Renewal is working with feedback, knowledge/know-how and appropriate adjustments over time. Even the most ‘mechanistic’ organisations will change as their environment changes. We all learn and adjust – some of us are just quicker and more flexible! For ease of access here are four main areas of focus:


Honey and Mumford – Learning Styles

  • Whole Person Learning
  • Symmathesy – an entity formed by contextual mutual learning through interaction (N. Bateson)
  • Approaching complexity with enquiry – the need to respond to complex interconnected systems at all levels while also trying to function and effectively work with uncertainty….
    (Workplaces of Tomorrow, p28)
  • The “winning” company in the future will be design-driven – because of the importance (and rarity) of synthesis (marriage of intuition and analysis) capabilities
    (The Innovator’s Method, p58)
  • The whole is greater than its parts (see article)

Beliefs and Expectations

  • Managing the power dynamics in the helper/helpee relationships (Helping people to help themselves – we don’t need to fix people)
  • People usually resist loss rather than resist change
  • Awareness of personal responses to change like fear, anxiety, lack of control, indecision etc leading to a variety of emotions
  • Being centred and clear – being open to not knowing (’emptiness’)
  • Mindfulness isn’t much harder than mindlessness (article)

We create and respond from the wonderful empty place that is generated when we surrender. I say “wonderful empty place,” but most of us think of emptiness as terribly scary. We fill ourselves with all sorts of stimulation, keeping busy in order to avoid that unpleasant, queasy feeling of facing our own emptiness.

When we face our emptiness and look at it from the outside, it may indeed appear frightening or alarming; but when we move in and actually become empty, we’re surprised to suddenly find ourselves most powerful and effective. For only empty, without entertainment or distracting internal dialogue, can we be instantaneously responsive to the sight, the sound, the feel of the work in front of us.

S. Nachmanovitch, Free Play, p145-6


Develop and work with awareness and feedback.

  • ensure accurate, timely and appropriate feedback
  • be aware of the positives and negative of measurement (past, present and future)
  • be aware of the emotions, hopes and beliefs involved

Making Meaning / Sense Making

  • Locating yourself in paradox ambiguity and continuums (Workplace of Tomorrow)
  • Culture and the influence of language (article – Nature needs a new pronoun)
  • Tragic Optimism – looking for meaning (article)
  • The Power of Meaning: The true route to happiness
  • Emily Esfahani Smith – book
  • Being guided by the possible pain and the need to let go (Daily blog……It seems that nothing less than some kind of pain will force us to release our grip on our small explanations and our self-serving illusions. Resurrection will always take care of itself, whenever death is trusted. It is the cross, the journey into the necessary night, of which we must be convinced, and then resurrection is offered as a gift.  Richard Rohr 2020-03-30)
  • Doughnut Economics (link to Kate Raworth’s website)
  • Embodied responses to uncertainty (Sonia Mayor)

Reflection and creativity

Creativity, Co-creation, Intuition and Intentionality (will)

  • Creating space
  • Playing
  • Bringing all our difference to ‘harmonise’ as a whole

Working with Liminal Space

One of the many catch-22’s in the business of creativity is that you can’t express inspiration without skill, but if you are too wrapped up in the professionalism of skill you obviate the surrender to accident that is essential to inspiration. You begin to emphasize product at the expense of process.

S. Nachmanovitch, Free Play, p119


The goal of freedom is human creativity, the enhancement and elaboration of life. Creativity always involves a certain amount of discipline, self-restraint, and self-sacrifice. Planning and spontaneity become one. Reason and intuition become two faces of truth.

We now find ourselves, as individuals, as nation-states, and as a species, involved in a period of intense and often bewildering transformation. The systems of government, production, culture, thought, and perception to which we have become accustomed and that have functioned for so long are not working. This presents us with a challenge. We can cling to that which is passing, or has already passed, or we can remain accessible to – even surrender to – the creative process, without insisting that we know in advance the ultimate outcome for us, our institutions, or our planet. To accept this challenge is to cherish freedom, to embrace life, and to find meaning.

S. Nachmanovitch, Free Plan, p189-190


Taking appropriate action and supporting possible failure

  • How DFID Learns (ICAI review) re learning and failure
  • Regeneration – not to make it the way it was but to help get to where it can be
  • Transformation and ongoing change