What Lies Beneath – A Human Systems Perspective: A Conversation with Barry Oshry — Quality & Equality

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What Lies Beneath – A Human Systems Perspective: A Conversation with Barry Oshry — Quality & Equality

What Lies Beneath – A Human Systems Perspective: A Conversation with Barry Oshry

In this video we are joined by Barry Oshry, a distinguished educator/scholar/practitioner and a pioneer in the field of human systems thinking. Barry’s mission is to create robust human systems – systems of Power and Love. His research, writing and teaching have focused on the identification of patterns of human systems power dynamics arising when people work together in organisations, communities, groups, and families. He has also explored how such patterns can – without awareness – deteriorate into dysfunctional and conflict-laden systems. His research has led him to develop hope through growing partnerships between different parties by helping them understand and see their dynamic patterns, therefore giving rise to life-giving systems. Today, Barry shares with us his journey to seeing systems, describes the multiple patterns we fall into within organizations, and outlines how we can look beneath the veil to see these patterns.

Articles and Resources

  • Seeing Systems: Unlocking the Mysteries of Organizational Life
  • Context, Context, Context: How Our Blindness to Context Cripples Even the Smartest Organizations
  • The Organic Systems Framework: A New Paradigm for Understanding and Intervening in Organizational Life
  • powerandsystems.com

Note: Barry would like to clarify that in his references to his Boston University experiences in the 1960s, he refers specifically to what was then called The College of Business Administration whose unique culture and student body were distinct from those of other colleges within the university.

Biography

Barry Oshry is a distinguished educator and a pioneer in the field of human systems thinking. His mission is to create robust human systems – systems of Power and Love. Barry serves this mission through transforming systems blindness into system sight. His research, writing and teaching have focused on the human systems dynamics arising when people are in top, middle, bottom, and customer relationships with one another. His research has also led him to investigate the dynamics at play when dominant cultures interact with “other” cultures. Barry is the developer of the Power Lab, a weeklong total immersion leadership development experience, the Organization Workshop on Creating Partnership, and the When Cultures Meet Workshop. Barry is the author of Seeing Systems, Leading Systems, and Context, Context, Context.  He is also a playwright whose stage productions include “What A Way To Make A Living,” “Hierarchy” and “Peace.” In 1975, Barry and his wife and partner, Karen Ellis Oshry, founded Power+ Systems Training, Inc. in Boston, from which they retired in 2017. It continues to be the organization from which much of his work continues.

Contact

Email: oshrybarry@gmail.com

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What Lies Beneath – A Human Systems Perspective: A Conversation with Barry Oshry — Quality & Equality

Barrry says:

What Lies Beneath: Part I

This is the first of two videos I created as part of Dr. Mee-Yan Cheung Judge’s Just in Case series. The request was to present the essence of my work along with what drives me to do that work. The title – What Lies Beneath – represents my attempt to cover both. My goal in these presentations is to bring about a cultural shift in how we make sense of our day to day interactions with one another, whether in the family, the organization, the community, or any of the many social systems of our lives. I draw a distinction between how our interactions are normally experienced and how they are viewed through a human systems framework. Using this framework, I demonstrate how, without awareness or choice, we regularly fall into scenarios that are unsatisfying, unproductive, and often destructive of our relationships and our systems. 

This framework also enables us – with awareness and choice along with determination and strategic thinking – to create satisfying, creative, and productive relationships in all the systems of our lives. 

This material is also covered in Barry Oshry, What Lies Beneath, Organization Development Journal, volume 38, number 3, 11-32. (Fall, 2020) My thanks to the editors.

https://seeingsystems.blogs.com/my_weblog/2020/09/what-lies-beneath.html