Towards Symmathesic Agency
Many change, leadership and OD programmes promise results they rarely deliver. Conventional interventions tend to focus on what is absent, not on what is present which means organisations miss the opportunity to make more of what they have.
Alternative approaches are needed to transform corporate investment into meaningful benefits. In our experience, this means focusing less on driving people on command towards pre-ordained goals; and more on expanding their presence-in-action i.e. having the acuity, agility, fluency and artistry to take fit-for-purpose action amidst unpredictable, uncertain conditions – within the context of their roles and contributions to the organisation.
Expanding presence-in-action into the meta-capacity of Symmathesic Agency is vital for current and future leaders of any organisation. Nora Bateson (2016:169) coined the term “symmathesize – to generate contextual mutual learning through interaction”. In her doctoral inquiry Louie made a connection between the P6 Constellation accessing/liberating presence-in-action and seeding Symmathesic Agency. Our approach supports your leaders to develop Symmathesic Agency from the inside out, within context.
The following slide show offers a visual representation of Symmathesic Agency which we define simply as: “reflexivity across scales, in space and time”. We do not attempt a complete exploration and explanation here – other than to say that the essence of Symmathesic Agency is embodied in our definition of “Presence-in-action” above.