Archive for the ‘Leaders’ Category
Thursday, February 28th, 2013
By Barry Camson
I recently completed a study that looked at GISC as a network. The thesis of this study was that the community aspect of GISC which we have long been familiar with and appreciated really constitutes a network. Perhaps, the best way to describe it is as a latent network which in order to actualize its potential as a network requires our naming it, developing some language that enables us to speak about it as a network and recognizing the network characteristics that it possesses. All of this facilitates our intentional interventions to strengthen GISC as a network.
There are a variety of network attributes about which we could speak. I have previously written about many of these. On this occasion, I would like to view GISC as a network through a Gestalt lens.
Levels of system – the network level of system.
I have expanded common Gestalt categories of levels of system to include the network level of system which I believe is qualitatively different from the other levels. Though it is not always the case, I posit the network level of system as a type of the “largest present system” (LPS). Though a group could be a network, more often I suggest we would find a network as existing across organizational boundaries or extending into a regional, national or global community.
Well-developed and less-developed.
Networks commonly reflect what is well-developed and less developed. Network aspects that are well-developed or over-developed often involve a cost reflected in what is less developed. For example, when specific people in a network are over utilized as resources, it often means that other people are under-utilized. Network theory explains that without conscious intervention the adage that the “rich get richer” can often be the case. The consequences of this could be bottlenecks around the over-utilized person and isolation and lost input from the under-utilized person. Focusing on what is well-developed or less-developed is useful as a point of diagnosis and change. It allows us to “re-balance” the network.
Creative tensions: connection and production.
Networks have purposes and to be effective should have clearly acknowledged purposes. Networks vary in terms of what might be the purposes of the network. One schema of categorization views networks as having purposes of connection, alignment and production. These are evolutionary stages of a network in which the network first establishes connection, then may choose to build on this by aligning around a common ideology or language. Then a network may choose to add production as a purpose. Often purposes co-exist.
GISC has a purpose of connection supported by a culture of connection and values around interpersonal competency. At the same time, GISC has a purpose around the production of training, workshops, consulting and writing. Members vary in terms of their valence towards the purpose of connection or production. There is a creative tension within GISC on a network level of system between connection and production.
The Paradoxical Theory of Change can be applied here. Following this approach, the GISC network as a whole could be made aware of the existence of each polarity within the network. The practice of network mapping is an intervention that would increase awareness by visualizing these two creative tensions in operation within GISC. It could dramatize the network energy devoted to each. The role and value of each polarity within the GISC network can be acknowledged. This could in turn lead to explicit conversations about the role of both qualities.
Value propositions as structures of ground
Purposes are translated into value for members, customers and the public. This can be reflected in value propositions that cover each of these groups. The value proposition becomes an organizing and orienting mechanism for the network. Possible value propositions for GISC could be:
- Improve professional competencies and effectiveness.
- Transfer skills and theory.
- Build interpersonal competencies.
- Create good relationships.
- Build a better world.
A value proposition acts as structured ground in the network which then continues to influence future figure formation.
Integration of strategic and intimate.
This tension between production and connection can also be seen as a tension between the “strategic” and “intimate.” Another way of looking at this tension at GISC is arguably between the world of OD, leadership and organizations and the world of therapy. In the first, the effective completion of tasks is primary. In the second, relationships and intimacy are primary.
GISC constantly strives to integrate these two worlds. In the past, a major way that GISC ensured the integration of these two was through Edwin and Sonia [Nevis]. They represented, as founders and as husband and wife, the real and symbolic effort to maintain this integration. This integration remains an inherent challenge of the 21st century Gestalt enterprise.
The network cluster as a manifestation of figure formation.
A network competency is the ability to form fluid figures throughout the system in response to new internal and external challenges. Members join in new and different relationships with one another in responding to these challenges. Both the Healthcare and Education Initiatives at GISC are good examples of how GISC organized itself to respond to these challenges. When people have been energized to come together in pursuit of new knowledge or action, the result is what has been called a cluster or community of practice or simply a new initiative.
Creation of a fresh figure as a path to innovation.
For GISC to be sustainable, it needs to exist as a fluid overall figure composed of other fluid figures. This fluidity results in ongoing fresh and rich figures. In this regard innovation becomes key. This includes innovation in programs and services, in governance and in the underlying content and process theories of the GISC network. Innovation needs to flow into action and into contact that changes GISC members, organizations and the world.
Innovation requires a diversity of members. It requires a movement of members into and out of the GISC system in order to keep the system fresh and fully in tune with its environment. It requires contact among members of GISC that is rich and in keeping with system values around connection. It requires a flow of knowledge from outside in, from inside out and throughout the system. Innovation requires clear goals from the core governance mechanism and ample space for new ideas to emerge that furthers GISC system purposes. Innovation requires an appropriate degree of support for these points of collaboration.
In essence, innovation arises from the integration of planfulness and emergence just as it does from the intimate with the strategic. Innovation requires sufficient goal directed behavior to make good contact with the surrounding business community as well as serendipity that makes contact with the hearts, minds and souls of its members.
Awareness as an intervention
I believe that networks are qualitatively different from traditional organizations and that interventions need to be adjusted to this new reality. The practitioner community is in an early stage of doing this. At this point, I want to posit one intervention for the network level of system that has strong continuity with Gestalt practice. This is the critical role of awareness as a guiding intervention. Though the concept is familiar, its application is more challenging at this level of system.
The thesis of this article is that we help to further the network potential of GISC by being more aware of its nature as a network. One can ask, is there a phenomenology of networks? We can observe and point out aspects of network governance, inclusion, interaction, funding, facilitation and knowledge sharing. We can also reflect back who talks to whom, about what, with what frequency, in what groupings. We can also point out how the flow of work overlaps with these groupings.
The challenge at the network level of system is how to cultivate this awareness at a network level of system.
It is my hope that the insights set out in this article will help everyone involved in GISC continue to make it a vibrant and giving network.
Barry Camson is an organization development consultant and trainer and professor of management (www.barrycamson.com). He has been a Gestalt practitioner for many years. A current focus of his work is on using networks effectively to connect, do business and support innovation. He can be reached at email@example.com.
 “Net Gains,” Peter Plastrik, Madeleine Taylor, v.1, Pg. 33.
 “Gestalt Reconsidered,” Gordon Wheeler, 1991.
Monday, November 26th, 2012
As part of the Gestalt International Study Center (GISC) community, you are important in carrying our vision and mission throughout the world. We want to bring you up-to-date on some significant changes and progress at GISC. This is also the time of year we ask for your financial support—but first, let us share with you what is going on at GISC.
As you know, Edwin Nevis, one of the two co-founders of GISC, died last year at age 85. Edwin exemplified leadership with his passion for supporting people and creating programs—and by building a physical Center that fosters transformation. We honor Edwin best by continuing to build on the legacy that he and Sonia established.
Mary Anne Walk has assumed the role of Executive Director of GISC. Mary Anne has been a longstanding member of the GISC Board of Directors, a faculty member, and an active member of our community. Under her leadership we have established a new, well received, internationally certified coaching program to our offerings. A number of you already know Mary Anne, and we encourage you to connect with her in the coming months.
Our flagship programs, Leadership in the 21st Century and the Cape Cod Training Program (the model for effective interventions created by co-founder Sonia Nevis), continue to draw participants from the U.S. and abroad. Our best measure of success, however, is the enthusiasm of participants and their eagerness to take new ideas and methods out into the world.
There is an enormous need in the world today for the programs and services offered by GISC. We have expanded our presence with programs across the United States and in Europe. We are broadening our influence in the key areas of health care, education, business, and the professions. Two specific initiatives we are involved in are:
- Health Care—In partnership with a health care system, GISC Professional Associates used Gestalt core concepts and behaviors to develop a relational model for patient-centered medical services, resulting in better health care at lower cost. This work was one of many components that contributed to the system receiving the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. Your donation can help us replicate this effective model so it can have wider impact.
- Education—GISC Professional Associates, working with school systems from elementary grades to community colleges, provide training, consultation, and leadership development to teachers and administrators and help educators deal with multiple student issues and increasing student retention.
Health care and education are just two examples of areas where financial assistance is needed. Every year, GISC awards numerous scholarships as part of our commitment to making our programs accessible as we endeavor to transform the way you live and work in the world. We hope you will join us in this endeavor. A gift of $125 or more begins or renews your annual GISC membership which includes a subscription to the Gestalt Review. We hope you will support us; the following are among the opportunities to direct your donation dollars:
The Nevis Scholarship Fund provides financial support for participants to attend programs.
Program-Specific Scholarships provide financial support for a program of your choice.
The Education Initiative supports the development and delivery of GISC courses and methods in schools and colleges.
General Donations support a myriad of functions that sustain and grow GISC’s impact in the world.
Sonia Nevis says, “Be generous—it’s good for your heart.” Whatever your financial capacity, please help us continue to make GISC experiences available to a wide range of people. Your dollars will be used wisely, and your generosity and support are very much appreciated.
With all best wishes,
Sonia Nevis, Co-Founder
Jamie B. Stewart, Chairman of the Board
Mary Anne Walk, Executive Director
Monday, October 22nd, 2012
By Sonia Nevis
My summer was almost perfect.
I was drinking in every day of this summer of continual sun—until it came to an end.
Only then was I aware of how many of my plantings had dried up.
An odd winter and then an odd summer. It seems true that the seasons are not as reliable as they have been.
As the weather cooled, I turned to reading again: back to sitting inside the house in my comfortable chair. I came across an article I had scanned about Homer’s Iliad, about the Trojan War. I think I had put it aside because I didn’t want to read about war, not when the sun was shining so much.
The article I read was written by Daniel Mendelsohn who was reviewing Stephen Mitchell’s new translation of the Iliad. He focused not on the Trojan War but on the wrath of Achilles.
It is said that Aristotle, in 335 B.C., did not attempt to treat the war as a whole but rather he focused on Achilles’ wrath.
Now in 2012 A.D. anger continues to prevail.
The Iliad gives us some understanding about Achilles’ rage. The Greek soldiers were accustomed to seizing slave girls as a way of expressing their status. The more slave girls they seized the higher their status.
The Commander of the Greek army, Agamemnon, is compelled by the Gods to return one of Achilles’ slave girls to her father, a priest. Achilles, enraged that his slave girl was taken from him, withdrew from the fighting and from leading the troops.
Agamemnon was enraged that Achilles was no longer willing to assist with the troops. Achilles turned to Agamemnon and said “did you think I would just sit here alone without the slave girl?” He felt that the slave girl belonged to him.
A furious Achilles felt that he was being treated as a nobody and the fury between the two of them started in 335B.C.
Sadly, anger will probably always be with us. However, there might be ways we can soften it.
If we learn to attend to what we need for ourselves as well as attend to what other people need, then we would not feel like a “nobody.” We would all feel like a “somebody.”
Second, if we cultivate appreciating differences rather than disdaining them, then we will have brought us together, rather than kept us apart. Anger will probably diminish.
And I guess we can try to read the Iliad, especially on a rainy day.
On the sunny days, let’s get outside and enjoy ourselves.
Friday, September 7th, 2012
GISC Executive Director, Mary Anne Walk talks to Seán Gaffney about the upcoming Roots V Conference devoted to Gestalt OD, which he will chair along with fellow GISC faculty member Joseph Melnick on November 1-4, 2012. In this interview, Seán shares stories about planning the early conferences with Edwin Nevis, how the conference series has evolved, what to expect at Roots V, who should plan to attend, and what makes “Roots” so exciting for Gestalt practitioners and theorists alike.
MW: Hi Seán. Thanks for sitting down to talk to me about the Roots V Conference that will be held just outside of Stockholm this fall. It’s November first through fourth, will focus on Organizational Development and is dedicated to Edwin Nevis. Is that correct?
MW: I want to ask you a few questions about this because the conference has a strong heritage. Before beginning can you just say a few words about your engagement with Gestalt theory and the movement through the last several years?
SG: I came to the Gestalt world in 1986 when I had my first Gestalt training. I completed a four year Gestalt therapist training program in Sweden and then the Cleveland International OSD program. So I trained both as a therapist and in OD. My background also includes being a lecturer in cross-cultural management at the Stockholm School of Economics. And then in 1995/1996 I met Edwin when I did the international OSD program, and then joined the faculty. I shared with Edwin the fascination for social applications and organizational applications. We had many, many conversations, and there probably isn’t anything we haven’t spoken about.
MW: So you’re very steeped in the whole theoretical process of Gestalt as well as the application of it, which I think is very important for the different types of people who might attend the conference. It’s not just theoretical, but also the application of the theory as well. And Joe Melnick, the other co-chair has been around the Gestalt therapy and movement for a similar or maybe an even longer time. So he’ll be there as well to oversee the conference. Can you give me a little bit of the history of the Roots Conference, because this is Roots V?
SG: Well it all began in the many conversations Edwin and I had over the years about how you can’t have an international study center if it’s totally based and staffed by people of one country. So, in one of our evening sessions on the porch in his house in Wellfleet, we came upon the idea of the European Roots of Gestalt therapy. Paris was the first one. We had a great focus on all of the European pioneers. We had some great sessions on Sachs and on Sandor Ferencz who was a psychoanalyst, but his thinking was very similar to ours. We explored the theory that Fritz and Laura [Perls] brought with them from Europe to South Africa and then to America.
That conference went very well and gave rise to a number of papers, which were published either in the Gestalt Review or in the British Gestalt Journal.
The second conference was held in Antwerp, Belgium. We decided to continue the idea of the European roots. There we had some really fascinating presentations on Buber and Lewin to really go deeper into our roots. We even explored the European impact on Paul Goodman. And again the conference generated a number of papers. We were really interested in this connection between the conference and journal articles, which is why Joe Melnick and Malcolm Parlett (the founding editors of Gestalt Review and the British Gestalt Journal) were usually around. That connection was important to us.
Then, for Roots III, we shifted to exploring Gestalt in relation to society. I spoke about the North of Ireland, Brian O’Neil came from Australia to talk about Gestalt in Australia and its impact on the social field, and Raymond Saner brought us into the social and artistic environment in which Fritz and Laura lived and its impact on their thinking. We began to look at not just the impact of Gestalt on society but also the impact of society of Gestalt. Again that gave rise to a number of articles. By number IV we were beginning to wonder what is our next big thing. And then we decided on Gestalt in education, and we had that conference in Hungary.
MW: One of the questions that I had for you, you’ve already answered; how are Gestalt theory and the Roots conference impacting society? I now realize that when GISC started the education initiative immediately following the Roots IV conference, Belinda Harris, one of the presenters came here and did an internship to help that initiative to get off the ground, along with several other interested people. It has given rise to several programs that have been developed for teachers and administrators. Would you tell me about the conference format?
SG: Both Edwin and I agreed that the most deadening thing we could create would be a series of two-hour presentations where you had to choose your workshop, thus missing all of the others. So everybody got a bit of something, but nobody got the whole picture. So we decided that this would be a small conference where everyone was involved with everything and everyone else, all the time. We kept presentations short. We said to presenters, “aim at 30 minutes and if you start heading toward 45 we’ll stop you. We want to aim at a really focused input. The real work is when the participants break up into small groups and discuss your input and come back with questions and thoughts, and then we expand it. So, don’t try to say everything in your presentation. The presentation is the starting point.” We found that over the years the discussions that began in small groups would continue over lunch, over dinner and then breakfast, resulting in a wonderful exchange of ideas.
MW: A real intellectual exchange.
SG: A real intellectual exchange in which we really dig into our theory, play with it, turn it inside out, add and subtract from it; a real sense of developing a solid cognitive base for what we were doing.
MW: So tell me, what is the spread of people who have attended these conferences?
SG: The spread is from those who would regard themselves as primarily theorists, those who are interested in method, and those who are practitioners. Over the years we have seen the connection between the importance of theory to inform practice and the importance of practice to inform theory.
MW: How are the Roots Conferences set up?
SG: We always try to have a local institute involved as host so that we have people on the ground who really knows the location to help us and support us. We are lucky to have three institutes sponsoring and supporting this Conference. We have two that GISC has an alliance with; namely, the Gestalt Academy of Scandinavia, a training institute, and Perlan, an OD business consultancy. We will also be sponsored by Norlin & Partners, an OD consultancy with a long term relationship to GISC. Perlan and Norlin & Partners will be inviting their business associates, their customers, and their clients to come and join us to get a sense of what it is that Gestalt OD thinking has to offer them.
MW: I’ve sensed that for the last 20 years that I’ve been involved with Gestalt that the thinking evolves with what’s happening in the environment. I’m interested in knowing your opinion. The vision of GISC is transforming the way you live and work in the world. How do you think that the Roots V conference aligns with that vision and can help extend the teachings and theory around?
SG: Roots is a pretty unique conference. I know of few conferences with such a focus on applied theory that also provide a format where we can talk theory in a meaningful way and see the connection to method and from method to application. I think it is really, really important. This is fundamental to GISC’s value of having a sound cognitive base for the actions it does and programs it offers.
MW: Without interfering in the local culture, I think.
SG: Yes, this is important. Our goal from the start was to not compete with anyone local. We look for cooperation with someone local so that together we can meet a local population.
MW: That’s helpful. This conference will recognize Edwin Nevis as the father of Gestalt OD. You’ve known him as a friend, a mentor, a teacher, a buddy, but what does it mean to you when you think about Edwin as the father of Gestalt OD? What does that mean to you in the practice of OD in the world?
SG: I think Edwin was the first person with a good grounding in Gestalt who saw the connection between organizational psychology and Gestalt therapy; He recognized that Gestalt therapy theory, organizational thinking, and organizational development were a match. He was the first to bring the theory of Gestalt therapy and the method of Gestalt therapy into the workplace and apply it; that it was absolutely valid to talk to a manager or a leader about awareness. It made perfect sense to Edwin. It wasn’t anything you needed to be embarrassed about, and that once the people that he and, at the time, Dick Wallen worked with began to understand the impact of increased awareness on how they worked, it was so obvious to them too. He saw this before anyone else. He had a solid – absolutely rock solid – understanding of OD, a rock solid understanding of Gestalt theory, and he put the two of them together, creating a synthesis, which is unbeatable.
MW: His book Organizational Consulting is so very digestible. Even someone not steeped in Gestalt theory can take that book and really get a lot out of it. In fact, it’s still being used at many schools today in the OD field. I know that you have several topics that have already been identified that you will address at this conference and I’m wondering if you could give our readers just a couple of highlights?
SG: The opening one on Gestalt OD roots will honor Edwin, because Edwin was a historian. He regarded himself as an amateur historian, and he was always aware of the importance of the history of an idea in understanding it. So, we will be looking at some of the original roots beginning at the New York Institute, the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland, at National Training Labs (NTL) and at Esalen. Then we will look at how these spread into the various institutes which have long had Gestalt OD training: for example at the Gestalt Institute of Scandinavia that has had OD for over 25 years. We’ll also be looking at various applications such as coaching, large-scale organizational transformation, and leadership. For example, three of the presenters have published a book in Sweden on leadership and adult development. It’s a quite fascinating book. They’re going to be presenting their ideas. We also have some people who work in industry who completed the Masters’ Program in Gestalt OD in Sweden. We’ll be asking them “please tell us, how Gestalt has impacted you as a manager?”
MW: What else would you like to offer those that could benefit from attending the Roots V conference?
SG: I would say that if you come you will have the most exciting, varied and rich conversations about Gestalt OD that you’ve ever had for a long, long tome, because we never stop talking.
MW: That’s one good thing about Gestalt; it never ends, it just keeps going, the picture keeps expanding. Well Dr. Gaffney I’d like to thank you for taking the time to talk to me.
SG: Thank you.
MW: Thank you.
Thursday, April 12th, 2012
By Sonia Nevis
They say that Spring has arrived.
We have had an odd winter – really no winter at all, only a string of spring days.
I was delighted to have such pleasant weather until I began to wonder whether it was at the cost of tornadoes, floods and other unusual weather upheavals around the world.
All these years I have taken for granted that the seasons would follow each other, that the sun and the moon would rise as they “always” do, that I would always know when to buy sandals since summer was coming, and when I need to check my snow boots since I would need them soon.
Suddenly I am faced again with the reality of not knowing what tomorrow will be.
Many years ago, I read an article that said that old age started at age 85. I felt so much freedom since my mother, my grandmother, and my great grandmother all died in their 20s.
What did I have to worry about, since I read the article in my 30s and my reaching 85 seemed impossible?
A recent study showed that “it’s no surprise that the older people get, the longer they think it takes for a person to reach old age”:
• On average, adults between the ages of 30 and 49 think old age begins at 69.
• People who are currently 50-64 believe old age starts at 72.
• Responders who are 65 and older say old age begins at 74.
A Pew study said that women considered old age to be when they were 70 and men considered old age to be 66.
For me, old age is still being 85.
I counted and found that I have 89 days before I get there.
When I was in my 50s, I vowed that when I was old I would always wear sneakers and eat as much chocolate as I wanted to. I’ve been true to both of these vows.
Now I will wait until I have lived my 89 days before I make new vows.
I’ll wait to think about it until the 90th day comes, although I already have a few thoughts.
I look forward to the future.
Monday, March 5th, 2012
By David Tunney, Executive Director
Welcome to the GISC Weekly Newsflash, a headline summary of what’s planned or recently happened at GISC.
GISC will be well represented at the Association for the Advancement of Gestalt Therapy (AAGT) 2012 Conference in Puebla, Mexico, May 17-20. Sharona Halpern and Joe Melnick are leading a workshop on the Cape Cod Model, Zeynep Tozum and Stuart Simon are leading a workshop on Applying the Cape Cod Model to Coaching, and Susan Fischer and Joe Melnick are leading a writing workshop.
Organizational Change: A Gestalt Perspective will be taught at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia by Debra Brosan and Mark Magerman this week-end. Enrollment is full based on the great success of last year’s program.
As part of the Education Initiative, Trish Perry, Bob Ross, and Mike Gradone will facilitate a leadership development program for principals and teachers of the Dennis-Yarmouth school system on March 15th.
If you are interested in discussing ways GISC might get involved with online-learning, please contact Donna Dennis and learn more about what MIT is doing by reading this article.
Unfortunately, two programs were cancelled due to lack of enrollment including Applying Cape Cod Model to Coaching scheduled for March 1-3 and Women’s Wisdom scheduled for March 16-18.
“Look for the humor in your life.” Sonia March Nevis
Monday, February 6th, 2012
By David Tunney, Executive Director
Welcome to the GISC Weekly Newsflash, a headline summary of what’s planned or recently happened at GISC:
Interested in writing? Perhaps an article for Gestalt Review? If so, contact Susan Fischer, the Gestalt Review editor. Susan is a Gestalt writing consultant and will facilitate Writers’ Workshops at Teleos Leadership Institute in Elkins Park, PA on March 17th and at GISC August 17th-20th.
The popular Women’s Wisdom program with Trish Perry and Kathy Leydon-Conway is scheduled for March 16-18.
A brochure for the upcoming Cape Cod Training Program is being mailed to you in the near future. Please think of someone who would appreciate hearing about this life-changing program, and review the brochure with them.
Sonia Nevis, Roy Partridge, and Debra Brosan have formed a short-term committee to develop the criteria and process for being a Professional Associate.
The website is updated with a new home page, program fliers, and more.
“Segue from what has been said. This will take listening.” Boid rules for group effectiveness.
Monday, January 30th, 2012
By David Tunney, Executive Director
Welcome to this week’s GISC Weekly Newsflash, a headline summary of what’s planned or recently happened at GISC:
- The ground-breaking and highly successful Setting Up New Worlds: Organizing Our Futures led by Rob Farrands was held at Bentley College this week with 17 participants including Sonia Nevis and her grandson Aaron Kamholtz, Bentley University faculty, PhD students, executives and consultants from Bank of Canada, Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates, WRT Planning and Design, Minto Development Corp, Teleos Leadership Institute, Totem Hill, and Figure Ground Consulting.
- Efforts are underway to analyze the results of the survey completed by 41 Professional Associates. Thank you for taking the time to complete the survey.
- The year-end appeal resulted in donations from over 50 individuals totaling $31,884. Thank you for your financial contributions and building our donor base!
- Work is in progress to host a Professional Associates Webex in the near future.
“Be willing to influence and be influenced” Boid rules for group effectiveness.
Friday, January 13th, 2012
By David Tunney, Executive Director
HAPPY NEW YEAR and welcome to this week’s GISC Weekly Newsflash, a headline summary of what’s planned or recently happened at GISC:
The 2012 Catalogue of GISC Programs and Services is in the mail…
Setting Up New Worlds: Organizing Our Futures led by Rob Farrands will be held from January 24-26 at Bentley University and is co-sponsored by Bentley’s Alliance for Ethics and Social Responsibility. Interested?
The second session of the Competency Development Program for Coach Certification started today with 24 participants; faculty includes Mary Anne Walk, Stuart Simon, Zeynep Tozum, and Nancy Hardaway
Last week, GISC hosted the 2012 Cape Cod Community Leadership Institute Program. Sonia Nevis and Nancy Hardaway facilitated a workshop on leadership and team development for the 28 participants.
The GISC Philly Region met on January 7th and this time the meeting evolved into a gestalt group discussion on bearability. In addition, Susan Fischer led a writer’s workshop with 7 participants. The next meeting is March 16th.
Mike Sturm passed away on January 3rd. He was a student of Edwin and Sonia, and created the 5 Dynamics Assessment, a popular Gestalt-based survey. More info and remembrances can be found on the 5dynamics website.
Tuesday, January 10th, 2012
By David Tunney, Executive Director
In 2011, GISC co-founder Edwin C. Nevis, PhD, passed away on his 85th birthday. The memorial service held at the Center included an outpouring of condolences and support and occurred between the launch of Professional Associates and the first annual Community Gathering. A fine tribute indeed to Edwin’s life and legacy. Many fond remembrances of Edwin also appeared in the last issue of the 2011 Gestalt Review, GISC’s academic journal co-founded by Edwin. One reflection in particular seems appropriate here: “He was huge in the ways in which he touched and impacted so many lives through his friendships, consulting, teaching, writing, and especially his mentoring of so, so many people.”
A founding father of process consulting, Edwin taught at MIT’s Sloan School of Management for 17 years and served as director of the school’s program for senior executives. He also launched dozens of study groups, conferences, and programs at GISC. Edwin had a passion for lifelong learning and leading, and so does GISC. Though Edwin is gone, his legacy continues as strong as ever, evidenced by upcoming programs and successful initiatives. In 2012, we are pleased to offer Roots V: Gestalt Organizational Development in honor of Edwin. The conference will be held in Stockholm with co-sponsors Gestalt Academy of Scandinavia and Perlan Dialogue and Leadership.
The Education Initiative is one of many undertakings inspired and fostered by Edwin. GISC faculty are now working with school systems from Cape Cod to Maine, ranging from elementary grades to colleges; and in 2012 there will be two programs at GISC specifically designed for educators.
The Healthcare Initiative is going strong after the successful design and delivery of a customized leadership and mentoring program for physicians and their teams at an Alaskan native, relation-based, healthcare organization. We are also honored to have two healthcare industry experts as co-faculty in one of the leadership programs.
This 2012 program catalogue reflects the extraordinary efforts and capabilities of GISC Professional Associates, faculty, and guest faculty in transforming the way we live and work in the world. Whether for leaders, practitioners, or individuals, all program tracks have many new exciting offerings and faculty.
For Leaders, we offer a new series of Executive Forums starting in January with Setting Up New Worlds: Organizing Our Futures. The outcome of the January program will help shape the agenda of the May and September Forums. In addition, we now offer a program that will integrate Gestalt-based leadership principles with proven methods for creating a continuous improvement culture. Another new program will help leaders improve virtual work team effectiveness. This year we also welcome two new co-faculty for the popular cornerstone program for senior executives, Leadership in the 21st Century. Three other highly successful programs will be offered including Leadership Transitions which will be conducted in New York City.
For Practitioners including consultants, coaches, change agents, psychotherapists, lawyers, healthcare providers, and other service professionals, the Cape Cod Model programs continue to be successful, well-attended anchors for GISC. Most of our programs are eligible for continuing education credits by the American Psychological Associate (APA) and/or the International Coach Federation (ICF).
In 2012, the renowned Cape Cod Training Program will be offered in Stockholm, Sweden, in association with the Gestalt Academy of Scandinavia, as well as in Wellfleet. For organization development professionals, we continue to offer a series of programs for fulfillment of the Advanced Practice OD Consulting Certificate. And for existing and prospective coaches seeking new skills and ICF certification, we now offer the Competency Development Program for Coaching Certification, with accreditation expected in 2012.
For Individuals, we will continue to offer the popular Next Phase program along with Women’s Wisdom and several other programs. In addition, we are excited to offer a new Summer Series 2012 of workshops for personal growth and exploration on diverse topics for mind, heart, and body. We will also be hosting our second annual Community Gathering in June, an event where newcomers and old-timers attend free workshops to explore the latest research and theory development, new program offerings, and GISC initiatives.
Nestled in the woods of Wellfleet, a short distance from the world-famous Cape Cod National Seashore, GISC offers a retreat-like training facility in an ideal location. Many participants return year after year not only for the programs but to reconnect with a world-wide community dedicated to lifelong learning, teaching, consulting, writing, coaching and mentoring.
And when you become a member of GISC, you will receive an annual subscription to the Gestalt Review. Please contact us if you have any questions. See you on Cape Cod!