Adaptive Action in Action

We believe that vision is not about the future. It is a pattern we want to create, and we create it today with every challenge and every choice. That is why our vision statement is so profoundly present in everything we do. In these days of disruption, our community has found many ways to move our vision into reality.

  • School principals from the USA and abroad meet regularly for shared inquiry to tame the wicked issues they face as they prepare to begin a new school year.
  • Coaches collaborate in British Columbia, Canada to weave Adaptive Action, Inquiry, and Pattern Spotting into an emerging practice. They build adaptive capacity for their communities, one coaching conversation at a time.
  • Healthcare leaders around the world draw on HSD theory and practice to cope with current crises. They learn from the past and set conditions for a more healthful future. As they respond to COVID-19, they are building capacity for the next healthcare crisis, whatever it is.  
  • A circle of professionals at the intersection of Liberating Structures and HSD explore the nature of complex systems and their influence on people’s performance. They see that similarities and differences between the approaches will enrich the practices of both.
  • Classroom teachers in Texas find courage and support to transform their uncertain futures into possibility for self and other. They hold their wicked issues together, in inquiry, as they make choices for themselves, their families, and their students.   
  • A team of committed Associates create an online program to introduce HSD foundations to a broader audience. They speak from diverse perspectives and in multiple languages, including Spanish and Turkish, in hopes of reaching people around world who need new tools for this new reality.
  • Activists and bureaucrats meet locally to address urgent issues and shared concerns. They find ways to harvest energy in the differences and tensions that divide them. They will not depend on common ground, but a deeper understanding of the other’s strengths and opportunities can open possibility for all.  
  • Leaders of nonprofits learn to see patterns of possibility in the turbulence that engulfs them, their staffs, and the communities they serve. As leaders in uncertainty, they feel great urgency at a time when the future is most unpredictable. They see new options for action and practice spotting patterns and finding adaptive actions.  
  • Facilitators who support human rights in factories in the developing world engage in inquiry across geographic, political, and language divides to expand adaptive capacity for themselves and others. They create options for action as they see how patterns of the present affect intimate dependence of human beings and systemic interdependencies of global supply chains.
  • In our current certification program, 27 professionals from 8 countries develop their HSD praxis and complete their Adaptive Action experiments to address their own personal and professional challenges. They also focus on what they can do to shift systemic patterns of racism, public health, equity, poverty, and justice.  

What do all these stories have in common? People thrive, and they help others thrive. They practice Adaptive Action to see patterns clearly (WHAT?), seek to understand (SO WHAT?), and act with courage (NOW WHAT?). In a variety of settings, with many different goals, they all turn turbulence and uncertainty into possibility.

In these difficult times, it is comforting to know that people are making a difference. Thanks for what you do! It is exhilarating to know that we can all do more and be more to expand adaptive capacity for ourselves and others. Join us and make this vision your own.

HSD Professional Certification
Patterns and Possibilities: 5 half-day sessions: February 2, 4, 9, 11, 16, 2021
Online engagement: February 16 - May 20, 2021
for additional information

Glenda Eoyang
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