116: First Principles of Regeneration

Podcast Show Notes: #116 

Carol’s Lesson: Examine what regeneration is and how the term is used in modern society.

What is Regeneration?

  • Regeneration is a process that only happens in Living Systems. It requires us to learn to see and work with life as living.
  • We have spent so much time damaging things that are alive—from children to nature to communities. We approach them as a list of things to be worked on and do it in such a fragmented way that we are putting our planet, our social systems like how we govern, at risk.
  • If we can really see how Regeneration works in this living being situations, we can be more effective and grow healthy communities, life shed and children into whole and contributing entities. If we just use the word and keep doing a variation of what we are doing or some amelioration or improvement, we lose the real potential that understanding living systems brings to us and our organized entities.

Carol’s Parameters for Regeneration

There is a simple system and a set of questions to ask. It has seven windows on Living Systems. Carol calls them 7 First Principles. They have been evolved for modern times and adjusted to Carol’s understanding.

Seven First Principles:
  1. Start withYou can tell if it is a whole if it is distinctive and nature would call it a whole.
    1. Like, a child, or a Life shed, or it has organized itself as a whole and committed to being so. For example a family, a business, or an agency.
    2. If It can change its own structure, has systems that work to keep it alive and working; and can change the processes each time it engages in them- versus being mechanical.
    3. It make us have to put our mind to work, imaging a Living System at work. Just the question, of “what is the whole I am working on?” invites you to think about where something fits in a living system. You can quickly ask if “ it has the ability to change itself and its processes every time?” The questions evoke something alive. Regeneration only happens in living Systems.
  • In order to move on the next aspect of a Living System, we have to see the whole we have identified as unique from any other whole that exists in the past or present and is not replicable for others. This is a principle of Living Systems. Each being has an Essence that is formed in its origination.
    • We can see it in each child even when they are small. Before they are socially conditioned to be what we think they need to be, or society expects them to be. And, if there is enough freedom, it shows up again when they hit the teenage years when they again drive us crazy by not confirming. They “process” life differently. They see the world differently than us and their siblings. They will fight to be seen as a distinctive being.
    • Learning to discover and engage with the ESSENCE quality is the next principles.
    • Different Variations of Essence:
      • At the level of personality and appearance there are seemingly overlaps that lead us to build typologies. But science tells us that even that is impossible. There are no two living beings which are identical in cellular structure. Psychology says the same for our personality. The wisdom sages said it is the essence of us is never duplicated but personality often shrouds that distinctiveness. But even with a small exercise you can explore what is different about each person you know or meet and find variations.
  • Leads directly from Essence and predicts or requires.
  • We use the phrase ‘achieving our full potential’ in many settings. In living systems, it is Essence that is be revealed and expressed. That includes understanding the role of that one ESSENCE being in a system. Essence might be said to be usable as a source of direction for potential, in becoming increasingly more able in expressing each of our unique Essences into the world.
    • Achieving Potential is not about meeting someone’s competencies or a generic standard, but about us being ourselves. A Singularity in a sky of others singular stars. One of One. NO other exists and it cannot be copied. The same is true for a business achieving its potential. You start with its Essence. It is lost when others think they know what we should be and drive us in that direction. Or when a new leader takes over and imposes their personality on the business. The business, and person, after they are born, have their own Essence and a unique path to pursue realization of their potential.
    • The forth principles then becomes critical because to get to the realization of potential moving. That we need to increase development, including removing all the distractions plus bringing forward the Essence.
    • We are born with so much capacity that, in the average family, school or job, does not get developed. Instead we are socialized and conditioned through teachers, churches and bosses to be and do in a particular way. And to meet the standards and morés of a society and community.
  • If that whole is embedded in a nest of wholes. Some greater in affecting the vitality of the next and some lesser. A person is nested in a family which is nested in a neighborhood and nation on a planet. If a nation falls into war, as in Syria, it affects all neighborhoods, some more than others. And families are torn apart some more than others. But there is no action or outcome that does not affect the entire nest.
    • We tend not to think about the nest when we do local or global policy on the larger and smaller. We do not understand their certain economic actions will spread across a great system and have unintended consequences. Learning to read the energies that work when one actor or a set of actions happen on the whole calls for a particular kind of development. It is called living-systems thinking.
      • A form of systems thinking that is not built off machine or a borrowed idea. Some forms of Systems thinking are really machine thinking with false equivalency to human thinking. Systems Dynamics and even Mimicry are not living systems. They are useful in some instances and can open doors to using our world in a different way. But to understand living systems “at work” they are not useful.
  • Is to learn to see that living systems work with nodes of energies where a set of energies come together and can be engaged to affect the whole.
    • It is a big like a ‘knot’ the origin of the word where many different threads and streams come together and hold something in place unless loosened or cut.
    • Energies come apart and reorganize to hold in a different, more effective way. We can do this with the mind when we have a new way of seeing. We dislodge an old way and can never seeing it the same way again.
    • Knowing how to create this self-reorganizing process with a single idea or process or needle is the stuff of magic and transformation. But it has to be learned. We have to see all the threads working and the nature of knot they have formed. If we chop on it, there is nothing to reorganize. We are looking to learn to loosen and allow the meridians, the fixed ideas to relax, be reframed, re-envisioned and the regenerated to a way that invoke the essence of their work.
  • The nodal intervention enables the system to work for all the beings in it. I call this Systemic Reciprocity. All give and receive their nourishment when the system is working regeneratively. There is no one entity seeking to extract value or assets for itself unbalancing the whole. That is not a downside if all humans have been developed the mind that can see the system is a dynamic complex balance of living beings, each playing a role, making a contribution in service of a vital, viable and evolving whole

Business Second Opinion Podcast_ This set of Show Notes is an overview of Business Second Opinion Podcast #116. Available where you listen to podcasts including iTunes, Audio Boom, Stitcher. Or the website.

And read more blogs and Show Notes on www.BusinessSecondOpinion.com. Join the newsletter and get a background paper. Follow us on Twitter @businesssecondopinion. Suggest topics and HBR articles on which you want Carol’s Second Opinion. And finally, pick up a copy of The Regenerative Business, by Carol Sanford, with much more about how to build a regenerative work design. atwww.carolsanford.com.

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