Bibliography and resources.
List of bibliography and resources related to system thinking, personal leadership and collaborative processes.
ALIA – Authentic Leadership in Action – Little book of practice (downloadable at www.aliainstitute.org)
Art of Hosting, AoH – Handbook of the art of hosting conversations that matter in community www.artofhosting.org . http://www.artofhosting.org/download/AoH_Training_Allgaeu_Einladung_370.pdf
Baldwin, Christina, Calling the Circle, The first and future culture, 1998,
Christina Baldwin offers this powerful new tool to everyone who longs for a community based on honesty, equality, and spiritual integrity.
The original small-press edition of Calling the Circle has become one of the key resources for the rapidly-growing “circle” movement. This newly revised edition brings Christina Baldwin’s groundbreaking work to an even broader audience ranging from women’s spirituality groups to corporate development teams.
50,000 years ago, women and men gathered around campfires to decide the key issues in their lives. Today, groups everywhere are discovering a new form of this ancient ritual for communication, mutual support, teamwork, and social change. Now, in a book as consciousness-changing as Riane Eisler’s The Chalice and the Blade or Peter Senge’s The Fifth Discipline,Christina Baldwin offers this powerful new tool to everyone who longs for a community based on honesty, equality, and spiritual integrity.
In this simple, profound practice, participants sit in a circle, pass a talking piece from person to person, and speak and listen from the heart. Christina Baldwin gives detailed instructions and suggestions for getting started, setting goals, and solving disagreements safely and respectfully. She also offers inspiring examples of circles in action: a women’s spirituality group, a father and son in crisis, a PTA group that averts a school strike and a work project team that accesses a new level of creativity and caring.
Block, Peter, 2009. Community: The Structure of Belonging,
Offers a way of thinking about our places that creates an opening for authentic communities to exist and details what each of us can do to make that happen.
Modern society is plagued by fragmentation. The various sectors of our communities–businesses, schools, social service organizations, churches, government–do not work together. They exist in their own worlds. As do so many individual citizens, who long for connection but end up marginalized, their gifts overlooked, their potential contributions lost. This disconnection and detachment makes it hard if not impossible to envision a common future and work towards it together. We know what healthy communities look like–there are many success stories out there, and they’ve been described in detail. What Block provides in this inspiring new book is an exploration of the exact way community can emerge from fragmentation: How is community built? How does the transformation occur? What fundamental shifts are involved? He explores a way of thinking about our places that creates an opening for authentic communities to exist and details what each of us can do to make that happen.
Brown, Juanita, Isaacs, David, 2005. The World Cafe, Shaping Our Futures Through Conversations That Matter,
The World Cafe process has been used by tens of thousands of people around the world to tackle real-life issues. Based on seven key principles, it begins with small, intimate conversations at cafe-style tables; these gatherings then link and build on each other as people move between groups and cross-pollinate ideas. In this way, Cafe learning enables even very large groups to think together creatively in a single, connected conversation. This complete resource explains the Café concept and provides readers with the tools they need to get started. Each chapter opens with stories from business, education, government, and community organizations, each a dramatic example of how leaders are using this process in the real world. Such stories underline the Cafe’s immediate, practical implications for meeting and conference design, strategy formation, knowledge creation, and large-scale systems change. The book includes a foreword by best-selling author Margaret J. Wheatley, an afterword by author Peter Senge, and real-world stories of the Café process in action at Hewlett-Packard, the nation of Singapore, and the University of Texas.
Capra, Frijof, Luisi, Pier Luigi, 2014, The Systems View of Life: A Unifying Vision.
Over the past thirty years, a new systemic conception of life has emerged at the forefront of science. New emphasis has been given to complexity, networks, and patterns of organisation leading to a novel kind of ‘systemic’ thinking. This volume integrates the ideas, models, and theories underlying the systems view of life into a single coherent framework. Taking a broad sweep through history and across scientific disciplines, the authors examine the appearance of key concepts such as autopoiesis, dissipative structures, social networks, and a systemic understanding of evolution. The implications of the systems view of life for health care, management, and our global ecological and economic crises are also discussed. Written primarily for undergraduates, it is also essential reading for graduate students and researchers interested in understanding the new systemic conception of life and its implications for a broad range of professions – from economics and politics to medicine, psychology and law.
Capra, Fritjof, 1997, The Web of Life: A New Scientific Understanding of Living Systems
During the past twenty-five years, scientists have challenged conventional views of evolution and the organization of living systems and have developed new theories with revolutionary philosophical and social implications. Fritjof Capra has been at the forefront of this revolution. In The Web of Life, Capra offers a brilliant synthesis of such recent scientific breakthroughs as the theory of complexity, Gaia theory, chaos theory, and other explanations of the properties of organisms, social systems, and ecosystems. Capra’s surprising findings stand in stark contrast to accepted paradigms of mechanism and Darwinism and provide an extraordinary new foundation for ecological policies that will allow us to build and sustain communities without diminishing the opportunities for future generations.
Cooperrider, David, Whitney, Diana, Appreciative Inquiry, A positive Revolution in Change, 2005.
Written by the founders of AI (Appreciative Inquiry), this short, practical guide offers an approach to organizational change based on the possibility of a more positive future.
Written by the originators and leaders of the Appreciative Inquiry (AI) movement itself, this short, practical guide offers an approach to organizational change based on the possibility of a more desirable future, experience with the whole system, and activities that signal “”something different is happening this time.”” That difference systematically taps the potential of human beings to make themselves, their organizations, and their communities more adaptive and more effective. AI, a theory of collaborative change, erases the winner/loser paradigm in favor of coordinated actions and closer relationships that lead to solutions at once simpler and more effective.
Holman, Peggy, 2010. Engaging Emergence, Turning Upheaval into Opportunity
Shows how to spot the emergence of a new level of order from the seemingly chaotic change and offers practices and principles that will help you align yourself and your organization with the new order.
Change is everywhere these days—at times it seems like barely controlled chaos. Yet within this turmoil are the seeds of a higher order. When a new system arises from the ashes of the old, science calls the process “emergence.” By engaging it, you can help yourself and your organization or community to successfully face disruption and emerge stronger than ever. In this profound, award winning (2011 Nautilus Gold medal winner) book, Peggy Holman offers principles, practices, and real-world stories to help you work with compassion, creativity, and wisdom through the entire arc of change—from disruption to coherence. You’ll learn what to notice, what to explore, what to try, and what mindset opens new possibilities. This work can be challenging but also tremendously rewarding. It enables new and unlikely partnerships and develops breakthrough projects. You become part of a process that transforms the culture itself.
Holman, Peggi, Cady, Steven, Devane, Tom, Eds., 2007. The Change Handbook, The Definitive Resource on Today’s Best Methods for Engaging Whole Systems.
This definitive resource invites people and systems to gather around issues that they care about, unleashing the energy and wisdom to move their dreams into action.
In 1999, the first edition of The Change Handbook provided a snapshot of a nascent field that broke barriers by engaging “whole systems” of people from organizations and communities in creating their own future. In the last seven years, the field has exploded. In this completely revised and updated second edition, lead authors Peggy Holman, Tom Devane, and Steven Cady profile sixty-one change methods–up from eighteen in the first edition. Nineteen of these methods are explored in depth, with case studies, answers to frequently asked questions, and details on the roles and responsibilities of the people involved, conditions for success, and more. This tremendously expanded second edition–400 pages longer, nearly twice the length of the first edition–will undoubtedly become the definitive resource in this rapidly expanding area.
Meadows, Donella H., 2008; Thinking in Systems. Chelseagreen Publisher. http://www.chelseagreen.com/bookstore/item/thinking_in_systems
Learning how to think in systems is now part of change-agent literacy. And this is the best book of its kind. In a nutshell, this book is about systems. So much more than this, it is a journey into the meta-rules of how the universe and everything in it comes and “plays” together. There is one thing to be understood that applies to physiology, businesses, economies, plants and puppies alike. Everything is a system. And all systems have behaviors and rules. As Donella Meadows writes: “The trick…is to recognize what structures contain which latent behaviors, and what conditions release those behaviors — and where possible to arrange the structures and conditions to reduce the probability of destructive behaviors and to encourage the possibility of beneficial ones.”
Grasping “the whole universe” is certainly a momumental task. The book brilliantly presents concepts in very graspable units. She starts with picturing what a system is — a stock with inflows and outflows that affect its stability and all of which are further affected by feedback loops and delays.
So armed with this model, individuals may be better guided in their decisions and actions as it becomes clear that actions can beget other actions and reactions (or unintended consequences.) But there is even more complexity. For instance, policies are a way to control the stocks and flows within a system. However, one of several behavior archetypes is policy resistance which comes from the bounded rationality of the actors within a system, each with his or her own goal. Meadows takes the reader on a deep and thought-provoking journey through all the behavior archetypes of systems. The result is an empowering “forewarned is forearmed” knowledge.
That is the ultimate goal of this book. When people affect positive change in the world — and it just may be everyone’s duty to do that — it is through smart and correct controls on a system. Ms. Meadows then gives the knowledge to do this. She lays out the leverage points in any system — the opportunities for making things right or better. The coda is a legacy of thoughts to live by, the last and perhaps most important of which is “Don’t Erode the Goal of Goodness.”
With such profound applicability, this book is the handbook for living. Everyone on the planet should read it.
Owen, Harrison, 2008. Open Space Technology, A User’s Guide.
What if you could identify a mission-critical issue for your organization, bring together the people with something to contribute and something at stake, focus on that issue and take decisive action all in the same meeting? A fantasy? Not with the application of Open Space Technology. Open Space Technology is a methodological tool that enables self-organizing groups of all sizes to deal with hugely complex issues in a very short period of time. Authored by the originator of Open Space Technology, Open Space Technology: A User’s Guide details what needs to be done before, during, and after an Open Space event. It is the most authoritative book available on how to plan and run a successful Open Space event. This 3rd edition adds a survey of the current status of Open Space Technology around the world, an updated section on the latest available technology for report writing (a key aspect of the Open Space process), and an updated list of resources.
Scharmer, Otto, 2009, Theory U, Leading from the future as it emerges, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, San Francisco. http://www.ottoscharmer.com/publications/books.php
By moving through the “U” process we learn to connect to our essential Self in the realm of “presencing”.
In this ground-breaking book, Otto Scharmer invites us to see the world in new ways. Fundamental problems, as Einstein once noted, cannot be solved at the same level of thought that created them. What we pay attention to, and how we pay attention – both individually and collectively – is key to what we create. What often prevents us from “attending” is what Scharmer calls our “blind spot,” the inner place from which each of us operates. Learning to become aware of our blind spot is critical to bringing forth the profound systemic changes so needed in business and society today.
First introduced in Presence, the “U” methodology of leading profound change is expanded and deepened in Theory U. By moving through the “U” process we learn to connect to our essential Self in the realm of presencing – a term coined by Scharmer that combines the present with sensing. Here we are able to see our own blind spot and pay attention in a way that allows us to experience the opening of our minds, our hearts, and our wills. This wholistic opening constitutes a shift in awareness that allows us to learn from the future as it emerges, and to realize that future in the world.
Theory U explores a new territory of scientific research and personal leadership, one that is grounded in real life experience and shared practices. Scharmer shares much from his own personal and professional development, and draws from a rich diversity of compelling stories and examples. Readers will find themselves drawn to new ways of thinking and acting as they read, completing a parallel journey of exploration and discovery. The final chapters lay out principles and practices that allow everyone to participate fully in co-creating and bringing forth the desired future that is working to emerge through us.
Senge, Peter M., Scharmer, C. Otto, Jaworski, Joseph, Flowers, Betty Sue, 2004, Presence: An Exploration of Profound Change in People, Organizations, and Society. http://www.ottoscharmer.com/publications/books.php
This year long series of conversations reveals the human capacity to “presence”—to pre-sense, to become present to an emerging future
Presence is an intimate look at the development of a new theory about change and learning. In wide-ranging conversations held over a year and a half, organizational learning pioneers Peter Senge, C. Otto Scharmer, Joseph Jaworski, and Betty Sue Flowers explored the nature of transformational changeâ€”how it arises, and the fresh possibilities it offers a world dangerously out of balance. The book introduces the idea of â€œpresence”â€”a concept borrowed from the natural world that the whole is entirely present in any of its partsâ€”to the worlds of business, education, government, and leadership. Too often, the authors found, we remain stuck in old patterns of seeing and acting. By encouraging deeper levels of learning, we create an awareness of the larger whole, leading to actions that can help to shape its evolution and our future.
Scharmer, Otto C., Kaufer, Katrin, 2013. Leading from the Emerging Future: From Ego-System to Eco-System Economics. http://www.ottoscharmer.com/publications/books.php
Our Time is Now: We have entered an age of disruption. Financial collapse, climate change, resource depletion, and a growing gap between rich and poor are but a few of the signs. Otto Scharmer and Katrin Kaufer ask, why do we collectively create results nobody wants? Meeting the challenges of this century requires updating our economic logic and operating system from an obsolete “ego-system” focused entirely on the well-being of oneself to an eco-system awareness that emphasizes the well-being of the whole. Filled with real-world examples, this thought-provoking guide presents proven practices for building a new economy that is more resilient, intentional, inclusive, and aware.
Senge, Peter, 2006. The Fifth Discipline, The Art and Practice of Learning Organizations. Completely Updated and Revised.
Senge explains why the “learning organization” matters, provides an unvarnished summary of his management principles and offers some basic tools for practicing it.
This revised edition of Peter Senge’s bestselling classic, The Fifth Discipline, is based on fifteen years of experience in putting the book’s ideas into practice. As Senge makes clear, in the long run the only sustainable competitive advantage is your organization’s ability to learn faster than the competition. The leadership stories in the book demonstrate the many ways that the core ideas in The Fifth Discipline, many of which seemed radical when first published in 1990, have become deeply integrated into people’s ways of seeing the world and their managerial practices. In The Fifth Discipline, Senge describes how companies can rid themselves of the learning “disabilities” that threaten their productivity and success by adopting the strategies of learning organizations—ones in which new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, collective aspiration is set free, and people are continually learning how to create results they truly desire. The updated and revised Currency edition of this business classic contains over one hundred pages of new material based on interviews with dozens of practitioners at companies like BP, Unilever, Intel, Ford, HP, Saudi Aramco, and organizations like Roca, Oxfam, and The World Bank. It features a new Foreword about the success Peter Senge has achieved with learning organizations since the book’s inception, as well as new chapters on Impetus (getting started), Strategies, Leaders’ New Work, Systems Citizens, and Frontiers for the Future.
Wheatley, Margaret,2007. Finding Our Way, Leadership for an Uncertain Time
A comprehensive summing up of the thought of one of the most original and creative organizational thinkers of our time.
Though management expert Margaret J. Wheatley works with a broad variety of clients, from Fortune 100 CEOs to ministers, she points out that they all struggle to maintain integrity, humanity, and effectiveness in a relentlessly fast-paced, technology-driven world. Credited with establishing a fundamentally new approach to leadership based on living systems theory, or, as she puts it, “how Life organizes”, Wheatley shares her first-ever compendium of essays about her real-world experiences helping clients introduce more authentic, life-affirming practices into their organizations. Essays cover a wide scope of topics including leadership strategies, raising children in turbulent times, and the role of communities in the lives of organizations. “Finding Our Way” is filled with practical advice on applying the ideas in Wheatley’s groundbreaking books and has particular relevance for managers and leaders who are trying to run their organizations in more progressive, egalitarian, and effective ways.
Wheatley, Margaret, Frieze, Debbie, 2011. Walk Out Walk On, A Learning Journey into Communities Daring to Live the Future Now (BK Currents)
Provides an intimate experience of how seven healthy and resilient communities took on intractable problems by working together in new and different ways.
No One Is Coming to Help. Now What?
In this era of increasingly complex problems and shrinking resources, can we find meaningful and enduring solutions to the challenges we face today as individuals, communities, and nations?
In Walk Out Walk On, we invite you on a learning journey to seven communities around the world to meet people who have walked out of limiting beliefs and assumptions and walked on to create healthy and resilient communities. These Walk Outs who Walk On use their ingenuity and caring to figure out how to work with what they have to create what they need.
From Mexico to India, from Columbus, Ohio to Johannesburg, South Africa, we discover that all communities have the intelligence and inventiveness to solve their seemingly insolvable problems. “We discovered a gift inside ourselves,” one Brazilian said, “something that was already there.”