LOs and Metanoia - Two Conceptions of LO's LO27229

From: Richard Seel (richard@richard-seel.demon.co.uk)
Date: 09/18/01

Replying to LO27189 --

Dear Winfried,

You wrote:

>In books on systemical interventions on organizations written for
>consultants, I have seen the argument, that the main advantage of a
>consultant is that s/he is not part of the system. Furthermore their main
>challenge is not to become part of the system. This is the gardeners
>perspective. The trouble (in my eyes) comes from the fact that no garden
>hires a gardener, while organizations hire consultants. And even if the
>consultant is hired by the owner of an organization, the "vegetation"
>consists of
> - many thinkers and
> - they are all part of the system

This is a real dilemma for me. When I started consulting I was convinced
that I should remain 'outside' the system in order to be able to help it.
This view informed both my mental models and also my practice when working
with groups as a facilitator: I would always say 'I' or 'you' but never

As I studied for my Masters in Organisation Consulting I was challenged on
this perspective and came to see that it was little more than 'enlightened
mechanical'. As I work in organisations now I try to be both part of the
system and also to keep my own individuality - I encourage inquiry, and
connections between others while also offering my own thoughts, opinions
and feelings.

It is a difficult balance and my only certainty is that I don't get it
right. But this way feels more authentic that either the 'expert' or the
'process' models of consultancy.

Best wishes,



Richard Seel

New Paradigm Consulting
Organisation Consultancy & Development

Seabrink, Beach Road, Bacton Green, Norfolk NR12 0EP, UK.
+44 (0)1692 650 706


Richard Seel <richard@richard-seel.demon.co.uk>

Learning-org -- Hosted by Rick Karash <Richard@Karash.com> Public Dialog on Learning Organizations -- <http://www.learning-org.com>

"Learning-org" and the format of our message identifiers (LO1234, etc.) are trademarks of Richard Karash.