Filiz wrote on the AoH emaillist: (April 15, 2011)
I would like to share with you an inspiring TED talk by Michelle Holiday, on organizations as living systems. (It is also uploaded here; Media -> Videos)
What stroke me was that she uses a complete AoH language, so much that I bet she's been part of an AoH training or she is a host herself. :)
At the end of the talks she asks these questions:
how can we reinvent our organizations so they nourish the life within us and around us as much as possible?
how can we reimagine ourselves, not as consumers, not as human capital, but as vibrant, thriving contributors to the whole life?
how can we recraft the artifacts and architecture of our organizations and our societies so they support wiser, more life sustaining ways of being?
which are of course very familiar to this tribe of people...
a good watch, and even a good visual to share for the purposes of AoH...
(In the meantime Michelle Holiday opened a Ning site herself Humanity 4.0, with the slide show and conversations)
Reply by Kat Morgan:
"I don't want to take anything away from her talk or your enthusiasm but I'd like to urge folks to read Gareth Morgan's Images of Organization, which was first published in 1986 (possibly earlier; my first copy was published then). His classic has a chapter on the machine metaphor as well as the organism (living system) metaphor.
Her (The TED video) talk is great but the idea isn't new. But that's the small part if my point. What I want to emphasize is that that's a good thing to me, as it means there are many ways folks can learn about this philosophy and change the way we think and approach our work with organizations. AoH doesn't have a corner on the market for complexity science language and systems thinking. That is something to celebrate as it makes these concepts more widely accessible and thus powerful. That does not diminish AoH. It points us towards allies, compatriots, and affinity groups.
Plus I want folks to know about Morgan's book (no relation to me) because it remains excellent and useful. Morgan's archetypal metaphors of organizations are: Machines, Organisms (living systems), Brains, Cultures, Political Systems, Psychic Prisons, Flux & Transformation, and Instruments of Domination. Each chapter explores the insights, implications and provides leverage points for facilitating organizational change. Fascinating."
Reply by John Inman:
Kat and all, I would recommend a bit of a turn if you will.
Reply by Mark McKergow:
I’d like to second the huge value in Gareth Morgan's Images of Organization. (It was indeed published in 1986, and there is an updated 20th anniversary edition out now, ISBN 978-1412939799.) Not only does Morgan take all these different metaphors for organisation and show how they all make some sort of sense, he also shows how talking about an organisation differently (ie choosing a different metaphor) is already somehow to change it. The book is taken as a starting point for those interested in organisations as discursive systems as well as those of us from a complexity/social construction perspective. A masterpiece. I still use it in teaching about
how language and organising are intertwined.
Reply by Kara Stonehouse:
Reply by Allister Hain:
Reply by Brigitte Kupfer:Thank you Allister,
I take Stacey to be saying that there is no 'system' outside the interaction itself, and therefore we could/might do well to look very carefully at the interactions (discourse/dialogue/conversation) itself without attempting to find higher levels of system/pattern. People respond to other people, not to underlying or overarching systems. And Stacey (2010) outright rejects systems thinking. He says "Complex
responsive processes, however, is a responsive temporal process theory
which, when it comes to understanding human action, argues against
systems thinking. Human interaction is patterned in the interaction
between bodies and there is no need to look for any causal agency
outside human interaction itself" (p. 225).
Another reply by John Inman:Mark you do not take a simplistic view I think. In my framework as in Stacey's, it is all about the local conversations. We spend billions of dollars in training and organization interventions and never focus on the one thing that everyone can impact every second, every day, week, month and year and that is local conversation. Do I include all generations in conversations? Do I speak to people respectfully? Do I understand that I have choice at every conversational turn in a communication event as to how I am going to respond? Do I choose my responses or do I simply react? Do I blame it on the system? What ever that may be. I am a student of systems and have been for years, however I am far more included to focus my practice on those things we actually can control in this world, local conversations.
And a last one by Jerry Nagel:Many thanks to everyone contributing to this thread. It has been most informative. I thought I would add one more perspective to the mix. Her is a quote from a paper John Shotter wrote in 1997 titled " THE SOCIAL