Vol. 12 No. 1 Jan 2016
This paper reports results from a study of how participants’ sense of personal hope and motivation was affected by a facilitated process in which four groups of people worked on different complex social issues. The group interventions were designed to scaffold increased understanding of the complexity of the chosen issue. A method called The Integral Process for Working on Complex Issues was used in all of the groups. Issues addressed in the four groups were: neighborhood deterioration, lack of community engagement, the need for better strategies for communication between rescue service actors in critical life-and-death situations, and transition to a more environmentally sustainable city. The study investigated the participants’ self-reported changes in their levels of hope regarding the possibility of achieving positive results on the selected issue, and changes in their motivation to engage in work to that end. The data were gathered through interviews with individual group participants before and after the group process. The sessions supported group members to develop more awareness of the complexity of the issues, and to develop strategies for action.
The study indicates that the discovery of new potential pathways to manage an issue, through a more comprehensive understanding of the complexity involved, was a key factor influencing levels of hope and motivation. Reports from participants showed that when the participants formulated concrete actions that made sense to them, then “particularized hope” emerged, as well as motivation to continue to engage. Thus, increased levels of hope about a delimited part of the issue were reported, while in some cases, participants reported having less hope about the issue complex as a whole.
This article describes a project at the NorQuest College Center for Intercultural Education to develop an inclusion model for a post-secondary, two-year college. Inclusion = Diversity + Engagement is a model for action based on the integration of integral theory, particularly the all quadrants component of the AQAL model by Ken Wilber and the Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity by Dr. Milton Bennett. The author views inclusion as a perspectival phenomenon, socially constructed; a culture of inclusion is, in part, founded on perspective seeking behaviors. Within the model, the focus for translative and transformative change is guided by the Intercultural Competence Stretch Goals document, a map created by the author and her project collaborators to identify selected attitudes, knowledge and skills to support more inclusive communication behaviors. The model is informed by concepts arising out of discourse on inclusion and intercultural competence, specifically on a capacity for perspective taking within a Canadian socio-cultural surround. Within the context of a college with identifiable diversity in terms of country of origin, languages spoken, race, ethnocultural origin including First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples and the level of ability requiring supports (for physical and/or learning challenges), this article describes an organizational change project sparked by an applied research study to create the Inclusion = Diversity + Engagement model and the organizational change initiatives that flowed out of the model. The applied research question asked: “In what ways might Student Services enhance intercultural communication skills during face-to-face interactions with students.” We found a need to focus on the enhancement of intercultural communication skills based on a primarily ethnocentric, minimization worldview for student services staff. Specific skills included developing a deeper understanding of staff’s own worldview with a focus on identifying preferred communication styles and practicing less familiar, less comfortable styles. We also found a need to practice perspective taking to increase staff capability to check for inclusion in service interactions. Results were used to design inclusion training; the project evolved to develop an integrally informed inclusion map. These organizational change initiatives are continuing through an ongoing inclusion focus at NorQuest College in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Although written from a single author perspective, I want to acknowledge the project team members and the community of participants that engaged in this project from project proposal to ongoing inclusion initiatives.
Immunity to Change Revisited: Theoretical Foundations for Awareness Based Practices for Leadership Development
This article presents an inquiry into how the understanding of Kegan and Lahey’s immunity to change process can be enhanced through examining it in relation to two other theoretical lenses, the work of David Bohm and the Arbinger Institute. This is taken as an exemplar of the conception of awareness based practices for leadership development which is introduced as the larger focus of the article. A brief review of literature in relevant fields is presented to situate the present work. A set of methodological considerations is described along with the process for the analysis of textual extracts from the three sources. This is followed by a description of ten themes emerging from this analysis. These themes are examined for interconnections and key insights. The discussion centers around two elements. First is the wisdom of self-transcendence in relation to the immunity to change process. Second is how the emerging view of awareness can contribute to understanding leadership development. Concluding reflections summarize the findings and identify limitations of the inquiry.