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From Unfreezing-Refreezing, to Systems Changes Learning | EQ Lab Dialogic Drinks | 2024-03-14/15

EQ Lab runs Dialogic Drinks, “the kind of philosophical discussion you have in a coffee shop or bar”, twice per week.  Wtih this group interested loosely in questions on leadership, I was invited to host an online session on March 12 (evening in Hong Kong and Singapore, really early in Toronto) and on March 14-15 (evening in Toronto, morning in Hong Kong and Singapore).

The majority of the organizational change approaches presume the “unfreeze-move-refreeze” metaphor attributed to Kurt Lewin. Taking a different approach has resulted in the converging of a comprehensive alternative with Systems Changes Learning, after 5 years of development.

These Dialogic Drinks sessions are weighted less on presentation, and more on discussions and reflections.

A. Welcome Introduction :05
Ice-breaker :05
B. Rethinking Systems Presentation One :07
Dialogue One :20
Reflection One :10
C. Rethinking Systems Changes Presentation Two :07
Dialogue Two :20
Reflection Two :10
D.Rethinking Systems Changes Learning Presentation Three :07
Dialogue Three :20
Reflection Three :10
E. After Hours :30

With a condensed schedule for presentations, the imagery of short movies can express ideas more readily than the vector lineart that I usually use.  I recorded my voice (without the discussion of participants) and resynchonrized the slides and movies into a package.  The result was about 36 minutes of presentation, while the full Dialogic Drinks sessions each ran for more than 2.5 hours.

This recording of the presentation segments is available on Youtube , as well as on the Internet Archive .

Video H.264 MP4
March 14-15
(HD 2616kbps 724MB)
[on the Internet Archive]

A standalone audio track was extracted from the video recording.

March 14-15
[on the Internet Archive]

With embedded movies, showing slides on the web are a bit more of a challenge.  The ODF, PDF and surrogate Google Slides versions are posted over on the Coevolving Commons.

Dialogic Drinks are a peer-learning opportunity.  Regular participation in real time conversation enables learning in a way that video playback doesn’t.

Here is the original abstract sent in advance.

The field theory (circa 1947) from Kurt Lewin has largely been portrayed as “unfreeze-move-refreeze”. In the history of systems thinking, Lewin was foundational for the Socio-Technical Systems (STS) and Socio-Ecological (SES) perspectives of Fred E. Emery and Eric L. Trist. With rising interests in Systems Changes, might we theorize (and philosophize) differently?

In 2013, an article on “Rethinking Systems Thinking” was published. In 2019, the Systems Changes Learning Circle was founded in Toronto on an espoused 10-year journey to collectively explore progressing the rich legacy of the systems movement. In 2022-2023, two pilot consulting engagements were conducted, with materials openly accessible under Creative Commons licensing. From 2023, three (academic) peer-reviewed journal articles have been published, and a fourth is in final review. Passing the halfway point in the journey, the Circle now has subgroups on explaining theory and refining practices aligned with a new approach.

In this Dialogic Drinks session, we will discuss:.

  • What if we resequence thinking on “systems” as “genetic-social” before “clockworks”?
  • What if we resequence thinking on “systems changes” as “ecological” before “behavioral”?
  • What if we resequence thinking on “systems changes learning” as “propensity” before “causality”?

This DD conversation has been planned with a subsequent deeper philosophical session on “Yinyang and Daojia into Systems Thinking”..

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