Archive for the ‘resilience’ Category

On resilience

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

I came across the website of Human Systems Dynamics Institute, of Glenda Eoyang. I haven’t met her, have not heard her, but here is a part of her latest Info-letter on Resilience, that I find useful. She is also the author of the Questions in Chaos: What, So What, Then What; a described in her Info-letter of Feb.’11.

We can think of resilience for an individual or a group as stable equilibrium—the system is balanced and is able to return to its original state after it is disturbed. The lack of resilience is unstable equilibrium—the system doesn’t return after being disrupted. We can use this distinction to build our capacity for resilience in three ways.

1. Take the opportunity in quiet times to gauge the stability of your own equilibrium with the following questions:
* How quickly do I recover from little disturbances?
* How comfortable am I in my current state and how afraid of disruption?
* What was the last time I was really surprised (positively or negatively), and how did I respond?
2. Assess the factors that influence the stability of your equilibrium with the following questions:
* How many and what kinds of connections hold me in place?
* Who are the people that I interact with each day and how do they make me more comfortable or less comfortable?
* What resources (emotional, financial, relationships, etc.) do I have and how long and how well could they sustain me?
3. Test your own equilibrium to build your resilient capacity by:
* Challenging your own assumptions and values
* Playing “what-if” games with others and by yourself
* Noticing how you respond to the small, everyday disruptions of life and finding ways to react with more grace and good humor

None of us knows how we would respond in such extreme stress as the Japanese, Egyptians, civil servants, or Burkinabe. We also do not know what challenges await us in a future that will test our stability, but we do know that our equilibria will be tested in the months and years to come. Will we find a stable equilibrium? Will we respond with resilience?

Walk Out Walk On Song

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

Recently a new book was published – my copy is still on its way – written by Meg Wheatley and Deborah Frieze: Walk Out Walk On. They wrote stories about many friends and people that I know of, so I can highly recommend this book (even I haven’t read it yet); and you can check out the website that is build around it to check for yourself!

The writers asked another friend to write a song about it; and that is what Tim Merry did. This is what he writes:

Here is a song Marc and I wrote to to support Meg Wheatley’s and Deborah Frieze’s new book. It will also accompany an RSA video coming out soon.

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: A Learning Journey into Communities Daring to Live the Future Now, Margaret Wheatley and Deborah Frieze 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.

– By the bestselling author of Leadership and the New Science and Turning to One Another

– Provides an intimate experience of how seven different communities took on intractable problems by working together in new and different ways

– Immerses the reader in the experience of each community through stories, essays, first-person accounts and over 100 color photos

The cellular depth

Friday, July 30th, 2010

In between my time here in the Art of Humans Being, I read the blog of Sarah Whiteley, over at the Axladitsa Ning site… so linking in with the theme of our gathering here in Essex. Here is part of her writing:

Through the tender witnessing, I realised to my utter horror that I had contributed to the oil spill – and that my need for fossil fuels was now destroying vast expanses of wild nature around the planet. And, I could not see a way of re-patterning my consumption, my… certainly not in the short-term… to the degree that was necessary. I faced the fact that this natural disaster was a “we did this”… not a “they did this…” and, so too I was guilty of playing my part in the systemic destruction of our Home.

It seemed clear to me that I must take the necessary preparatory steps and secure for the heavy seas – now so imminent – and not wait passively for when the big seas arrived and created chaos and destruction; that I too was feeling my own despair – and certainly times of empowerment, but now it was a time to feel another deeper level of despair; and that I too was the windsurfer out in the sea, without skill or a life vest. What skills and capacities did I now need – to not endanger myself, or others, through incompetence or recklessness?