InsideOut by tuangov


Inside Out
Stories and Methods For Generating Collective Will To Create The Future We Want
By Tracy Huston; The Society For Organizational Learning; Cambridge, 2007
solutions on how real,
sustainable change in BOOK OF THE WEEK:
organizations and other
groups - can be accomplished
through collective will,
energy, and imagination.
Huston observes that a new
energy, a new movement, is
actually emerging that can
help create the space for a
new beginning and a different
future for humanity.
Everything seems to be
crumbling and falling apart.
Wars, famine, poverty,
environmental destruction,
terrorism, corruption in
business and government,
collapsing social security and
health care systems. One
crisis after another. Because
of these, many people talk
about the need for change
spiritual, operational, and
everything in between. Yet
profound change is so hard to
Stares and Methids far
General CrircbveWI
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read the summary
Tract HieThi
"Inside Out," by Tracy Huston,
offers fresh new insights and
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-VI. Requisite Competencies for Ensemble
-VII. De-Mechanization Methods
-VIII. Building The Future We Want: One
Square Mile At A Time
-The Big Idea
-1. Making The Change
-II. Little Things Make ADifference
-	III. Putting Humanity Back Into The Purpose
Of Work
-	IV. Individual and Collective Transformation
-V. Ensemble Improvisation
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I. Making The Change
achieving academic standards, government is for
sustaining itself, etc. While a lot of movements
have sprung up that strive to put people back at the
centerof things, they are making little headway.
Sometimes the task of changing things around us
seems enormous, even impossible, that we feel
overwhelmed, helpless or hopeless. Whether we
want to make changes in our organization, our
family, our community, our country or our world, we
find ourselves unsure about how to start, and what
to do.
We need more than a reminder about putting
humanity back into the work that we do.
Mechanistic, hierarchical structures and systems
of control and order that continue to exist are
sorely out of synch with the changes that have
been happening to people's lives.
We don't have the space to do anything but manage
the gargantuan messes and problems of the world.
But we do need to create the space both for dealing
with the messes and for surfacing another way of
being, onethat stops producing all of these messes.
And then, turn our attention away from the messes
(the exterior) to the source, the interior condition of
the self as an actor in the world, and to the collective
who share one world, one source, one story that is,
in fact, our own creation.
We need to evolve more humanistic, democratic,
and collaborative institutions and organizations
that allow people to achieve their full potential and
find happiness.
IV. Individual and Collective
This requires both individual and collective
transformation. Individual transformation requires
us to breakfree of habits that have been hardwired
within us habits of limiting ourselves, or holding on
to power and territory at the expense of others.
This means taking risks, getting out of our comfort
zones, doing what is uncomfortable and new. We
need to allow ourselves to be changed.
II. Little Things Make A Difference
We need to realize, however, that a space that has
started to emerge could hold the end and a new
beginning. This is the space that appears from inner
knowing and clear intention, and a very deep will,
and allows us to change our ways of seeing, doing
and being in the world. We need to explore ways to
hold this space, to enlarge it, how to allow our
intentions and actions to emerge through it, so that,
at last, a different future might emerge-- a space that
can hold humanity together.
We also need collective transformation. We need
to remember that we need each other, that we are
not soloists but rather ensemble performers
playing a shared song.
While the work of building this space and making the
needed changes is enormous, the thing to
remember is that, little things make a difference,
and can become steps to making systemic and
sustainable change in our quality of life and being.
But many of us find it hard to work together, as a
team, as a collective. Educational systems focus
on individual performance, on competition of
individuals, and there is hardly any focus on
teaching people to work collectively, with each
Working together, or ensemble performance,
however, is very much required to create systemic
change and transformation. The world, as it is
shaping up, requires that people work together
and collectively perform the creative processes of
adaptation and innovation-- making things out of
III. Putting Humanity Back Into The
Purpose Of Work
Over time, work has come to have its own reason for
being, its own purpose that is separate from the rest
of life. Business is for profit, education is for
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Inside Out by Tracy Huston
Situation: A series of conditions and actions that
define the whole, including context (time, place,
history, physical and relational conditions),
events or conflicts, the key players involved, and
the nature of their relationships to one another.
nothing, coming upwith new and betterways of living
and working.
V. Ensemble Improvisation
Role: The part one plays in effecting the situation.
Ensemble Improvisation is the capacity of a group or
organization to work together in harmony in an
environment of innovation, adaptability and
improvisation. Innovation is new ways of adding
value, while adaptability is personal and systemic
transformation in harmony with changing conditions.
Ensemble: The group of people who together
effect the situation, through their interdependent
Intention: What one wants and why.
Improvisation, or group learning, discovery and
prototyping that is not confined by structures,
hierarchies or control, make innovation and
adaptation possible. Improvisation is based upon a
set of interdependent principles that govern
individual and collective work.
Will: What one is determined to do, as expressed
through action.
VI. Requisite Competencies for
Ensemble Improvisation
Situation Outside (Whole System)
What competencies do we need to be able to lead
and be part of ensemble improvisation? These
include thefollowing:
• Pure observation observing fully with all of our
senses, without characterizing, and placing full
attention on the subject of observation or
Intention and Will
Situation Inside
(Organization or Group)
• Shared perception
context of all stakeholders and conditions,
describing our own perception and soliciting
those of others to surface differing and shared
perceptions. It is crystallizing shared perceptions
to move the real work to the center of attention
seeing the situation in
• Shared will surfacing individual will, and
counter-will, and synthesizing these into a shared
will, while holding conflicting wills
• Role creation and evolution defining one's own
role in context of the situation, the other roles
involved, and the shared will to do the work at
hand. It is exploring and evolving one's own role
in interaction with others, and adjusting roles
based on changes in the situation
Author: Tracy Huston
Publisher: The Society For
Organizational Learning
Date of Publication: 2007
—w Out
ISBN: 0-9742390-6-2
No. of Pages: 157 pages
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Inside Out by Traey Huston
• Action observation and adjustment
observing what is happening in the situation, the
whole system, holding attention on others in the
situation, and adjusting actions as needed
3. Walking Conscious
Most adults lose connection with their bodies; we
literally walk in our sleep. Because of this, our
senses perceive less than they might. Walking
conscious means paying attention to our body's
patterns of movement and ways of sensing. It
also means slowing down our movements to
focus on paying attention to them. People who
have tried this exercise relate that it is like seeing
people for the first time, of being really present
and listening.
• Imagination imagining what might happen next, or
in the distant future, based on past and present
events and multiple possible outcomes. It is
experimenting with different choices and actions to
continuously explore the present moment and
alternatives for effecting change, individually and
collectively. It is holding sources of pain and fear, with
sources of joy and hope, in embrace of deep
discovery, and instilling wonder.
4. Working in Slow-Reverse
We have patterns of habit, daily rituals and
routine that we repeat over and over, based on
what we think is important. Most of us try to do
VII. De-Mechanization Methods
De-mechanization methods allow us to make
changes within ourselves, our perceptions, our ways
of doing and being in the world.
Tracy Huston works with leaders from business,
education, healthcare, and local communities in
developing the capacities and practices needed
to enact systemic transformation. As a
consultant and coach in support of large system
change initiatives, her work focuses on the
integration of personal, relational, and systemic
conditions that enable both the individual and
collective to achieve the results they want. She
continues to collaborate with others in
developing new social technologies needed to
generate social innovation.
1. Freeing The Body To Perceive
Acting in harmony with changing or highly-complex
situations requires us to be able to perceive the whole
of the situation both outside (the larger environment)
and inside the institutions in which we work. This
requires that we observe our situation using all of our
senses, without characterizing.
Most of us find it hard to perceive all the complex,
diverse forces at play so we fail to act in harmony with
changing conditions. Failure to perceive creates risk,
while the ability to perceive can often present
Tracy is the founder of the Menlo Lab, and an
active member of the Presencing Institute and
SoL, the Society for Organizational Learning.
2. Physical Meditation
The simple act of connecting can allow surprising
things to happen, in us, and in the way we relate to
others. Physical meditation helps to connect to often
hidden or forgotten truths that are in the body, stored
away and unused. It can help break the body's habits
of perceiving only selective information and to see
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Inside Out by Tracy Huston
things as efficiently as possible, and end up
sacrificing the most valuable sources of meaning
and collective consciousness each other.
2.	Agree to focus on an imaginary,
metaphorical place, an empty space to fill in so
as to sustain and nurture a whole community
of citizens who might one day inhabit this
space. Agree that each one will draw from
his/her own expertise but without assuming
that nay of the existing institutions, practices,
or policies exist or will exist in this new space.
In fact, don't let existing interiors into this
space, at leastforthe time being.
3.	Draw a giant square on a big piece of
mural paper and answer these questions:
Who will live here? What will they need to
sustain themselves and the physical
environment they will inhabit? What might
they want to feel safe, happy, healthy, at
peace, etc? What kinds of services and
settings might best satisfy their needs and
4.	As you generate ideas, draw the new
community space in your empty square.
5.	Compare your drawing to current realities
6.	Discuss ways to quickly and easily
prototype your ideas, with minimum cost
7.	Test your prototype against your original
criteria for need, want, and will.
To work in slow-reverse, try disrupting your patterns
of habit by doing the opposite of what you usually do,
and spend time on people and thing you often
neglect. Try disrupting habits in your work group, to
allow all of you to open to new perceptions and new
ways of being.
5. Bubbling Up
Most of us are trained from early childhood to control
our emotions to avoid letting them cloud our
judgment. But emotions are part of us and they
affect what we perceive, want, fear and dream.
When tapped, emotions can both ground and
energize us. Managers who want higher degrees of
motivation and passion in employees should realize
that they should engage the hearts of their
employees, not just their minds. When faced with
huge challenges, it is often our emotions that sustain
VIII. Building The Future We Want:
One Square Mile At ATime
The above methods are rooted in our own reality
and are useful in enabling us to achieve together
changes in our individual and collective interiors.
But we need to do more to change our exterior the
larger, whole environment of society and the world
in which we live. For this, we may need to start
afresh and imagine what may be possible beyond
the current problems and messes we have to deal
Below is one way to do this:
1. Gather a group of leaders from the different
parts of the community or global system
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Inside Out by Tracy Huston

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