Virtual learning to meet the complexity before us

Our MDV community hopes you are well and staying healthy. We have been thinking together about helping people stay connected, maintain good mental health and look forward.

Our purpose is to grow people to meet the complexity before them. So we want to support people to increase their capability to lean in and navigate these more demanding times, and with greater resilience. As our contribution to this, we hosted a newly-created series of free virtual learning sessions during the pandemic. These focused on sharing practices to think, relate and act in more expansive ways and gave us a chance to be together. 

Each session was recorded and the series can be viewed here. Sessions included: Making sense with Cynefin, Psychological Resilience, Complex Causality, Relational Resilience , Navigating Dilemmas and Social Resilience.

The Series explored

Making sense with Cynefin – Cynefin, (a Welsh word meaning sense of place) is a sense-making framework developed by David Snowden of Cognitive Edge. In this session Mike Vessey looked at how you can use it to help make sense of an issue and to decide how to respond. This was complemented by drawing on Roger Steare’s work to reflect on care and virtues in the workplace. View this below and find resources from this session here

Psychological Resilience – This session shared the concept of resilience, introduced the 4R’s Recovery cycle and provided a few short practices for dealing with physical and psychological upsets. There was some reflective exploration of courage and en-couer-agement. Resources from this session are here.

Complex Causality – Complex challenges can have multiple and unclear cause and effects and many interrelated aspects. This session used the Covid19 pandemic problem to look at the many interrelated aspects of a complex challenge and showed how changes in the cause and effect on one part of the problem, can have consequential effects on other parts. The second part took a look at the science behind complexity and presented five different ‘complexity lenses’ to analyse situations. Resources from this session are here

Relational Resilience – looking at the principles and the aspect of dynamic equilibrium in resilience, this session helped participants understand some of the features of resilient relationships, introducing practical practices for recovery and achieving better relational conversations conversations. The complementary ‘digestif’ part took a fascinating look at research into the aspect of ‘Love’ in the workplace. Resources from this session are here.

Navigating Dilemmas – this session looked at the differences between dilemmas and polarities and introduced the wisdom of opposable thinking. A polarity management mapping tool was used to help us reframe the way we see problems in order to find new solutions rather than flipping between opposing poles. Resources from this session are here.

Social Resilience – this session by Karen Ellis focused on the adaptive strengths of our personal social groups, understand the characters in our own networks, thinking about how emotional states get transmitted across a group and look at a group model by Bert Hellinger and a useful practice to improve relational conversations with a four sentence approach. Resources from this session are here.