Entries in Glenda Eoyang (2)


What guides our work? Part 1

In 2002, as Glenda Eoyang, Ph.D., was establishing the field of Human Systems Dynamics (HSD) and launching the HSD Institute, she articulated a set of simple rules to guide the work of the field—and the Institute.  She and those with whom she worked used these simple rules in their decision making and planning to influence patterns of inquiry and interaction to be coherent between the field and the Institute.  Mary and I have adopted those simple rules for our work, and we want to be explicit about what that means to us.

Teach and learn in every interaction. – Learning is key to who we are and how we work together.  Our conversations are exchanges of insights, shared explorations, and questions.  Even the act of teaching is based in inquiry…anything we “know” is subject to further exploration.  We teach best when we are attuned to what we can learn from questions.  As we work with clients and as we write and share ideas, our underlying goal is to remain open to new insights and find our own next questions.

Give and get value for value.  In our interactions, Mary and I try to “share the load” as we build a model of thinking, as we establish this blog, or as we move toward deeper thinking in the field. The same is true of our relationships with clients, customers, and readers.  Our goal is to offer you information and insights that make it worth your investment to come here to spend your time.  And our requests for your feedback, input, and comments are not rhetorical.  We want to hear what you have to say—we want to know your reactions to the ideas we post here.

Attend to the whole, the part, and the greater whole.  We recognize and appreciate the separateness and completeness each of us brings to the work.  Mary’s experiences and learning are separate from mine, and yet when we work together, our work forms a relatively coherent whole, which, in turn, contributes to the greater whole of the field of HSD.  Our work considers those interdependent systems, and we are committed to attending to all those levels as we move our own work forward.  We consider each other’s needs and consequences as we work together—and we are mindful about the impact our work—both individually and shared—has on the field of HSD. 


What are we about?


Welcome to Patterns and Possibilities, a blog where we talk about a journey into Human Systems Dynamics (HSD), an emerging field of research and practice at the intersection of social and physical sciences.  Ideas from fields like mathematics, complexity sciences, biology, and ecology are used to help us understand how human beings interact and behave as they live out their lives individually and in groups—relationships, families, communities, organizations, and institutions. 

That is just the starting point for us.  The field is new and not well defined beyond that broad boundary.  It can actually include any consideration of the complex and adaptive nature of human beings as they live and grow together and separately.  The founder of the field, Glenda Eoyang, is a curious and avid learner who stands in a place of inquiry to build the field—seeking to include rather than exclude, to question rather than quantify, and to explore and expand rather than categorize and close. 

These are our goals as well, and form the foundations of our work together.  We seek generative relationships – those that hold both promise and possibility in the ways we build meaning in our own lives.  We seek to open a world of questioning and exploration.  If you have questions, if you have observations, if you are exploring new ideas and avenues of the human condition, please join in!