The book “(Creating) Paths of Change” by Will McWhinney PhD has been labelled “the most important and original theory of social change to appear in over a generation“. And then nothing happened. Why might that be?
The most important reason might be that Will starts with You. Your attitude to change determines your actions, the conflicts and the changes you get. The “theory” he proposes consists of “you”, your theory, your attitude determines how you perceive your situation.
Actually, his theory is not a theory at all, but a so-called Metapraxis, reflections on “practice” or theory on theories. Will developed it, while looking at all change processes, from the mythical to the practical. His theory doesn’t tell you what will happen – like the laws in a classical theory -, but what may happen, what could become – it’s also a metatheory. His model shows you which theory might apply best.
I use (t)his model as a legend to maps. With it, I can read and create maps. The same territory can be mapped differently. So the map you choose, shows you “what you see”. I use this legend to “map my path of change” and to update my bearings.
When you’re travelling, it’s not enough to read a map, to go from here to there. Then you will have to “realize” the map by actually travelling. And off course, you then have to act according to conditions. Will’s legend to maps tells you, what options you can choose from, but not how to travel.
Will’s legend shows how we have four reality perceptions – paradoxes of engaging -, six modes of change and twelve directional methods with about over 50 different tools. In fact, you can map all tools and techniques on this legend, as you can travel by all sorts of means.
In this interactive lecture, I will introduce the basics of the “Legend of the Paths of Change“. Our aim is to enable you to see what may happen. As Von Foerster prescribed, it will enable you to create choices.
In a second workshop we’ll apply this to a case. The workshop will have an interactive nature, where you’ll learn through sharing learnings.
Dan Eng and me will be hosting this fourth in a number of facilitated workshops to enable you to become more aware about your own framing of ways you experience or deal with “change and transformation”.
Please contact him (dan.eng.wp-at-gmail.com) or me, if you want to join. And we’ll send you the link. The workshop is free, but a contribution to a community project in Uganda i’m supporting will be appriciated.
“If you desire to see, learn to act” – Von Foerster in “The Invented Reality”, edited by Paul Watzlawick
(Creating) Paths to Change
Thursday April 29, 2021
1700 CET (Berlin)
90 min workshop