Thursday, 25 April 2013

Reflective image(s) of the day: silos

It's been a big week in the world of service providers and with our evaluation planning. I am struck by the silos that still exist in the way some services are governed. The conventional and conservative approaches are alive and well (and comes as no surprise)!

I wonder how organisations that adhere to a more conventional model of governance see themselves in relation to the world around them? I fear there is an echo chamber rather than a (connecting) feedback process that perpetuates the silo-ed structures of such organisations.

silo canister
Silo canisters by alandberning
How do we look out and connect to the world beyond, when we are silo-ed? How does this skew or colour our view of the world? What relationships are we able to enjoy (and endure)? How do we validate what we do? And with whom? How do we trust others with our knowledge and practices? How do we trust in ourselves?

Silos 1
Silos 1 by Cal Dellinger
The cultural challenge begins . . .

Friday, 12 April 2013

A leap of faith

We had our first meeting with service providers yesterday about the evaluation plan they will begin developing in a couple of months. It's an exciting time!

This evaluation is based on the work we did last year and the community findings the previous year. I was both anxious and excited about our meeting yesterday: anxious in seeing how people would respond to our outline and second would they "get it", plus excited by the fact that we were beginning the journey with them in earnest (after months of planning and talking about and with them!).

As a project team, we've also been synthesizing our thinking around connecting the personal/individual journey with the systems change journey - a "leap of faith" in some ways. We tentatively tested our thinking with the service we met with yesterday, and we didn't sense we were "off track" with our message. Mostly non-verbal indicators; nods, leaning forward, a sense of warmth in the room, and I am somewhat relieved.

It's also got to do, I think, with taking your message out, to really test it and see if it lives or dies. If it contributes to the ongoing dialogue, then it's valuable.

Reflecting on that phrase, "a leap of faith", I'm reminded of The Matrix and in particular, this excerpt:

What I've noticed in this scene are my own feelings as Morpheus takes the leap: taking a deep breath and jumping, the hard work required to take the jump, the effort to gather energy to leap, letting go in my mind, trusting the process, tolerating uncertainty...! I've noticed this based on our team meeting earlier today and our discussion around connecting person to process and the bigger picture (i.e. the system, where systems are people anyway).

And so, the inquiry spirals...

Further reading:
Katie Armstrong (2013) Tolerating Uncertainty, Changerous Blog. March 8, 2013.

Seikkula J & Olsen M (2003) The Open Dialogue Approach to Acute Psychosis: Its Poetics and Micropolitics, Family Process, 42(3), 403-418,

Meinhold, Roman (2009) Being in The Matrix: An example of cinematic education in philosophy, Prajna Vihara. Journal of Philosophy and Religion. Vol.10, No.1-2,