By Tova Averbuch and Rachel Hillel Avraham
“Personally I’m always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught”. Winston Churchill
A. Purpose Statement:
“Organizational Kaleidoscope” (OK (is a method for obtaining deep multi-disciplinary and integrative understanding of complex situations, in a short time. Being question focused, OK creates a non-threatening and generative exploratory space that promotes the emergence of new vision and new ideas.
B. List of outcomes (benefits):
• With OK, we can learn rapidly, explore the complex, find a new path or see into future designs.
• Gain better understanding of a specific topic/issue in a short time.
• Learn several disciplines/schools of thought effortlessly in a short time.
• Hold complexity long enough for a fuller picture to emerges.
• Foster trust and collectively lay ground for transformational conversations (Glaser, J. 2013) by experiencing a new paradigm of relationships between people in an exploratory journey.
• OK as an ongoing practice has the potential to develop a new level of consciousness-of-the-whole that emerges from the interplay of distinct parts.
C. When to use:
• When there is a need for clarity and new understanding in complex situations for a system or a person.
• When the use of many theories/schools of thought needs to be put to practice for fuller understanding.
• When we what to cultivate trust and build foundations of “we”.
D. When not to use:
• When there is no complex and burning issue.
• When there is not enough knowledge in the room to embody and reflect the essential nature of the chosen lenses.
E. Number of participants: OK is scale free and can be used in large and small groups. (Used in 5-250)
F. Type of Participants:
• Protagonists : 1-3 volunteer to share a story;
• Expert lenses: 3-5 reflecting disciplines
• Facilitator: 1
• Audience: any number, engage as listeners and emerging lenses
• Documenter: 1
G. Typical Duration: session of 1.5 hours for 1-3 cases.
H. Brief example with results: A high-tech manager whose company was bought by a larger firm volunteered his story. Through expert lenses of agility, strategy, movement and audience-emergent lenses of corporate thinking, inner needs etc., questions were generated for 20 minutes. His response: “I am learning a lot” and then: “I feel loved and held by all of you and I am very grateful for that”. 50 people in the room who 20 minutes earlier were total strangers, became an intimate community. In the reflection someone said: ‘the magic is in the questions. Questions bring us together, answers pull us apart
I. Historical Context:
The OK emerged out of real need to enable deep learning within a very large group during a three day conference. This was a national yearly gathering of educational-psychology services managers in Israel.
J. Creator: Tova Averbuch
K. Creation Date: February 2007
L. Roots / Foundations :
Open System Theory (Katz and Khan, 1966); Complexity and Emergence (Stacy 2001, Holman 2010) and Judith Glaser’s “conversational intelligence” (2013)
M. A pictorial representation of the process: