Reflective Practice: Systemic Thinking & Organisational Learning
Deeply rooted in the value of learning, our unique form of reflective practice rests on two pillars of support that inspire and guide all of our work: systemic thinking and organisational learning.
We are convinced that systemic thinking can provide constructive avenues for addressing crucial shortcomings in the field of peacebuilding. This relates, for example, to bridging the gap between theory and practice and linking conflict analysis with intervention strategies. In addition, it encourages new insights within the discussion of peace and conflict impact assessment. A crucial component of systemic thinking is to assume that causes and effects of violent conflicts are connected in a circular manner.
Integrating systemic thinking into conflict transformation strategies shifts the focus away from the individual characteristics of actors towards patterns of interaction and dynamics of relationships between the systems’ actors and components.
Our ongoing exploration of systemic conflict transformation (SCT) collates best practices in conflict transformation work and merges this with systemic models of social relations. SCT draws on methodologies from other disciplines, such as change management and organisational theory, psychotherapy and family therapy, along with cybernetics.
We are working on the further implementation of a systemic framework for conflict transformation, which includes the development of systemic methods for conflict analysis, strategy planning, monitoring and assessment.
We regularly organise workshops to facilitate the exchange between scholars and practitioners working with systemic approaches and will publish an edited volume representing the state-of-the-art in theory and practice of systemic conflict transformation.Top
In our experience, a core challenge in supporting conflict transformation lies in the organisational learning capacities of the organisations engaged in this work. These capacities are crucial for enabling organisations to adapt to changes in the conflict environment. They are also essential for analysing and improving the outcomes of conflict transformation efforts.
We believe that we must continually review our practice, actively exchange insights and share lessons learned – successes and failures – in order to improve the field of conflict transformation.
Our activities in the field of organisational learning are mainly related to our own ongoing learning practice and peer advice on processes for other organisations.
On request, we offer opportunities for reflecting on and improving organisational practice to both individual partners and organisations as well as to the field in general.Top