Christopher Haydock PhD

Transformation

Song of a Man Who Has Come Through

If only, most lovely of all, I yield myself and am borrowed
By the fine, fine, wind that takes its course through the chaos of the world
Like a fine, an exquisite chisel, a wedge-blade inserted;
If only I am keen and hard like the sheer tip of a wedge
Driven by invisible blows,
The rock will split, we shall come at the wonder, …

—D. H. Lawrence1

Between the No Longer and the Not Yet

The wedgeblade can stand for the direction history seems to be moving in.  When we decide to act as a social pioneer, we put ourselves at the leading edge of the wedge.

History is created out beyond what is past, between what is no longer and that which is not yet.  Behind the No Longer are those who live contented with the structures that already exist.  Somebody needs to do this, but there will always be enough people who want to devote their lives to maintaining what is.  At the other end is the Not Yet: the future structures that will care for the coming generations; they exist only in someone’s fertile mind.  If no one envisions what the future needs to be and works to create it, the future—the Not Yet—suddenly arrives, the old structures no longer work, and people are uncared for, resulting in innocent suffering.

When we commit ourselves to creating the future, it is as if we laid our body down at the tip of the wedge to create the new that is needed.

—R. Brian Stanfield2

The Conscious Consultant

Becoming a fully conscious practitioner is a powerful challenge for interventionists of all persuasions.  It is essential if we are to use our capacities to reflect on our experiences to form useful models and theories, which can, in turn, inform our work.  Basing our practice on application of theory is difficult enough, as anyone can attest who consistently attends to walking his or her talk.  Letting our experience inform our models may be a bigger challenge.  Letting our models and theories evolve over time in parallel with our consulting experience demands an ability to articulate our own models, to reflect, and to gather reliable feedback on outcomes while managing oneself in the dynamic world of human systems.  My father, an experimental psychologist, once said, “A major distinction between rats and people is that rats can learn from experience!”  That somewhat exaggerated assertion frames the challenge for each of us who desires to become a conscious consultant in the improvement of human systems.

—Charles Seashore3

Notes:

  1. D. H. Lawrence, The complete poems of D. H. Lawrence with an introduction and notes by David Ellis, (Wordsworth Editions Limited, Hertfordshire, 1994), p. 195, ISBN: 1853264172
  2. R. Brian Stanfield, The courage to lead: Transform self, transform society, (New Society Publishers, Gabriola Island, British Columbia, and  Canadian Institute of Cultural Affairs, Toronto, 2000), Chapter 10, The social pioneer, pp. 193−194, ISBN: 0865714258
  3. Kristine Quade and Renée M. Brown, The conscious consultant: Mastering change from the inside out, (Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer, San Francisco, 2002), Forward, p. xxv, ISBN: 0787958808