case the purpose of the level one training course. So, my, I realize after this conversation, after we did this exercise; that I was very focused on the level one training program and I’m the one who is mostly doing it, and actually creating the video training modules and other support materials in the workbook and things like that. And I have been very, very focused on that and my perspective is very oriented around that part of our organization. Now, for a while I think of it become, for me just about all there was in the organization and the social enterprise. I’m so focused on it that, you know, I’d lost side of a little bit of the whole project. You know, with our discussion, Kenya; my interpretation, my inquiry after I asked her what she was thinking about how we were going with the development of the program; part of the reflection was, you know, (a) let’s think about how this serves the greater whole — the bigger social enterprise, the community practice aspect, our commercial aspects making sure this is available as for not profit resource on a planetary scale. (b) Let’s make sure that we consider how this part fits within the whole. So, she’s advocating for making sure that this fit with the big picture, and that we will make a good decision with regard to the whole enterprise. And also my focus, I realized or I came to understand with very much and I do; it’s right over here on the end of the slider for short term, long term. On short term, I was really keen, that it was a big priority for me to help people get a result and an outcome from engaging with the level one training right away. I wanted, especially the source course and using this tool I want people to be able to learn it easily, I want them to be able to go away and go up to the white board or the back of the napkin and just go through the exercise to get better insights, to start making that difference. You know, little bit by little bit, getting a result can be a small result at first but that’s okay and a slightly bigger result and get better and better insights and get more and more units too, reflecting on the systems dimension or how their issues relate to the system in their lives, their organizations, their communities, their businesses.

So, I want to do results with people; a short term result with people and that was my focus. And Kenya spoke more about the medium term, I think. That was my interpretation after inquiring about her perspective — about how she felt going with the development of the level one program. She said, “Yes, the short term memory is fine but don’t make it so simplistic that some of the depth on what we’re doing gets lost. We don’t have to unfold the full journey. That can be a bit more overwhelming. PatternDynamics, in its level three training can be very complex and it can be a bit overwhelming for beginners but look, don’t lose side of the fact that there is depth in this, and don’t dilute it and make it too simplistic.” So, we recorded those or I recorded those perspectives for you here that was my interpretation and I think with the level one program that I’m developing now, I’ll be doing; I’m very focused on the tangible dimension of it. That is, its creation as a tangible asset that can generate revenue so that we have a budget to fulfill our social mission. And I think, you know, I’m not overly focused because this is not primarily a commercial enterprise. It’s a social enterprise. Our overall source of PatternDynamics, our overall purpose is to provide a social benefit to helping people learn purpose-driven collaborative types of systems thinking. But, I did want sub tangible outcomes of this. So I’m quite focused on that. And Kenya, on her perspective, was a little bit more on the intangible side not much still we’re very, we’re quite aligned actually in the commitment to making this work commercially and making sure we have commercial-great product and that it would have a market that we can generate revenue. Kenya was also advocating for making sure that the level one program was designed, and we made decisions about how its constructed and disseminated that support the culture of our organization. Maybe a slightly less tangible outcome, where we use the training to help consolidate our commitment, our real belief in the value of systems thinking and being collaborative and having high purpose in our work for our social transformation.

So, that is how we recorded our perspectives or in fact, match thorough each of our perspectives and we can then reflect differently and allow us to avoid conflict. You know here, when we’re far apart, it’s easy sometimes to have conflict. Unlike, “You’re wrong.” “You’re right, I’m wrong.” So, in PatternDynamics and dealing with these exercises, we especially, as we get better at it, we can see that these are just two complimentary perspectives on our whole system and especially around the central organizing force of our system, or our source code which our moral purpose. And that I’m focused on that part. Kenya was advocating a little more for the whole organization or the whole system and that we can think now about ways to coordinate these and the value of these perspectives on maybe which ones we should prioritize, make sure we don’t have a blind spot and certainly making sure that we are collaborative, we coordinate our perspectives, we bring a collective intelligence to helping solve our complex challenges and help us make better decisions so that our system can thrive.

So, we have a series of recommendations now that we’ve gone through some of the introductory features of PatternDynamics, how to use it and giving you a basic tool. And these recommendations are:

1. Getting out of trying to identify the purpose and the source of issues in your life and your life from work. So, just find the trigger and the trigger sometimes can be something that’s bothering you; attention or an opportunity that gets you excited.

2. And second point: regularly evaluate the effects of how you and others are thinking about these issues in terms with the three dimensions of source. So, that’s the source course and that’s an exercise you can d0 — it’s actually a tool. Use the source tool, pull it out anytime you like, go on the back of an envelope when you’re at a café and think about any issue on your life or anything that’s causing you a bit of attention or looks like a bit of an opportunity and think about that central organizing principle and its three dimensions. How you’re feeling about it or the issue you’re thinking about relates to in terms of the part of what you’re doing or the whole, the short term outcomes versus the long term outcomes, intangible things versus the less tangible things and what impact that has.

Just draw that down, mark where you think your perspective lies on each slider, make this a regular habit and reflect on how it changes your thinking about issues that arise and your ability to communicate how you feel about them.

Reflect through, reflections through journaling, blogging, or other writing will be particularly effective here. And reflection, especially when we write gives us a chance to contemplate and consolidate what we have learned. So, the more reflection we can do, especially intentional reflection through things like writing and blogging, the better we will learn. So, I encourage you to start using PatternDynamics system. I’m passionate about it because I get a result from it and it works and I can make the kinds of changes that I’d like to make and help systems become healthier and more functional around me.

And the first place to get started is simply develop a habit of using purpose driven collaborative systems thinking and putting up, drawing the source tool and making the three evaluations of its primary aspects or its primary dimensions and seeing and then reflect on those and ask yourself on how you might change what you’re doing based on your reflections and understandings of source.

PatternDynamics helping you create systems that thrive.

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The post Getting Started with PatternDynamics™ Part 3: The Source Course first appeared on PatternDynamics™.

Jun 23 2015

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Rank #3: Interview with Dr Theo Dawson: Leading an Assessment Revolution

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In this post PatternDynamics founder, Tim Winton, interviews Dr Theo Dawson, the founder of Lectica Inc. Lectica’s approach combines the learning sciences, the art of teaching, and richly diagnostic measurement to revolutionise how we learn important skills for successfully navigating an increasingly complex world. Join us and learn about virtual cycles of learning, how both learners and educators can benefit from better assessments, and how coaching supported by the rich feedback in Lectical reports can double your rate of learning.

Podcast: Download (Duration: 37:28 — 34.2MB)

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Topics Discussed:

4:43 How are Lectical Assessments different?
6:55 The Virtuous Cycle of Learning
8:3 The Dopamine/Opiod Cycle
10:43 The Goldilocks Zone
12:23 The Learning Scale
16:43 A ruler for skill development
20:08 Scaffolding learning
23:13 Tiers of learning
24:43 The developmental spiral
26:43 From bedtime to quality family time
31:13Fine grained assessments for learning
32:19 Lectical Leadership Decision Making
34:43 The sub-skills of decision making
36:28Measuring complexity
37:43 Perspective coordination
40:43 Qualitative skills
42:00 Collaborative skills
43:13 Contextual thinking
46:13 PatternDynamics™ and the Lectical Scale
48:01 A model for systems thinking

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How does the dopamine/opiod cycle help you learn?
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Get in your Goldilocks and Thrive
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Organisational effectiveness and the developmental spiral
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Transcript:

TIM: Hi Theo. Thank you very much for allowing me to interview you for the students of our PatternDynamics foundation program. For all of you who are listening, I’m with Dr. Theo Dawson and she is the executive director of Lectica. Lectica builds assessments that are designed to foster learning in really new and powerful ways. I’ve had the pleasure of doing Lectica assessments and they’ve been really powerful for me. I think they’ll support me lifelong because they’re available. I’d like to ask Dr. Dawson some questions so you can describe to us a little more Theo how Lectica works; what its approach is and very specifically, I’d like to start off with the question: How are your assessments different from the kind of assessments that were used to when we take test in high school we get a score and there’s a lot of pressure? Maybe some of us don’t feel that that’s very supportive for us and how we learn, maybe others do but how is Lectica different? What are your assessments really all about?

THEO : Well, Lectical assessments are different from other assessments primarily, in that, we start out with very, very different assumptions about the purpose of assessment and about what assessment ought to be. The first principle in the development of all of our assessments both for k-12 and for adulthood is that the first purpose of every assessment should be to serve learning for the student and also for anybody else who’s involved in the assessment process as a matter of fact. All of our assessments are built with the instructor or mentor in mind who’s going to be involved in the process and also administrators who might be involved in decision making around what happens within an organization. The idea is that everybody learns but primarily, first and foremost, it’s the student who’s prioritized and just that by itself makes our assessments completely different from other assessments because other assessments are actually primarily made in order to sort and grade people, they’re not made for educational purposes.

Now this idea of having assessments be educational is isn’t ours. It’s an idea that has been around for a while. Assessments of that kind are called Formative Assessments. But instead of trying to make a new class of assessments, what we’re trying to do is actually replace a way of thinking about assessments — the old way of thinking about assessments with a new way of thinking about assessments that really changes how assessments are used, what they’re purpose is and the function that they play in learning. Now, the second thing that’s really important in our assessments is that all of them are built with a particular learning model in mind. We call it ‘The Virtual Cycle of Learning’. It’s built off of observations that I made many, many years ago when I was practicing midwifery. Over 10 years I met about over 500 babies. Somewhere in the vicinity of 500 babies and there is one thing that I’ve noticed with every single one of them — they were all hopelessly addicted to learning.

TIM: As a natural beginning in life that’s how we’re oriented.

THEO: We’re totally oriented toward learning. The thing that struck me so much is that they we’re willing to suffer again and again. They we’re willing to go through almost anything to feed their addiction. I saw children who fell down literally hundreds of times in the process of learning to walk and I’m thinking: “What’s going on here?” If this is what learning looks like, if learning is something that’s got pain in it and we still remain addicted to it, then there’s something wrong with the way we think about learning. I began to study cognitive developmental psychology many years later and one of the things I learned about was what’s called the ‘Dopamine Opioid Cycle’. It’s a cycle that happens in the brain and it’s also called the ‘Wanting and Liking Cycle’ or the ‘Wanting and Reward Cycle’. That Dopamine piece of the cycle is; Dopamine is a hormone that makes us want to strive, makes us want to explore, and makes us want to experience things. And Opioids, I think we all can guess what those are; those are things that make you feel good and happy. At the same time that people we’re learning this about brain and its function, we were learning from behavioral psychology that even adults don’t like to learn in situations where there is no pain.

TIM: A little bit of stress and pain is required for this learning cycle?

THEO: Exactly, and it’s different for different people. I mean there are kids who learn to walk without falling very often because they are more cautious. We call it ‘The Goldilocks zone’. They’re zones that are kind of happy learning and it’s a little bit narrower than the zone of somebody who is a real risk taker for example. You have to figure out what that zone is for each individual but if you can nail that zone and you know exactly how much pain and discomfort and chaos that person is able to handle and the way to learning and how much they enjoy, then you get that Dopamine Opioid Cycle to just keep cycling, keep cycling, keep cycling.

TIM: And so learning becomes really fun at that stage.

THEO: And learning is returned to fun. It’s returned to fun. And I think everybody could think of something that they’ve enjoyed learning. Usually it wasn’t in school.

TIM: Let’s talk about that. Why is that? And what’s wrong with our education if that’s not the case?

THEO: Because the Dopamine Opioid Cycle although it is recruited very well by the media and by various sense of friction and gamers, we haven’t recruited it in education. In our educational system we think, ‘Oh! They’re five years old now we have to teach them this.’ ‘Oh! They’re 7 years old, now we have to teach them this’ but in reality your age has very little to know what is it do with what’s the most interesting thing to come next for you.

TIM: So the Goldilocks is zone for you?

THEO: That’s right. This is the second principle for us then and this assessment should help people learn in their Goldilocks zone.

TIM: Right! So once we know where your Goldilocks zone is then we can help you find ways of learning that you don’t lose your Dopamine before you get to your goal.

THEO: That’s right. We can give you the right porridge or the right bad or dangle the carrot at the right distance from your nose.

Tim: That seems to me, Fun because..

THEO: ..that’s powerful and fun, yes.

TIM: That’s the kind of learning I really love to do and by teaming up with Lectica, PatternDynamics that’s the kind of learning in our programs we hope to build in.

THEO: That you’re fostering.

TIM: That we’re fostering, yea. It’s been my experience

THEO: You’re creating those virtual cycles for people. So you’re helping them to stay in their zone.

TIM: Right, so that’s what is so powerful. One of the elements that is so powerful about doing these assessments is that we can help you find your Goldilocks zone. Lectica actually prescribes or gives you a list of learning resources with your assessments such as the ranking saying: ‘Here you are in these various ways of learning”, say about decision making and in each of these called sub domains. “Here’s your next step and here’s what resources have to support that”, “Here’s your book and here’s some training you might consider” and “Here’s the next ways.”

THEO: That’s right. And that’s the third principle. Is that assessment should be based on knowledge about how people actually learn the things their assessing. That may sound like ‘I know, duh?’ but there are no other assessments that are out there that are created with that kind of depth of knowledge that help people learning. So a typical assessment doesn’t tell you anything about what comes next. So in making Lectical assessments, I say, we study the hell out of how people learn the concepts that are targeted; the skills that are targeted in these assessments and we never stop studying it. We have created like an open book system for building and constantly improving upon the assessments that allows us to learn from every single person who takes one and continue building our understanding of how learning takes place in a very particular area. We’re really devoted to this idea — that a good assessment is going to provide these kinds of support for learning. Not just for individual learner but also for the educator.

TIM: Everybody involved is part of a learning process. Theo, can you describe a bit about how you study learning and how you identify these different components that people need to put together for a particular skill; these things that is called sub-domains that I’ve learned about at Lectica?

THEO: Well this is a really long story, I’m going to try to do my best to make it a little bit shorter but the best place to start is probably with the scoring system that we used to determine where on the learning scale a performance belongs or given the way of thinking about something belongs. We have spent many years refining a learning scale. We can call it a ‘Developmental Scale’; we call it ‘the Lectical scale’ because we’ve trademarked it. We have this learning scale and we find the scale that people started talking about it over a hundred years ago now to the point where we can place performances or ways of understanding pretty precisely along that scale.

TIM: So this is like a ruler where it measures, say, length could measure a piece of paper or a piece of wood or a rock. So this scale can measure..

THEO: This ruler measures the developmental height of thinking.

TIM: Of any skill? Was that your contention?

THEO: ..of reasoning in any scale domain — independent of a particular domain. It’s conceptually quite mathematical underneath it which makes it sound really not very sexy.

TIM: You know what they say, for every formula you put in your book you lose half of your readers.

THEO: I know, exactly so it’s really super abstract and nobody really wants to learn how to do this except a very few crazy people in the world but we have learned how to pretty precisely place performances in scale and along the scale. What we do is, when we are going to develop a new assessment, the first thing we do is usually someone who comes to us and asks. We’d love to be able to assess how well someone’s learning, how to do critical thinking for example or how to understand leadership decision making for example. The first thing that we do is we figure out what’s the current knowledge out there on about this constructs. So we read the literature that already exists and why we reinvent the wheel to find everything we can from the literature. And from that, we make some pre-selections of what we think the primary constructs are going to be or the primary themes or scales are going to be that are what we want to target with the assessments. We use our experience with building assessments to determine what form the assessments going to take. Is it going to be one where we’re really asking people to define things for us? Is it going to be one where we’re asking people to solve problems? There are a variety of different forms that things can take. We actually build our first version of the assessment and we give it to a whole bunch of people who we represent a wide range and sometimes that range is from age five all the way up to PHD. Sometimes it’s just adults in management; all in different levels of management that varies depending upon the needs of the client and once we have collected a bunch of these, then we score them with the ruler and we place them along the ruler. We go in and we do this really intense exploration of what the skill looks like in each one of the levels. Each one of the level is along that metric. What happens during that process is that we usually learn that our first way of organizing the themes or the skills is wrong. That’s not the way that people really learn it and so we end up having to rethink what mathematic structure is, and so learn what their major themes are. And we learn about the different pathways to which people seem to navigate moving up the scale on those particular competencies.

TIM: These themes or competencies; there’s a number of them usually required for a higher order scale like decision making. There will be a series of sub-components or themes as you’ve call them or sub-domains. And discovering the pathway that people take with these various sub-domains and how they might complement each other and knit together to form a higher order skill.

THEO: To form the constructs of the next phases and how people will climb that ladder; part of our research is also trying to figure out which pathways through this seem to be more optimal than others. There’s multiple ways of getting from point A to B but other ways from getting point A to B that are predictors of whether if you’re going to be able to move to C for example. Those are the kinds of things that were also paying attention to. But, when we’re building assessments we primarily and initially just looking at trying to figure out, okay so, what’s the sequence through this people learn this sub-skill typically?

TIM: There’s a real reader here. Your learning’s are very powerful things about how people learn this particular skills and how to foster.

THEO: And all of this is codified in a big religional database of course, this are very technologically intensive

TIM: A lot of data there for you to work with.

THEO: Well, people call this ‘Big Data’. What we learn from this process is we populate our assessments and we populate lesson plans and things like that. Once we know what sequences are, then when someone gets a score on that assessment in the future we can tell them what comes next.

TIM: You keep them in the Goldilocks zone where learning is fun and interesting and really engaging.

THEO: That’s right and we still have a lot to learn about what that Goldilocks zone is going to be for that particular individual. We always tell teachers ‘that’s your job’. Get to know the learner well enough to figure out how much or how wide that zone is because if the person really likes a lot of ambiguity and chaos and they have a wide zone, they’re going to be bored to tears when we can make it easy for them. Whereas the more cautious learner is going to be overwhelmed easily, so you need to try to figure out what’s ideal for that person. But we make a kind of guesstimate for people that are kind of in the middle range and tie that feedback to particular learning resources that we think have the right level of challenge for someone who’s performing in a certain level. That’s also called ‘Scaffolding’. It’s called providing people with learning materials that pull them up or support them to go to the next level in their thinking.

TIM: It’s a structured way. There’s this resource at this level and there’s these resources at this level and for this particular sub-skill. You might want to do this that’ll get you to the next level from where you are. It’s very fine grain.

THEO: It’s pretty fine grained and it can sound kind of mechanical when you first learn about it. It sounds like: ‘Oh you mean like everybody has to learn the same exact thing in order to move to the next level?” But in fact, it’s really fluid and there are multiple ways that people can go from one level to another and we provide enough resources. Usually the people that we’re working with are using these assessments in their courses, are also providing additional resources so that everybody can find their own pathway. We don’t want everybody to be a cookie cutter, cut out one another. Not that we would ever end up being that anyway because people are so diverse.

TIM: Theo, can you describe a bit about the ruler? The hierarchal complexity it’s often called and how we move from one level to the next. Or the tears, how we move from one tear to the next tear perhaps even in the Lectical system.

THEO: I do call it the Lectical system but it’s primarily built off of Kurt Fischer’s Skill Theory and his Skill Scale. Piaget before Kurt Fischer discovered what Piaget called ‘stages’ and there were anywhere from four to five of these in his theory actually, I think he started with three and then it went up to five because his maximum number that he identified and Kurt Fischer calls those ‘tears’ now. There are five of them in Fischer’s theory. They’ve also been called ‘epox’. I like tears. Tears is nice, it will do too. And each one of these tears ushers in completely new kind of skill or concept. Kurt Fischer calls them skills because skills could apply across the board from before your verbal all the way through the verbal period of your life but as you move through the levels they become more like concepts or a lot of them become more like concepts than skill their ways of thinking about things. In infancy, it’s more about sensorimotor — the actual physical actions that you do. We start first of all with just reflexive actions; just reflexes and then we start to build on those into patterns that we call ‘sensorimotor skills’ and then from there you move to something called representations where instead of having to physically do the thing you could actually talk about doing the thing.

TIM: You can represent it you have a concept or a symbol for it. Zack Stein has given a good example to help me more a lot here. He said, the sensorimotor that you experience as a kid around say bedtime; there’s a series of things — there’s brushing your teeth, putting on your pajamas, it’s getting to read a story, being tucked in bed. These are all sensorimotor experiences and are skills but at some point you chunked all of those together and kind of map them out and then you put them together into this kind of bigger chunk that’s called bedtime and bedtime is a symbol or a signifier for all these sensorimotor.

THEO: It’s a signifier for those actual actions in the environment and representations have this feature of being something that you could kind of point to or feel directly. They’re concrete as Piaget would have said and Kurt calls these representations but they kind of have a concrete feel to them because their stories about what’s going on in the physical world.

TIM: They’re kind of like stories of a sensorimotor. They are very concrete like, the sensorimotor is very concrete. It’s not abstract, it’s physical. Then you get the next tear; is the representation. This is the chunking idea where the whole bunch of the sensorimotor stuff is chunked together in to a representation and that’s the first kind of thing that happens and the bottom of the next tear. And then we map other representations and they get chunked up to the next. The first element of the next tear is that how the hierarchal complexity actually works.

THEO: That’s exactly how it works. And each level becomes increasingly more abstracted from the concrete. The Sensorimotor actions are not abstracted at all from the concrete. We’re actually operating on the world. Representations are more abstracted and then after representation we have what we actually call Abstractions. Abstractions are different from representations and that abstractions represent ideas that you could no longer point at.

TIM: So, it’s not like bedtime. That’s a fairly points to be conquered thing.

THEO: Because I can draw you pictures of all those things that you’re doing in bedtime but I can’t draw you a picture of friendship.

TIM: No, it’s a total abstraction, there’s nothing concrete that refers to.

THEO: Or truthfulness.

TIM: On the Lectical scale which goes up to thirteen, where do abstractions fit in the number system?

THEO: Now you’re going to put me to work because I actually usually think about the top few. The Representations Tear starts with level five because there are two tears below it — that sounds a little bit confusing. Actually it starts with level five because there’s this weird zero down the bottom. So we start with the zero, it’s actually level six but we call it level five. The representations here start with five, every tear is divided into three levels or four, depends on how you think about it. You’ll get the idea of why sometimes we talk about it being four in just a minute. These three levels actually repeat in every tear.

TIM: And that’s the identification of the element; a mapping of a bunch of these elements and then the systematizing of them into a chunk at the next level. Is that right?

THEO: Well, it’s not at the next level yet. That’s number four. When you systematize them into a chunk, they’re not only coordinating the systems with systems but they actually become a new unit. That’s the herald to the next stage. Let me go back and I’ll just start.

It’s the individual elements the first things that appear. You got a new kind of way of thinking. So you got bedtime but that just stands there by itself. Its bedtime and you’re not connecting it yet to other kinds of representations yet. You’re just building these individual elements first then you move on to being able to relate a couple of those to one another.

TIM: So maybe, bedtime and lunch time? Maybe? Or dinner time and bedtime?

THEO: You can say meal time which is bed time, lunch time and dinner time. That’s actually fairly complex when it’s a chain but is still linear so it’s still considered to be a mapping. Anything that maps in a line in a linear chain is a mapping or is a collection of things, like a pot where you got things collected in. And there’s the systems level when you start relating these things together in more complex ways so, you’ve got more than two elements and they’re being related to one another in complex ways that go beyond just a single linear.

TIM: Alright. So if we said something like there’s bedtime, there’s breakfast time, there’s lunch time, there’s school time, there’s story time and all those things get to put together and the thing is called a day which is a system of these.

THEO: Or maybe a better example might being able to say that; you’d be able to say something like breakfast, lunch and dinner are all the same because we always sit down at the table together as a family.

TIM: Okay, so then there’s an abstraction sitting at the table together.

THEO: That’s a system because we’ve identified something that all of these things have in common.

TIM: I see, okay.

THEO: We’re relating them all to one another rather than just putting them in a bundle together or just mapping them one to one another, one to one. Then you make a whole bunch of those. I think of these as like complicated stories at this level. They become complicated stories and you make a bunch of them and those are called systems as individual things. When you have a bunch of them that you can relate to one another; that’s called systems of representational systems.

TIM: That’s the fourth step, right?

THEO: That’s the fourth step and it’s also the first step of the next tear.

TIM: So that’s the chunk.

THEO: It creates a new element. That’s the big chunking.

TIM: Which is an Abstraction at this stage.

THEO: And now it’s an abstraction

TIM: What will be an example of that?

THEO: Let’s see if we can carry this particular example forward. I haven’t actually used this one before. So, carrying this one forward, you might have something that emerges out of all of these experiences of meal times is together like quality family time.

TIM: Okay, because you can’t draw that or point it or poke it with stick.

THEO: You can’t try to point it. You can give examples of it still. You could give concrete examples of it but that wouldn’t really capture what this whole thing is about.

TIM: That’s much more abstract. Quality family time is an abstraction.

THEO: It’s taking you to the abstraction level.

TIM: That’s a tear jump. We’ve moved through the four stages of representations. We jumped up now, we’re on the first stage of another tear.

THEO: The fourth level of the previous tear is the first level of the next tear. And you repeat that in every single one of the tear is a repetition of those three different kinds of ways of coordinating elements with one another within that tear.

TIM: Same process happens as you move through each tear.

THEO: Over and over again.

TIM: There’s actually finer grain.

THEO: Its further divisions.

TIM: That’s when you identify the assessments. Is that right? So you score you say, 10.2 and you know that you’re in the first part of a certain tear.

THEO: Yeah, and this is our important contribution to the field or our first contribution was taking this model where we could identify the whole level. The model that Kurt Fischer developed allowed us to identify those levels and performances but we took it and we knew that in order to make this system useful, because the thirteen across the whole life span; that’s not very fine grained. If I told you what level you’re in, wouldn’t tell you what you need to learn next.

TIM: No, the gap in your Goldilocks Zone would be too big.

THEO: It’s too big of a gap, its way too big. If you’re very high in a level, it could mean you’re ready to go to the next level but if you’re really low in a level it means you’ve got years of work to do still, to get ready.

TIM: There’s years involved in moving through a tear.

THEO: There’s more and more years involved as you go up the scale. There’s more and more years involved in going through levels and going through tears as you move up the scale. It’s just because things become more complex as you move up, so it’s harder to learn it. It takes longer to learn it.

TIM: Let’s talk about the particular skill in that regard — decision making. I know the Lectical decision making assessment is one of your more developed assessments as in its done the most iterations. It had the most participants therefore you’ve learned the most about how it works

THEO: In the adult arena.

TIM: In the adult arena. Theo, do you consider decision making to be a kind of foundation skill for leaders? And maybe, explain a bit about decision making and its themes or sub-domains that you’ve identified.

THEO: Yes, I think that decision making is the foundational skill. It is leadership in so many ways. Leaders make decisions and most of the other things, other components that we think about when we think about leadership are things that contribute to better decision making.

I have an organization. I have three businesses. I see my role as a leader; as a decision making role and to understand why, I think about it that way it does help to understand how we think about decision making. Because some people think about decision making is a process of steps that you go through to make a decision but that’s not the way that we conceptualize decision making. We conceptualize decision making as a set of skills that you bringing to bear when you’re confronted with an issue or a problem or a decision that’s needs to be made.

TIM: This is a powerful distinction, I think, because I’ve learned a lot about leadership decision making as an organizational consultant and mostly it is a linear set of steps that people are taught. There are various of forms of these. What you’re talking about is something very different; set of skills that you bring to bear.

THEO: Yes. You can bring them to bear and use as system that’s got steps in it. I’m not saying that we should throw away decision making systems. It has steps. But the way we think about it more is the collection of skills. When we first started out building this assessment, we built it for a federal government agency here in the United States. When we first started out building it, we didn’t know the component skills were. What we had was the skills that these organizations were mandating for; their management teams, they were saying: “Here are the things you need to be able to do to be managers”. And when we went out and studied it. We actually found something a little bit different than what we thought we we’re going to find. Importantly, one of the things that we found was that the primary most foundational skills for good decision making are perspective taking; what we call perspective seeking. There was nothing in the literature about perspective seeking.

TIM: I’m actually going in and asking someone for what they think. What their perspective is.

THEO: There’s quite a bit in the literature about perspective taking and there’s nothing in the literature about active listening and things like that but in terms of decision making, people hadn’t really pull that together in an explicit way. But we began to see absolutely critical perspective seeking was when we noticed that as people moved up the developmental scale, they did more and more and more of it. We thought: “What’s going on here? Does this mean that we can’t seek perspectives unless we’re highly developed?” And I thought: “No, I do remember my kids asking me a lot of questions when they we’re little.”

TIM: That’s right seeking your perspective.

THEO: I think it’s something that we unlearn because we kind of have a heroic leadership illusion.

TIM: We do have this model of leadership often in organizations now.

THEO: That’s right. And to look powerful and strong, we’re not supposed to look uncertain right? So why would we ask people what they think? What I think what happens is that by virtue of having to cope with the increasing complexity that comes with the demands of higher levels of management positions or anything that you’re operating on in life is highly complex, that you just come to realize in and of your own accord that I can’t do this by myself. I have to bring a lot of perspectives together because I need lots of kinds of expertise, lots of different ways about thinking about this in order to make the best possible decision. Because we have a certain kind of culture, this is a skill that kind of goes dormant for a while. Rediscovered in development as people; hopefully rediscovered in development. Not always rediscovered. A lot of managers can get very high levels without actually learning the skill but the most successful leaders are the ones that end up and are really rising to the top are people who have these and operate with these skills all the time.

TIM: We have identified two of these themes or sub-domains in decision making which is perspective taking and seeking.

THEO: Those are pre-requisites.

If you don’t have perspective seeking, you’re probably not going to be able to learn to do the other skills because perspective seeking is learning.

TIM: Right and it’s really the kind of way of getting the collective intelligence on board.

THEO: Exactly. The other skills that we target are collaborative thinking.

TIM: That’s the third, is it perspective coordination?

THEO: No, perspective coordination is the next one. Once you’ve got the seeking perspectives, the next thing that you will be able to do is actually coordinate the perspective you sought.

TIM: Can you tell me a little about what that means to you and how you’ve discovered that?

THEO: It means different things at different levels of development; which is why we kind of use that basket word — coordination. It means how you put perspectives together in some levels. It means how you prioritize those perspectives. It can mean how you give priority to different perspectives. In other levels, it can be how you could have extract common themes from different perspectives and so it’s about how you bring together the perspectives to help you formulate a decision. That’s the most general way to state it and it’s done in different ways over the course of development. And there are ways you can do it within a particular level of development as well. What are the sequences of these? It’s perspective coordination. I know I made the assessment. Its collaborative thinking, did we call it collaborative thinking?

TIM: I think you called it collaboration or at least when I did the full I think it is called Collaboration.

THEO: The fourth one is collaboration or collaborative thinking. The fifth one is contextual thinking and the sixth one is decision making process. We also tack on to the assessment skills for argumentation but those are actually not specifically related to the leadership in terms of the decision making domain.

TIM: That’s your logic, is it? Like how you think about what you’ve done.

THEO: It’s how coherent your thinking is; it’s how well you predict over your arguments and it’s kind of the quality of your thinking. We don’t really want to try. Well, we’re trying to put things on the scale in terms of how far along is someone on the scale. We don’t want to confuse that with the quality that which they do it.

TIM: What’s so interesting distinction with itself and it’s probably a long conversation there but..

THEO: It’s a really important one because if somebody is in this level of the scale but they have poor argumentation skills then its instructor is going to be helping them to develop the argumentation skills before they teach them the material, because the argumentation skills are about the mental map that you build as a terrain and until you build a good mental map you can’t make a good argument.

TIM: That’s interesting, that’s a new perspective for me on the argumentation which is really helpful actually.

THEO: That’s a very, very important piece of what we measure but that’s not specifically a decision making skill. It’s a skill that is brought to bear in lots of our assessments. The ones that are related to decision making are the perspective taking, perspective seeking, perspective coordination, collaborative thinking and contextual thinking. Those last two skills are important because it’s not enough that you can coordinate perspectives but in order to actually do good perspective taking, you need these set of skills called collaborative skills and they’re the kind of skills that you use in the process of seeking perspectives.

TIM: This is how you engage with another person or persons to get their perspective their intelligence.

THEO: And in the contextual thinking part, is about what are the context someone brings to bear when they’re thinking through a decision making problem; and by context we actually mean something that is broader than we usually mean when we use the word context because we’re actually also talking about the perspectives of individuals. An individual’s mind is like a context in which a perspective resides or an experience of something resides but there’s also the situation that that persons’ in — the specific situation they find themselves in a particular problem. And then there’s how that situation is nested within a broader context of an organizational unit or the team or something else and then that context is going to be nested in an organization as a whole or a school as a whole which is nested in a business community which is nested in the social. So the context are all about the different layers that we can bring to bear more thinking through our problems phase.

TIM: One of the ways to describe these problems phase at a certain level of development would be a kind of orientation to how the system works and often this kind of holarchical layering that you described the individual, their context maybe their team, their organization, society — that’s one way of describing systems or a systems within systems within systems.

THEO: Systems within systems but it’s really important to understand that a 7th grader can talk about society. It’s not the same thing as being able to say: ‘Oh we have to think about this society here’. It’s really about how well you actually can coordinate the interests of the society with the interests of the organization. At what level are you doing that? It’s not “am I thinking about the organization?” It’s how well I am coordinating the interests of the organization with the interests of that team.

TIM: The contextual thinking of theme or sub-domain is that how I coordinate the interest of a part with the interest of a whole.

THEO: That’s right. There’s certain relationship in how we do that with developmental level. There is some shared; we call “Shared Variants.” If we did a correlation within the two, you’d fine that they’re related to one another but there’s also a lot of independence as well. Only about a quarter of what’s going on in doing contextual thinking is about the level that you’re operating at on the Lectical Scale. Its counter to almost all of the models that exist out there because people have had a more simplistic way of thinking about it, probably that it comes out of never having actually to stud y how people learn to do this. By virtue of learning how people actually come to build these skills we learn that: ‘oh it doesn’t work the way that we used to think it worked.’ The same thing with perspective taking; the perspective taking models that existed prior to this work actually had it built into them that somehow you weren’t able to take the perspective of the organization into account unless you could already take individual perspectives into account, but what we’ve found is that even in quite low levels people have a way of taking their perspective of the organization. It’s just a less hierarchy complex way of doing so and they’re consequently less adequate.

TIM: Right, especially if you’re in a more complex world space as you say which if we bring this back around to conclude about PatternDynamics and its relationship to Lectica and the LDMA and the partnership we’re forming about creating a very specific way of helping people learn to make good decisions which is based on the Lectical Scale and the LDMA assessment and PatternDYnamics as a systems thinking or complexity thinking framework. The idea behind that integration is to equip people to make better decisions when they are in those more complex world spaces. For instance, if they’re the leader or a change maker you’re almost automatically in very complex territory these days. Maybe we can just wrap a bit Theo with why you think there’s value in the systems thinking orientation or framework like PatternDynamics in conjunction with the LDMA and those sub-domains?

THEO: The way that I think about it is that, I’ve emphasized throughout this conversation, that we build our understanding of how people learn these concepts on what people actually do. We’re not imposing a theoretical framework. We don’t have theoretical frameworks that were viewing people through; we’re just taking them for what they actually do. It’s called the ‘Phenomenological Approach’. Rediscovering and then representing and we can do powerful things with that but the one thing that we can’t do is prescribe. We can only say: “Here’s what I think might be on your zone to learn next.” But we can’t say: “What’s the best thing for you to learn next in terms of building your skill more quickly or building your skill more effectively?” We haven’t created that model. I think of PatternDynamics as an excellent model for helping people to build systems thinking skills that go beyond what it is that we do on our own like flaunting around in the world to figure it out but actually scaffold our ability to do that. So we can become not so much learn to do it faster but learn to so it more effectively.

TIM: Its actual framework there that people can learn and it’s reliable and it’s repeatable. Now we’re rapidly learning how to help people learn the competencies around the systems principles that these patterns represents. Therefore we have scaffolding and we have a kind of method you can put to work through marrying it with the sub-domain as a kind of method where we take perspectives, we seek perspectives, we coordinate those, we collaborate, we think contextually, we make a decision. We describe that through our argumentation and then we use that as our actual learning loop of process as a kind of dynamic steering in our decision making process. We’ll discover because we’re assessing everyone before they start and after they finish our program then we’ll know if that leads to more effective learning of the skill of decision making.

THEO: More than just having that cycle, they have a tool kit that you’re giving them it helps them to decide what are the patterns that are involved here in this problem space and how can I use these patterns to be able to support my thinking about these problems.

TIM: Well, I guess we’ll find out because we’re about to kick-off our program and students doing it will be watching this video and I’m just so grateful Theo that I’ve found your work, that I’ve had the opportunity to learn from you and Lectica and the other great people there and we can start to integrate this in to our program for what we hope to be very formative learning experience for folks. Thank you for your time today and I think we’ve all learned a great deal.

THEO: Thank you for having me and I just want to say to all the students in the course: “Happy virtual cycling!”

TIM: Great, Thank you Theo.

TIM: Hi Theo. Thank you very much for allowing me to interview you for the students of our PatternDynamics foundation program. For all of you who are listening, I’m with Dr. Theo Dawson and she is the executive director of Lectica. Lectica builds assessments that are designed to foster learning in really new and powerful ways. I’ve had the pleasure of doing Lectica assessments and they’ve been really powerful for me. I think they’ll support me lifelong because they’re available. I’d like to ask Dr. Dawson some questions so you can describe to us a little more Theo how Lectica works; what its approach is and very specifically, I’d like to start off with the question: How are your assessments different from the kind of assessments that were used to when we take test in high school we get a score and there’s a lot of pressure? Maybe some of us don’t feel that that’s very supportive for us and how we learn, maybe others do but how is Lectica different? What are your assessments really all about?

THEO : Well, Lectical assessments are different from other assessments primarily, in that, we start out with very, very different assumptions about the purpose of assessment and about what assessment ought to be. The first principle in the development of all of our assessments both for k-12 and for adulthood is that the first purpose of every assessment should be to serve learning for the student and also for anybody else who’s involved in the assessment process as a matter of fact. All of our assessments are built with the instructor or mentor in mind who’s going to be involved in the process and also administrators who might be involved in decision making around what happens within an organization. The idea is that everybody learns but primarily, first and foremost, it’s the student who’s prioritized and just that by itself makes our assessments completely different from other assessments because other assessments are actually primarily made in order to sort and grade people, they’re not made for educational purposes.

Now this idea of having assessments be educational is isn’t ours. It’s an idea that has been around for a while. Assessments of that kind are called Formative Assessments. But instead of trying to make a new class of assessments, what we’re trying to do is actually replace a way of thinking about assessments — the old way of thinking about assessments with a new way of thinking about assessments that really changes how assessments are used, what they’re purpose is and the function that they play in learning. Now, the second thing that’s really important in our assessments is that all of them are built with a particular learning model in mind. We call it ‘The Virtual Cycle of Learning’. It’s built off of observations that I made many, many years ago when I was practicing midwifery. Over 10 years I met about over 500 babies. Somewhere in the vicinity of 500 babies and there is one thing that I’ve noticed with every single one of them — they were all hopelessly addicted to learning.

TIM: As a natural beginning in life that’s how we’re oriented.

THEO: We’re totally oriented toward learning. The thing that struck me so much is that they we’re willing to suffer again and again. They we’re willing to go through almost anything to feed their addiction. I saw children who fell down literally hundreds of times in the process of learning to walk and I’m thinking: “What’s going on here?” If this is what learning looks like, if learning is something that’s got pain in it and we still remain addicted to it, then there’s something wrong with the way we think about learning. I began to study cognitive developmental psychology many years later and one of the things I learned about was what’s called the ‘Dopamine Opioid Cycle’. It’s a cycle that happens in the brain and it’s also called the ‘Wanting and Liking Cycle’ or the ‘Wanting and Reward Cycle’. That Dopamine piece of the cycle is; Dopamine is a hormone that makes us want to strive, makes us want to explore, and makes us want to experience things. And Opioids, I think we all can guess what those are; those are things that make you feel good and happy. At the same time that people we’re learning this about brain and its function, we were learning from behavioral psychology that even adults don’t like to learn in situations where there is no pain.

TIM: A little bit of stress and pain is required for this learning cycle?

THEO: Exactly, and it’s different for different people. I mean there are kids who learn to walk without falling very often because they are more cautious. We call it ‘The Goldilocks zone’. They’re zones that are kind of happy learning and it’s a little bit narrower than the zone of somebody who is a real risk taker for example. You have to figure out what that zone is for each individual but if you can nail that zone and you know exactly how much pain and discomfort and chaos that person is able to handle and the way to learning and how much they enjoy, then you get that Dopamine Opioid Cycle to just keep cycling, keep cycling, keep cycling.

TIM: And so learning becomes really fun at that stage.

THEO: And learning is returned to fun. It’s returned to fun. And I think everybody could think of something that they’ve enjoyed learning. Usually it wasn’t in school.

TIM: Let’s talk about that. Why is that? And what’s wrong with our education if that’s not the case?

THEO: Because the Dopamine Opioid Cycle although it is recruited very well by the media and by various sense of friction and gamers, we haven’t recruited it in education. In our educational system we think, ‘Oh! They’re five years old now we have to teach them this.’ ‘Oh! They’re 7 years old, now we have to teach them this’ but in reality your age has very little to know what is it do with what’s the most interesting thing to come next for you.

TIM: So the Goldilocks is zone for you?

THEO: That’s right. This is the second principle for us then and this assessment should help people learn in their Goldilocks zone.

TIM: Right! So once we know where your Goldilocks zone is then we can help you find ways of learning that you don’t lose your Dopamine before you get to your goal.

THEO: That’s right. We can give you the right porridge or the right bad or dangle the carrot at the right distance from your nose.

Tim: That seems to me, Fun because..

THEO: ..that’s powerful and fun, yes.

TIM: That’s the kind of learning I really love to do and by teaming up with Lectica, PatternDynamics that’s the kind of learning in our programs we hope to build in.

THEO: That you’re fostering.

TIM: That we’re fostering, yea. It’s been my experience

THEO: You’re creating those virtual cycles for people. So you’re helping them to stay in their zone.

TIM: Right, so that’s what is so powerful. One of the elements that is so powerful about doing these assessments is that we can help you find your Goldilocks zone. Lectica actually prescribes or gives you a list of learning resources with your assessments such as the ranking saying: ‘Here you are in these various ways of learning”, say about decision making and in each of these called sub domains. “Here’s your next step and here’s what resources have to support that”, “Here’s your book and here’s some training you might consider” and “Here’s the next ways.”

THEO: That’s right. And that’s the third principle. Is that assessment should be based on knowledge about how people actually learn the things their assessing. That may sound like ‘I know, duh?’ but there are no other assessments that are out there that are created with that kind of depth of knowledge that help people learning. So a typical assessment doesn’t tell you anything about what comes next. So in making Lectical assessments, I say, we study the hell out of how people learn the concepts that are targeted; the skills that are targeted in these assessments and we never stop studying it. We have created like an open book system for building and constantly improving upon the assessments that allows us to learn from every single person who takes one and continue building our understanding of how learning takes place in a very particular area. We’re really devoted to this idea — that a good assessment is going to provide these kinds of support for learning. Not just for individual learner but also for the educator.

TIM: Everybody involved is part of a learning process. Theo, can you describe a bit about how you study learning and how you identify these different components that people need to put together for a particular skill; these things that is called sub-domains that I’ve learned about at Lectica?

THEO: Well this is a really long story, I’m going to try to do my best to make it a little bit shorter but the best place to start is probably with the scoring system that we used to determine where on the learning scale a performance belongs or given the way of thinking about something belongs. We have spent many years refining a learning scale. We can call it a ‘Developmental Scale’; we call it ‘the Lectical scale’ because we’ve trademarked it. We have this learning scale and we find the scale that people started talking about it over a hundred years ago now to the point where we can place performances or ways of understanding pretty precisely along that scale.

TIM: So this is like a ruler where it measures, say, length could measure a piece of paper or a piece of wood or a rock. So this scale can measure..

THEO: This ruler measures the developmental height of thinking.

TIM: Of any skill? Was that your contention?

THEO: ..of reasoning in any scale domain — independent of a particular domain. It’s conceptually quite mathematical underneath it which makes it sound really not very sexy.

TIM: You know what they say, for every formula you put in your book you lose half of your readers.

THEO: I know, exactly so it’s really super abstract and nobody really wants to learn how to do this except a very few crazy people in the world but we have learned how to pretty precisely place performances in scale and along the scale. What we do is, when we are going to develop a new assessment, the first thing we do is usually someone who comes to us and asks. We’d love to be able to assess how well someone’s learning, how to do critical thinking for example or how to understand leadership decision making for example. The first thing that we do is we figure out what’s the current knowledge out there on about this constructs. So we read the literature that already exists and why we reinvent the wheel to find everything we can from the literature. And from that, we make some pre-selections of what we think the primary constructs are going to be or the primary themes or scales are going to be that are what we want to target with the assessments. We use our experience with building assessments to determine what form the assessments going to take. Is it going to be one where we’re really asking people to define things for us? Is it going to be one where we’re asking people to solve problems? There are a variety of different forms that things can take. We actually build our first version of the assessment and we give it to a whole bunch of people who we represent a wide range and sometimes that range is from age five all the way up to PHD. Sometimes it’s just adults in management; all in different levels of management that varies depending upon the needs of the client and once we have collected a bunch of these, then we score them with the ruler and we place them along the ruler. We go in and we do this really intense exploration of what the skill looks like in each one of the levels. Each one of the level is along that metric. What happens during that process is that we usually learn that our first way of organizing the themes or the skills is wrong. That’s not the way that people really learn it and so we end up having to rethink what mathematic structure is, and so learn what their major themes are. And we learn about the different pathways to which people seem to navigate moving up the scale on those particular competencies.

TIM: These themes or competencies; there’s a number of them usually required for a higher order scale like decision making. There will be a series of sub-components or themes as you’ve call them or sub-domains. And discovering the pathway that people take with these various sub-domains and how they might complement each other and knit together to form a higher order skill.

THEO: To form the constructs of the next phases and how people will climb that ladder; part of our research is also trying to figure out which pathways through this seem to be more optimal than others. There’s multiple ways of getting from point A to B but other ways from getting point A to B that are predictors of whether if you’re going to be able to move to C for example. Those are the kinds of things that were also paying attention to. But, when we’re building assessments we primarily and initially just looking at trying to figure out, okay so, what’s the sequence through this people learn this sub-skill typically?

TIM: There’s a real reader here. Your learning’s are very powerful things about how people learn this particular skills and how to foster.

THEO: And all of this is codified in a big religional database of course, this are very technologically intensive

TIM: A lot of data there for you to work with.

THEO: Well, people call this ‘Big Data’. What we learn from this process is we populate our assessments and we populate lesson plans and things like that. Once we know what sequences are, then when someone gets a score on that assessment in the future we can tell them what comes next.

TIM: You keep them in the Goldilocks zone where learning is fun and interesting and really engaging.

THEO: That’s right and we still have a lot to learn about what that Goldilocks zone is going to be for that particular individual. We always tell teachers ‘that’s your job’. Get to know the learner well enough to figure out how much or how wide that zone is because if the person really likes a lot of ambiguity and chaos and they have a wide zone, they’re going to be bored to tears when we can make it easy for them. Whereas the more cautious learner is going to be overwhelmed easily, so you need to try to figure out what’s ideal for that person. But we make a kind of guesstimate for people that are kind of in the middle range and tie that feedback to particular learning resources that we think have the right level of challenge for someone who’s performing in a certain level. That’s also called ‘Scaffolding’. It’s called providing people with learning materials that pull them up or support them to go to the next level in their thinking.

TIM: It’s a structured way. There’s this resource at this level and there’s these resources at this level and for this particular sub-skill. You might want to do this that’ll get you to the next level from where you are. It’s very fine grain.

THEO: It’s pretty fine grained and it can sound kind of mechanical when you first learn about it. It sounds like: ‘Oh you mean like everybody has to learn the same exact thing in order to move to the next level?” But in fact, it’s really fluid and there are multiple ways that people can go from one level to another and we provide enough resources. Usually the people that we’re working with are using these assessments in their courses, are also providing additional resources so that everybody can find their own pathway. We don’t want everybody to be a cookie cutter, cut out one another. Not that we would ever end up being that anyway because people are so diverse.

TIM: Theo, can you describe a bit about the ruler? The hierarchal complexity it’s often called and how we move from one level to the next. Or the tears, how we move from one tear to the next tear perhaps even in the Lectical system.

THEO: I do call it the Lectical system but it’s primarily built off of Kurt Fischer’s Skill Theory and his Skill Scale. Piaget before Kurt Fischer discovered what Piaget called ‘stages’ and there were anywhere from four to five of these in his theory actually, I think he started with three and then it went up to five because his maximum number that he identified and Kurt Fischer calls those ‘tears’ now. There are five of them in Fischer’s theory. They’ve also been called ‘epox’. I like tears. Tears is nice, it will do too. And each one of these tears ushers in completely new kind of skill or concept. Kurt Fischer calls them skills because skills could apply across the board from before your verbal all the way through the verbal period of your life but as you move through the levels they become more like concepts or a lot of them become more like concepts than skill their ways of thinking about things. In infancy, it’s more about sensorimotor — the actual physical actions that you do. We start first of all with just reflexive actions; just reflexes and then we start to build on those into patterns that we call ‘sensorimotor skills’ and then from there you move to something called representations where instead of having to physically do the thing you could actually talk about doing the thing.

TIM: You can represent it you have a concept or a symbol for it. Zack Stein has given a good example to help me more a lot here. He said, the sensorimotor that you experience as a kid around say bedtime; there’s a series of things — there’s brushing your teeth, putting on your pajamas, it’s getting to read a story, being tucked in bed. These are all sensorimotor experiences and are skills but at some point you chunked all of those together and kind of map them out and then you put them together into this kind of bigger chunk that’s called bedtime and bedtime is a symbol or a signifier for all these sensorimotor.

THEO: It’s a signifier for those actual actions in the environment and representations have this feature of being something that you could kind of point to or feel directly. They’re concrete as Piaget would have said and Kurt calls these representations but they kind of have a concrete feel to them because their stories about what’s going on in the physical world.

TIM: They’re kind of like stories of a sensorimotor. They are very concrete like, the sensorimotor is very concrete. It’s not abstract, it’s physical. Then you get the next tear; is the representation. This is the chunking idea where the whole bunch of the sensorimotor stuff is chunked together in to a representation and that’s the first kind of thing that happens and the bottom of the next tear. And then we map other representations and they get chunked up to the next. The first element of the next tear is that how the hierarchal complexity actually works.

THEO: That’s exactly how it works. And each level becomes increasingly more abstracted from the concrete. The Sensorimotor actions are not abstracted at all from the concrete. We’re actually operating on the world. Representations are more abstracted and then after representation we have what we actually call Abstractions. Abstractions are different from representations and that abstractions represent ideas that you could no longer point at.

TIM: So, it’s not like bedtime. That’s a fairly points to be conquered thing.

THEO: Because I can draw you pictures of all those things that you’re doing in bedtime but I can’t draw you a picture of friendship.

TIM: No, it’s a total abstraction, there’s nothing concrete that refers to.

THEO: Or truthfulness.

TIM: On the Lectical scale which goes up to thirteen, where do abstractions fit in the number system?

THEO: Now you’re going to put me to work because I actually usually think about the top few. The Representations Tear starts with level five because there are two tears below it — that sounds a little bit confusing. Actually it starts with level five because there’s this weird zero down the bottom. So we start with the zero, it’s actually level six but we call it level five. The representations here start with five, every tear is divided into three levels or four, depends on how you think about it. You’ll get the idea of why sometimes we talk about it being four in just a minute. These three levels actually repeat in every tear.

TIM: And that’s the identification of the element; a mapping of a bunch of these elements and then the systematizing of them into a chunk at the next level. Is that right?

THEO: Well, it’s not at the next level yet. That’s number four. When you systematize them into a chunk, they’re not only coordinating the systems with systems but they actually become a new unit. That’s the herald to the next stage. Let me go back and I’ll just start.

It’s the individual elements the first things that appear. You got a new kind of way of thinking. So you got bedtime but that just stands there by itself. Its bedtime and you’re not connecting it yet to other kinds of representations yet. You’re just building these individual elements first then you move on to being able to relate a couple of those to one another.

TIM: So maybe, bedtime and lunch time? Maybe? Or dinner time and bedtime?

THEO: You can say meal time which is bed time, lunch time and dinner time. That’s actually fairly complex when it’s a chain but is still linear so it’s still considered to be a mapping. Anything that maps in a line in a linear chain is a mapping or is a collection of things, like a pot where you got things collected in. And there’s the systems level when you start relating these things together in more complex ways so, you’ve got more than two elements and they’re being related to one another in complex ways that go beyond just a single linear.

TIM: Alright. So if we said something like there’s bedtime, there’s breakfast time, there’s lunch time, there’s school time, there’s story time and all those things get to put together and the thing is called a day which is a system of these.

THEO: Or maybe a better example might being able to say that; you’d be able to say something like breakfast, lunch and dinner are all the same because we always sit down at the table together as a family.

TIM: Okay, so then there’s an abstraction sitting at the table together.

THEO: That’s a system because we’ve identified something that all of these things have in common.

TIM: I see, okay.

THEO: We’re relating them all to one another rather than just putting them in a bundle together or just mapping them one to one another, one to one. Then you make a whole bunch of those. I think of these as like complicated stories at this level. They become complicated stories and you make a bunch of them and those are called systems as individual things. When you have a bunch of them that you can relate to one another; that’s called systems of representational systems.

TIM: That’s the fourth step, right?

THEO: That’s the fourth step and it’s also the first step of the next tear.

TIM: So that’s the chunk.

THEO: It creates a new element. That’s the big chunking.

TIM: Which is an Abstraction at this stage.

THEO: And now it’s an abstraction

TIM: What will be an example of that?

THEO: Let’s see if we can carry this particular example forward. I haven’t actually used this one before. So, carrying this one forward, you might have something that emerges out of all of these experiences of meal times is together like quality family time.

TIM: Okay, because you can’t draw that or point it or poke it with stick.

THEO: You can’t try to point it. You can give examples of it still. You could give concrete examples of it but that wouldn’t really capture what this whole thing is about.

TIM: That’s much more abstract. Quality family time is an abstraction.

THEO: It’s taking you to the abstraction level.

TIM: That’s a tear jump. We’ve moved through the four stages of representations. We jumped up now, we’re on the first stage of another tear.

THEO: The fourth level of the previous tear is the first level of the next tear. And you repeat that in every single one of the tear is a repetition of those three different kinds of ways of coordinating elements with one another within that tear.

TIM: Same process happens as you move through each tear.

THEO: Over and over again.

TIM: There’s actually finer grain.

THEO: Its further divisions.

TIM: That’s when you identify the assessments. Is that right? So you score you say, 10.2 and you know that you’re in the first part of a certain tear.

THEO: Yeah, and this is our important contribution to the field or our first contribution was taking this model where we could identify the whole level. The model that Kurt Fischer developed allowed us to identify those levels and performances but we took it and we knew that in order to make this system useful, because the thirteen across the whole life span; that’s not very fine grained. If I told you what level you’re in, wouldn’t tell you what you need to learn next.

TIM: No, the gap in your Goldilocks Zone would be too big.

THEO: It’s too big of a gap, its way too big. If you’re very high in a level, it could mean you’re ready to go to the next level but if you’re really low in a level it means you’ve got years of work to do still, to get ready.

TIM: There’s years involved in moving through a tear.

THEO: There’s more and more years involved as you go up the scale. There’s more and more years involved in going through levels and going through tears as you move up the scale. It’s just because things become more complex as you move up, so it’s harder to learn it. It takes longer to learn it.

TIM: Let’s talk about the particular skill in that regard — decision making. I know the Lectical decision making assessment is one of your more developed assessments as in its done the most iterations. It had the most participants therefore you’ve learned the most about how it works

THEO: In the adult arena.

TIM: In the adult arena. Theo, do you consider decision making to be a kind of foundation skill for leaders? And maybe, explain a bit about decision making and its themes or sub-domains that you’ve identified.

THEO: Yes, I think that decision making is the foundational skill. It is leadership in so many ways. Leaders make decisions and most of the other things, other components that we think about when we think about leadership are things that contribute to better decision making.

I have an organization. I have three businesses. I see my role as a leader; as a decision making role and to understand why, I think about it that way it does help to understand how we think about decision making. Because some people think about decision making is a process of steps that you go through to make a decision but that’s not the way that we conceptualize decision making. We conceptualize decision making as a set of skills that you bringing to bear when you’re confronted with an issue or a problem or a decision that’s needs to be made.

TIM: This is a powerful distinction, I think, because I’ve learned a lot about leadership decision making as an organizational consultant and mostly it is a linear set of steps that people are taught. There are various of forms of these. What you’re talking about is something very different; set of skills that you bring to bear.

THEO: Yes. You can bring them to bear and use as system that’s got steps in it. I’m not saying that we should throw away decision making systems. It has steps. But the way we think about it more is the collection of skills. When we first started out building this assessment, we built it for a federal government agency here in the United States. When we first started out building it, we didn’t know the component skills were. What we had was the skills that these organizations were mandating for; their management teams, they were saying: “Here are the things you need to be able to do to be managers”. And when we went out and studied it. We actually found something a little bit different than what we thought we we’re going to find. Importantly, one of the things that we found was that the primary most foundational skills for good decision making are perspective taking; what we call perspective seeking. There was nothing in the literature about perspective seeking.

TIM: I’m actually going in and asking someone for what they think. What their perspective is.

THEO: There’s quite a bit in the literature about perspective taking and there’s nothing in the literature about active listening and things like that but in terms of decision making, people hadn’t really pull that together in an explicit way. But we began to see absolutely critical perspective seeking was when we noticed that as people moved up the developmental scale, they did more and more and more of it. We thought: “What’s going on here? Does this mean that we can’t seek perspectives unless we’re highly developed?” And I thought: “No, I do remember my kids asking me a lot of questions when they we’re little.”

TIM: That’s right seeking your perspective.

THEO: I think it’s something that we unlearn because we kind of have a heroic leadership illusion.

TIM: We do have this model of leadership often in organizations now.

THEO: That’s right. And to look powerful and strong, we’re not supposed to look uncertain right? So why would we ask people what they think? What I think what happens is that by virtue of having to cope with the increasing complexity that comes with the demands of higher levels of management positions or anything that you’re operating on in life is highly complex, that you just come to realize in and of your own accord that I can’t do this by myself. I have to bring a lot of perspectives together because I need lots of kinds of expertise, lots of different ways about thinking about this in order to make the best possible decision. Because we have a certain kind of culture, this is a skill that kind of goes dormant for a while. Rediscovered in development as people; hopefully rediscovered in development. Not always rediscovered. A lot of managers can get very high levels without actually learning the skill but the most successful leaders are the ones that end up and are really rising to the top are people who have these and operate with these skills all the time.

TIM: We have identified two of these themes or sub-domains in decision making which is perspective taking and seeking.

THEO: Those are pre-requisites.

If you don’t have perspective seeking, you’re probably not going to be able to learn to do the other skills because perspective seeking is learning.

TIM: Right and it’s really the kind of way of getting the collective intelligence on board.

THEO: Exactly. The other skills that we target are collaborative thinking.

TIM: That’s the third, is it perspective coordination?

THEO: No, perspective coordination is the next one. Once you’ve got the seeking perspectives, the next thing that you will be able to do is actually coordinate the perspective you sought.

TIM: Can you tell me a little about what that means to you and how you’ve discovered that?

THEO: It means different things at different levels of development; which is why we kind of use that basket word — coordination. It means how you put perspectives together in some levels. It means how you prioritize those perspectives. It can mean how you give priority to different perspectives. In other levels, it can be how you could have extract common themes from different perspectives and so it’s about how you bring together the perspectives to help you formulate a decision. That’s the most general way to state it and it’s done in different ways over the course of development. And there are ways you can do it within a particular level of development as well. What are the sequences of these? It’s perspective coordination. I know I made the assessment. Its collaborative thinking, did we call it collaborative thinking?

TIM: I think you called it collaboration or at least when I did the full I think it is called Collaboration.

THEO: The fourth one is collaboration or collaborative thinking. The fifth one is contextual thinking and the sixth one is decision making process. We also tack on to the assessment skills for argumentation but those are actually not specifically related to the leadership in terms of the decision making domain.

TIM: That’s your logic, is it? Like how you think about what you’ve done.

THEO: It’s how coherent your thinking is; it’s how well you predict over your arguments and it’s kind of the quality of your thinking. We don’t really want to try. Well, we’re trying to put things on the scale in terms of how far along is someone on the scale. We don’t want to confuse that with the quality that which they do it.

TIM: What’s so interesting distinction with itself and it’s probably a long conversation there but..

THEO: It’s a really important one because if somebody is in this level of the scale but they have poor argumentation skills then its instructor is going to be helping them to develop the argumentation skills before they teach them the material, because the argumentation skills are about the mental map that you build as a terrain and until you build a good mental map you can’t make a good argument.

TIM: That’s interesting, that’s a new perspective for me on the argumentation which is really helpful actually.

THEO: That’s a very, very important piece of what we measure but that’s not specifically a decision making skill. It’s a skill that is brought to bear in lots of our assessments. The ones that are related to decision making are the perspective taking, perspective seeking, perspective coordination, collaborative thinking and contextual thinking. Those last two skills are important because it’s not enough that you can coordinate perspectives but in order to actually do good perspective taking, you need these set of skills called collaborative skills and they’re the kind of skills that you use in the process of seeking perspectives.

TIM: This is how you engage with another person or persons to get their perspective their intelligence.

THEO: And in the contextual thinking part, is about what are the context someone brings to bear when they’re thinking through a decision making problem; and by context we actually mean something that is broader than we usually mean when we use the word context because we’re actually also talking about the perspectives of individuals. An individual’s mind is like a context in which a perspective resides or an experience of something resides but there’s also the situation that that persons’ in — the specific situation they find themselves in a particular problem. And then there’s how that situation is nested within a broader context of an organizational unit or the team or something else and then that context is going to be nested in an organization as a whole or a school as a whole which is nested in a business community which is nested in the social. So the context are all about the different layers that we can bring to bear more thinking through our problems phase.

TIM: One of the ways to describe these problems phase at a certain level of development would be a kind of orientation to how the system works and often this kind of holarchical layering that you described the individual, their context maybe their team, their organization, society — that’s one way of describing systems or a systems within systems within systems.

THEO: Systems within systems but it’s really important to understand that a 7th grader can talk about society. It’s not the same thing as being able to say: ‘Oh we have to think about this society here’. It’s really about how well you actually can coordinate the interests of the society with the interests of the organization. At what level are you doing that? It’s not “am I thinking about the organization?” It’s how well I am coordinating the interests of the organization with the interests of that team.

TIM: The contextual thinking of theme or sub-domain is that how I coordinate the interest of a part with the interest of a whole.

THEO: That’s right. There’s certain relationship in how we do that with developmental level. There is some shared; we call “Shared Variants.” If we did a correlation within the two, you’d fine that they’re related to one another but there’s also a lot of independence as well. Only about a quarter of what’s going on in doing contextual thinking is about the level that you’re operating at on the Lectical Scale. Its counter to almost all of the models that exist out there because people have had a more simplistic way of thinking about it, probably that it comes out of never having actually to stud y how people learn to do this. By virtue of learning how people actually come to build these skills we learn that: ‘oh it doesn’t work the way that we used to think it worked.’ The same thing with perspective taking; the perspective taking models that existed prior to this work actually had it built into them that somehow you weren’t able to take the perspective of the organization into account unless you could already take individual perspectives into account, but what we’ve found is that even in quite low levels people have a way of taking their perspective of the organization. It’s just a less hierarchy complex way of doing so and they’re consequently less adequate.

TIM: Right, especially if you’re in a more complex world space as you say which if we bring this back around to conclude about PatternDynamics and its relationship to Lectica and the LDMA and the partnership we’re forming about creating a very specific way of helping people learn to make good decisions which is based on the Lectical Scale and the LDMA assessment and PatternDYnamics as a systems thinking or complexity thinking framework. The idea behind that integration is to equip people to make better decisions when they are in those more complex world spaces. For instance, if they’re the leader or a change maker you’re almost automatically in very complex territory these days. Maybe we can just wrap a bit Theo with why you think there’s value in the systems thinking orientation or framework like PatternDynamics in conjunction with the LDMA and those sub-domains?

THEO: The way that I think about it is that, I’ve emphasized throughout this conversation, that we build our understanding of how people learn these concepts on what people actually do. We’re not imposing a theoretical framework. We don’t have theoretical frameworks that were viewing people through; we’re just taking them for what they actually do. It’s called the ‘Phenomenological Approach’. Rediscovering and then representing and we can do powerful things with that but the one thing that we can’t do is prescribe. We can only say: “Here’s what I think might be on your zone to learn next.” But we can’t say: “What’s the best thing for you to learn next in terms of building your skill more quickly or building your skill more effectively?” We haven’t created that model. I think of PatternDynamics as an excellent model for helping people to build systems thinking skills that go beyond what it is that we do on our own like flaunting around in the world to figure it out but actually scaffold our ability to do that. So we can become not so much learn to do it faster but learn to so it more effectively.

TIM: Its actual framework there that people can learn and it’s reliable and it’s repeatable. Now we’re rapidly learning how to help people learn the competencies around the systems principles that these patterns represents. Therefore we have scaffolding and we have a kind of method you can put to work through marrying it with the sub-domain as a kind of method where we take perspectives, we seek perspectives, we coordinate those, we collaborate, we think contextually, we make a decision. We describe that through our argumentation and then we use that as our actual learning loop of process as a kind of dynamic steering in our decision making process. We’ll discover because we’re assessing everyone before they start and after they finish our program then we’ll know if that leads to more effective learning of the skill of decision making.

THEO: More than just having that cycle, they have a tool kit that you’re giving them it helps them to decide what are the patterns that are involved here in this problem space and how can I use these patterns to be able to support my thinking about these problems.

TIM: Well, I guess we’ll find out because we’re about to kick-off our program and students doing it will be watching this video and I’m just so grateful Theo that I’ve found your work, that I’ve had the opportunity to learn from you and Lectica and the other great people there and we can start to integrate this in to our program for what we hope to be very formative learning experience for folks. Thank you for your time today and I think we’ve all learned a great deal.

THEO: Thank you for having me and I just want to say to all the students in the course: “Happy virtual cycling!”

TIM: Great, Thank you Theo.

The post Interview with Dr Theo Dawson: Leading an Assessment Revolution first appeared on PatternDynamics™.

Jul 16 2015

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Rank #4: ‘We’ are the New Shaman

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In this Podcast, Tim Winton talks with Lauren Tenney from Ten Directions, creators of the Integral Facilitator Program. Tim and Lauren explore new developments, in their respective fields of practice, related to working with natural energies, patterns, and principles. This emergence is framed as a ‘New Shamanism’–a practice of getting back in touch with natural forces and how we might use them to organise ourselves to better resolve the challenges of an increasingly complex world. Lauren is a Senior Consultant, Editor, and Director of New Program Development at Ten Directions. She is a member of the Integral Facilitator training staff and a certified graduate of the Integral Facilitator Certificate Program. For the past ten years she has been immersed in the fields of human development, transformative learning, integrative systems, strategic communications and small business development. Lauren is experienced with many of today’s most innovative tools for transformation and collaboration, including: Immunity to Change, Sociocracy, Holacracy, The Natural Change Process, Evolving Worldviews, Way of Council, Cynefin Framework, Permaculture Design, and Integral Theory. As a facilitator, she loves helping people relate with more freedom and joy. Click here to find out more about her work with Ten Directions.

photo above by Nesstor CC BY 2.0 Sleep: the trees will hold your dreams

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1:15 Emergence of the Shamanistic Sensibility
2:10 Shamanism is a Very Loaded Term
2:40 Breakdown of the Rationalist Materialist Paradigm
3:30 Lifeforce Patterns and Principles of the Natural World
4:10 Understanding the Archetypal Forces of Nature
4:45 Diane Hamilton Mentions Shamanism in Her Work
6:20 Improving the Natural Self-Organising Force
7:30 The Issue of Cultural Appropriation
9:00 Are there Culturally Independent Traits of Shamanism
10:40 We're Westerners, We're White and We're Attracted
11:30 Extasy, the Lower World, Middle World, and the Higher World
12:20 Working with Energy, Patterns, and Principles
13:04 White Western Indigeneity
13:25 Organising around Principles and Archetypes
13:30 How Do We Bring Our Indigeneity Back into the Post Moder World
14:05 Crying Out for the New Shaman
15:30 Listing to the Natural World
16:10 Becoming Participants in a Living World
17:00 Being Free of Shoulds and Wants
17:30 Participatory Aliveness
18:00 Facing Limits: Why We Need a Central Commitment to Generative Health
19:15 Health Includes Dying
20:20 Scary Dimensions of Techno View
21:14 The Machine View Cannot Solve Our Challenges
21:45 Shifting from a Mechanistic Worldview to a Living Systems Culture
22:50 Polarity Emerging
23:50 What Does a Shaman Do When They're Dying?
24:00 Lauren Just Did that New Shamanist Thing
26:10 What Would Recognising Death Do to Our Ability to Be Creative in this Crisis
27:20 Stories are Inevitably About Development and Human Maturity
28:50 Death: A Giant Shot in the Arm of Maturity
32:20 Is Frank Underwood a Shaman? Is Trump?
33:50 Opportunism and Unconsciousness vs Conscious and for a Higher Purpose
36:30 What Is It that We are Bringing Alive?
37:30 Fixed vs Fluid: What's Welcome
30:30 Power and Politics
40:30 Participating in Systems that are Not Truth Inclusive
41:30 Tapping the Glass
43:00 The Activist Stance
43:30 The Yoghurt Metaphor
44:00 From Old School Mechanisms to Living Presence
44:40 We Can't Exclude Loss or Exclude Suffering
45:15 Agility in Polarity: a Systemic Dynamic Way
46:20 Do We Need A Different Way of Being?
47:00 The Invisible Subversive Move
47:45 Self-Organisation: The Bottom-Up Approach
49:05 Always Having the Choice About How to Engage
50:00 Mass Self-Organisation Changes Everything
50:50 A Worthy Place for Grief
52:00 Playing Hide and Seek with That
52:50 Utopian Optimism: Setting the Field
53:30 Letting the Life-Force Do Its Thing
54:00 Soil Preparation: Doing Your Work
54:20 Self as Instrument
54:40 Like a School of Fish: Moving as One
55:30 Where the Fecundity Lands
55:50 Life-Force Rising: Simple Principles + Deep Purpose
56:40 How Can We Be Free to Make the Decisions We Need to Make
57:30 Staying Touch with a Living World-Space
58:30 Don't Lose the Life-Force
59:00 The Field Effect: How Do We Create This Consciously
59:35 Taking Radical Responsibility for our Behaviour
1:00:30 Co-Creating the Story
1:00:50 Holding the View
1:02:05 The Indigeneity in All of Us
1:02:40 Key Themes
1:03:20 Death is the Underworld; Life is the Overworld
1:03:40 The Tree Archetype
1:04:08 Perhaps the New Shamanism is a Commitment to Live in Intimate Relationship with Both Death and Life
1:05:00 If We Were a Ball of Fish and That Was Our Commitment...

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Jul 26 2016

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Rank #5: The Beautiful Mind of Dr Zachary Stein

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An interview with Dr Zachary Stein by PatternDynamics founder, Tim Winton. Zak and Tim discuss complexity, how to see it, how to manage it, and the power of values aligned with a ‘systems view’ in creating a more generative humanity. Zak is Chair of the Education Program at Meridian University. He received his Bachelor’s from Hampshire College, and his Master’s and Doctorate from Harvard University Graduate School of Education. Zak co-founded Lectica, Inc., a non-profit dedicated to promoting social justice through the reform of large-scale standardized testing, where he worked for over a a decade. Zak’s publications have bridged topics in the philosophy of education, neuroscience, developmental psychology, and psychometrics. He has recently completed a forthcoming book: Social Justice and Educational Measurement: John Rawls, the History of Testing, and the Future of Education (Routledge 2016). Zac co-facilitatings Thrive on Complexity, an online course at Meridian University. Click here for details.

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0:15 Indigenous Models: Mind as Organism
2:15 Piaget’s Natural View of the Mind
3:00 Baldwin: Mind as Metabolic System
3:45 Fischer: Piaget through the neuroscience revolution
4:45 Fischer’s Skill Domains: ‘clusters of inter-related lines’
5:35 Complex Adaptive System: mind as ecosystem
7:00 Transition from Machine Model to Living Systems Model
7:30 Using a living systems view to thrive in complex circumstances
8:15 Competing Paradigms: Newton and Descarte’s clockwork universe
9:00 Not Embracing Complexity but Simplifying It
10:00 Machines are Fragile; Living Systems are Anti-Fragile
11:30 Disruptions strengthen living systems, but destroy mechanical systems
13:10 Frameworks for Understanding Complexity
13:30 Practices for Managing Complexity Better
14:15 Transforming Consciousness to Thrive on Complexity
14:30 Embodied, Engaged, and Interpersonal Practices
14:45 Ten Directions Practices
15:00 PatternDynamics Practices
15:50 Cross Quadrant Patterns
16:15 First Simplicity vs Second Simplicity
17:00 GDP: Oversimplification (First Simplicity): ‘profoundly limits decision making’
18:00 Second Simplicity Involves the Patterns and Principles that Matter in a System
18:45 Human Systems are Normatively Constituted
19:45 Identities Have to Do with Values
20:30 Species Wide Identity Crisis
21:00 From the Grand Narratives of Modernity to the Fractured Pluralism of Post Modernity
21:50 The Big Bifurcation Point
22:45 The Values that Bind Us Together
23:00 The Most Powerful Force in Human Affairs
23:40 The Polarity of Love and Power
24:45 New Stories for Us to Emerge
25:00 The Story of Second Simplicity that Will Allow Humanity to Emerge
25:30 Kurt Fischer: Pre-eminent psychological Meta-theorist vs Ken Wilber: Pre-eminent Speculative/Philosophical Meta-theorist
27:20 Vision and Mission of Lectica: A Fischerian Liberating Structure
28:15 Separating the Facts from the Norms Only So You Can Reintegrate Them
28:35 Normative Loading of Systems/Ecological Insights
28:45 The ‘Is’ vs ‘Ought’ Thing
29:20 The Facts/Values Feedback Loop
30:00 The Third Story
31:35 Leveraging Emergence in Evolving Complexity
31:50 Post Conventional Identity Development
32:30 Self as Process
33:00 Re-Storying Humanity as a Complex Adaptive System
33:30 The Fluid–Flux-Based–Processural System
34:45 The Story of Who You Are
35:30 New Language, New Language Games
35:45 Signs of Catastrophic Bifurcation
36:30 Emmanuel Wallerstein: World Systems Analysis
38:30 The Danger of Eugenics
39:00 Little Things Can Make a Big Difference at Moments of Systems Bifurcation
40:45 A Time of Potentiated Change
42:30 Scaffolding Complex Problem Solving
46:30 The Role of Uniqueness (Diversity)
47:30 Cookie Cutter Roles Just Don’t Exist Any More
48:30 Love: The Normative Heavy Hitter
50:30 The Shadow Side of Totalitarianism
52:15 Central Normative Commitments:The Binding Social Force
53:00 The Zero Sum Game
53:30 John Rawls: The View from Everywhere
54:10 Moral Musical Chairs
55:30 Getting the Right Feedback Loops
56:15 Generativity Works for Everybody
56:40 Take the Rawlsian Test

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Mar 19 2016

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