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SoL Flash Volume 8, Number 6
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"SoL Community FLASH!"

Volume 8, Number 6

December 2004


We have moved! The Cambridge SoL staff office is now located at 25 First Street, Suite 414, Cambridge, MA, 02141. Our phone numbers and email addresses have not changed. We are very happy in our new space where bright colors and natural light surround our vision of a thriving and impactful learning community. A larger conference room will allow us to host more meetings in-house and the location close to hotels and restaurants makes for a satisfying visitor experience. I hope that when you next have a chance to be in Boston, you will drop in and see us.

This issue of the FLASH includes items from SoL members and friends Gary Mayo, Pat Craig, Joe Laur, Penny Kennington, Petra Wagner, Irène Dupoux-Couturier, Arno Korpershoek, Göran Gennvi, Sheila Damodaran, John Maloney, Nick Craig, Andy Hines, and Susan Szpakowski. Member-to-member knowledge and information exchange is what the FLASH is all about. Please let us know more about the work you are doing so that we may share it with the community.

Send FLASH submissions, suggestions for improvement, or requests for a plain text version to: <>

Vicky Schubert


FEATURE: ANNOUNCEMENT AND CALL FOR PROPOSALS: A Symphony of Innovation, the 2nd SoL Global Forum, September 13-16, 2005, Vienna, AUSTRIA


1) REFLECTIONS 5.10: Bringing "Mission" to Life: Corporate Inspiration from Indian Communities; Plus...Reflections Volume 5 Compilation Due
Core Competencies Course, April 11-15 and October 17-21, 2005, Bedford, MA
Foundations for Leadership Course, May 18-20, and December 13-15, 2005, Boston, MA area
A Symphony of Innovation: the 2nd SoL Global Forum, September 13-16, 2005, Vienna, AUSTRIA
COMMUNITY NEWS: Opportunities, Publications, Events

FEATURE: ANNOUNCEMENT AND CALL FOR PROPOSALS - A Symphony of Innovation: Leveraging complexity to create knowledge and confidence, The 2nd SoL Global Forum, September 13-16, 2005, Vienna, AUSTRIA

The 2nd SoL Global Forum will be held next September in Vienna's lively MuseumsQuarter. The theme for the forum is A Symphony of Innovation: Leveraging complexity to create knowledge and confidence, adopting the metaphors of music composition, rehearsal and performance to reflect on the creative opportunities and challenges we face in a complex and fast-moving world. Just as a symphony is a single work made up of a variety of movements and expressed via many instrumental voices, this Forum will embody the diversity of innovation at work in the Global SoL community while demonstrating the generative power of the community as a whole.

A design team representing 13 different SoL communities around the world is well into the work of shaping the programme and has just issued the formal call for proposals seeking provocative and exploratory learning stories in support of the Forum's goals to:
>>Build our capacity for reflection by identifying and practicing innovative methodologies.
>>Discover ways to create knowledge and build personal confidence by exploring challenging questions together.
>>Create and build connections that strengthen active participation in local communities by developing global networks.

Learn more about the emerging programme.
Download the Call for Proposals.


Visteon's first annual Corporate Citizenship Report, released this fall, summarizes the company's recent progress toward their social and environmental objectives. Among the initiatives highlighted in the report are implementation of their sustainable development policy, corporate grantmaking, and commitment to diversity and community development. In assessing their activities through the lens of environmental, societal, and economic impacts, this SoL member company asserts the importance of responsible corporate citizenship as being integral to the organization's goal of being a respected and successful automotive supplier. Included in the report are a review of baseline environmental metrics that will be used regularly for both management decisions and performance measurement. Over time, the company plans to evolve their data gathering capabilities so that more complex environmental data can be collected and analyzed. Also included is an examination of the development of the Visteon Village, the company's new green corporate campus.
View the full report.

1) REFLECTIONS Volume 5, Issue 10: Bringing "Mission" to Life: Corporate Inspiration from Indian Communities

What would you do to build a deep sense of purpose within your organization, enhance performance, and make a difference in the larger world? In "Bringing 'Mission' to Life," Karen Ayas and Philip Mirvis report on Unilever Bestfoods Asia's profound learning journey. Recognizing the connection between shared personal experience and deep organizational change, they sought to build a community of leaders through visiting diverse communities in India. While the specifics of this effort are beyond the reach of most organizations, Unilever's continuing cross-sectoral experiment in leadership development has changed the lives of its participants, and yielded important principles for building a purposeful and committed organization.

>> Reflections News

The Reflections year-end hard copy compilation includes all 10 features and commentaries from Volume 5, along with selected Emerging Knowledge Forum articles. A benefit of SoL membership and Reflections subscriptions, this attractive 240-page bound volume will be mailed to readers in the coming weeks. Additional copies may be purchased for $35 US, and bulk orders for courses and workshops can be arranged. Contact David Mahaffey, or call him at +1-617-300-9515.

Reflections will be published on a calendar year basis beginning with Volume 6. We would like to learn from our experience by getting your feedback as readers. We'll be asking for your input through a reader survey that will be mailed with the hard copy compilation, and also available on line. Designed to take less than 15 minutes of your time, the information in the survey will help us shape content and format to meet readers' needs and expectations moving forward. Your help will be greatly appreciated!

If you are already a Reflections subscriber, you will have received a separate email from Sherry Immediato with a link to the latest issue. If you are not a subscriber, visit the website to learn how you may become one today. For more information or for inquiries about your subscription, contact David Mahaffey.

On November 29, 2004 fifteen SoL members, from as far away as India and Mexico City, attended a 10 a.m. (EST) conference call to discuss "Marketing Your Services." Those able to make it into Cambridge attended the conference call from the SoL office. The conference call was attended by a mixed group, some onsite and many offsite. The phone call followed a "round robin" format where each member took a turn discussing how they market themselves and how they find people to collaborate with. When the conference call concluded at noon, many participants felt that the time spent had been worthwhile. In the afternoon, the group onsite at SoL discussed the following question, "Are there useful marketing templates we can provide to SoL members to help them market their services?" Special Thanks to Michael Sales -- lynch-pin of this design team and Jean Tully, the SoL Consulting Group's experienced anchor. Thanks also to all members of the Design Team and all who attended this conference call. There will be another Consultants/Researchers meeting on Monday, January 24, 2005 at the SoL offices in Cambridge. On that date there may also be another 10 a.m. conference call accessible to SoL members. Right now the discussion topics and agenda has not been finalized yet. But we do know that this January meeting will have a strong forward-looking planning element, as our Consultant Representatives on the SoL Governing Council will be going directly from the January 24th meeting right into a Council session on January 25th and January 26th, carrying our planning ideas, our thoughts, our suggestions into that Council meeting. Please mark your calendars for January 24th 2005!

View an executive summary of the meeting prepared by Consultant member Pat Craig. For more information, contact Pat Craig.

Also available is a set of notes prepared by Madeline Nold prior to the 11/29 meeting to accompany a discussion of the Marketing OL slide set. Though not used for the actual discussion, you may want to review these notes on the web.

SoL Researchers are invited to join the Consultants group for the following two events; both to be held at the new SoL offices at 25 First Street in Cambridge (see directions to the office).

** Capacity Lab, January 23, 2005, 10am - 5pm (bring you own lunch, or purchase lunch nearby)
Purpose for the Day: Capacity-building amongst peers of the community. The morning will be devoted to connecting and discussing: marketing OL (follow-on to Nov session); incorporating OL/ST concepts into projects, not as separate 'things'. And in the afternoon Grady McGonagill will lead a model-building exercise.
If you're interested in participating in this session, please contact Frank Schneider.

** Consultants Convergence, January 24, 2005, 9am - 5pm (bring your own lunch, purchase lunch nearby)
Purpose for the Day: Think, plan, and prepare next year's activities in a way that prepares our community for 2005. Our Council representatives, who will be present, will carry our thoughts, proposals, and requests into the Council meeting immediately following this gathering. We'll use the Emergent Learning Map (ELM) methodology to review and discuss the last year's activities & learnings; then looking forward, plan the activities/learnings anticipated, desired, and projected for the next year.
If you're interested in participating in this session, please contact Sheila McGarey.


** Latest Sustainability Consortium Newsletter
Available now in the knowledge repository, the Fall 2004 issue includes workgroup updates, member field news, and recent publications and resources.
The Consortium's next newsletter will be published shortly and a link to it will be available on their public webpage.

** Invitation to sponsor and participate in a Transformation Lab
At the recent SoL Forum on Business Innovation for Sustainability in Dearborn, Michigan, Susan Svoboda, Stu Hart and Meghan Chapple introduced "Transformation: The Business Strategy Laboratory" as a learning tool in support of developing business strategies particularly focused on sustainability as a strategic business driver. MIT doctoral student, Nadine Trossen, is incorporating such a lab into her research on business strategy development, and is inviting sponsorship and participation in a very promising simulation -- the Transformation Lab. The Sustainability Consortium invites companies in the SoL community to sponsor a lab at MIT in early 2005, with Stu Hart from Cornell, Peter Senge from MIT and others participating.

The proposed program includes a lecture and lab session format to take place over 1.5 days during January or February (dates to be determined) at the MIT campus. Participating would be one team of 7 members from the sponsoring firm, one team of 7 members composed of MIT students, and one team of specialists including Peter Senge, Joe Laur, Sara Schley and others to be invited. The agenda will consist of an introductory lecture by Stuart Hart, a 90-minute lab orientation, and two (2) 4-hour lab cycles.
Learn more about the proposed project.
If you are interested in having your company participate, please contact Joe Laur.

** SoL European Sustainability Group
The SoL European Sustainability Group (SoL ESG) will hold its fifth meeting in March, at the Politechnic of Bari in southern Italy. Vito Albino and Pierpaolo Pontrandolfo, both Professors at the Politechnic, will host the event. The subject of the meeting will be Sustainability and Organisational Learning as Competitive Edge. We plan to explore a number of themes linking innovation, competitiveness and sustainability. The meeting will commence with a dinner on the evening of 21 March 2005. On 22 March, we will be joined by Peter Senge. We are planning a series of conversations between Italian and other European organisations in the same sector - food and agriculture, manufacturing and energy - with a World Cafe to explore the questions raised, and a final session to crystallise learning. On 23 March we will have a smaller meeting until lunchtime for members of SoL ESG, picking up on the issues from the previous day and also developing some of our projects. For further information, please contact Vito Albino or Penny Kennington.

Earlier this month, SoL ESG held its fourth meeting at "The Small Earth Centre" in the Netherlands, hosted by Johan Breukelaar of Shell Chemicals. We heard in detail from Brigitte Tantawy Monsou and Johan about sustainability initiatives in Unilever and Shell, and then looked at the key questions participants had concerning their own organisations or initiatives. This proved very fruitful and we will develop this work in our monthly calls and at the next meeting.
To learn more about the SoL ESG, please download their fall newsletter.


** Core Competencies Course: Building Learning Organizations, April 11-15, 2005, Bedford, MA
Facilitators Robert Hanig and Sara Schley

This course conveys the essence of SoL's mission by teaching new perspectives for individual and collective learning. It was first presented in March 1992, in conjunction with the MIT Center for Organizational Learning, and has since been attended by more than 2,000 managers and individuals from SoL member and non-member organizations. It is designed for individuals and teams interested in working together to apply organizational learning tools and methods to practical issues in the context of their organization.

This is not a typical management-training course. The program emphasizes that knowledge is really the capacity for action and that learning is the development of that capacity. Although it will introduce you to new tools and methods, it is not primarily focused on tools and methods. It is based on a simple premise: that there is no better way to learn about learning organizations and how they can be brought about than to create such an organization. After attending the course, you will have an understanding of the core competencies required for building learning organizations and you will have the experience of participating in a learning community. You will have an enhanced ability to think systemically, communicate effectively, and lead honorably.

View a full program brochure for the Boston course with registration information.
This course will also be offered October 17-21, 2005 with Peter Senge and Beth Jandernoa
For other inquiries contact Frank Schneider, Phone: +1-617-300-9535; Fax: 1-617-354-2093

** Foundations for Leadership Course, May 18-20, 2005, Boston, MA area
Initiating and Sustaining Profound Change
Facilitators, Peter Senge and Robert Hanig

The purpose of the Foundations for Leadership program is to explore the human sources of natural leadership. Leadership is both deeply personal and inherently collective. It concerns the capacity of a human community to shape its destiny and, in particular, to bring forth new realities in line with people's deepest aspirations. This program goes deeply into the domains of personal mastery, collaborative inquiry, and the systems perspective applied to sustaining profound change. It is intended for everyone committed to deepening their capacity for effective leadership - including those in senior management positions and those with no formal authority. Teams are encouraged to attend to further develop their collective leadership.

The program places a strong emphasis on the core learning competency of a creative orientation and the discipline of personal mastery. Participants spend significant time developing their personal vision as well as one they desire for their organization. Much of the learning occurs through the interplay of personal and interpersonal work among the participants. The special contribution of this leadership program comes as participants discover the profound connections between personal mastery and systems thinking, seeing that deep change in our social systems and in oneself are inseparable from each other.

View a full program brochure with registration information.
This course will also be offered December 13-15, 2005 in Cambridge, MA, facilitated by Sherry Immediato and Alain Gauthier.
For other inquiries contact Frank Schneider at Phone: +1-617-300-9535; Fax: 1-617-354-2093.

** A Symphony of Innovation: Leveraging complexity to create knowledge and confidence, The 2nd SoL Global Forum, September 13-16, 2005, Vienna, AUSTRIA
Now accepting proposals for provocative and exploratory learning stories.
(See Feature above)


** SoL Austria
SoL Austria held its Annual Meeting on December 3rd.
Highlights included:
- Organizational learning among two SoL Austrian working groups: a reflection
- Continuing existing and establishing new working groups for 2005
- Report on the planning for The Global SoL Forum 2005
For more information, contact Petra Wagner.

** SoL European Sustainability Group
(See details in Sustainability News above)

** Sol France
>> Company members' meeting, 25 January, 2005, Paris
This meeting is conducted in French. For more information, contact Etienne Collignon at <>

>> Principles and Practices of Organizational Learning, 2-4 February, 2005 at Chantilly (near Charles de Gaulle airport), conducted in English and facilitated by Alain Gauthier, Irène Dupoux-Couturier and Etienne Collignon.
The specific objective of this course is to develop the European company members' network. Foreign subsidiaries of SoL France company members are, of course, welcomed. Seminar participants will discuss the implementation of personal (or company) projects and engage in "sharing sessions". The focus will be on questions, dialog and exchanges between the European SoL company members in preparation for the next Global Forum at Vienna. For more information, please contact Irène Dupoux-Couturier.

>> SoL France Research and Experimentation Program
SoL France members are in the process of launching a "Research and Experimentation Program" for the period 2004/2005, designed around three themes:
- 21st Century leadership and learning
- Innovation, informal networks and learning
- Learning and value co-creation
One of the aims of this program is, after an initial phase of interviews and exploration, to engage the company participants in active experimentation. After having presented the overall approach to corporate members, the group is presently clarifying with each the specific theme the company wishes to be involved with and planning a set of initial interviews. The group has also begun discussions with three other SoL communities in Europe (Finland, Germany, UK) to explore the possibility of collaborating on the project. For further information, please contact Manfred Mack.

>> SoL France has recently added to the SoL knowledge repository a special cahier, or notebook, documenting in both English and French, the presentations made by participating companies during the "Working Day en famille" with Peter Senge, which they hosted on March 25, 2004. It describes a range of organizational learning initiatives ongoing at companies and NGOs including Solvay, Nocom AB, Schlumberger, Unilever, France Telecom, Team Academy, NIDO, and Comite 21. Also included is an evaluative reflection on the outcomes by the meeting organizers. View the cahier in the online knowledge repository.

** SoL Netherlands
Visit the SoL Netherlands website, or for more information on SoL Netherlands activities contact Arno Korpershoek.

** SoL Sweden
SoL Sweden holds their regular monthly meetings at 17.30 on the first Tuesday of every month. Location: United Spaces, Södermälarstrand 26, 6th floor.
For more information please contact SoL Sweden coordinator Göran Gennvi.

** Learning Community in Singapore
Sheila Damodaran writes to report that the active network of learning organisation practitioners in Singapore, has grown steadily to over 300 members and now spans almost 100 organisations. While not formally connected with SoL, the group may consider becoming a SoL community in the future. They regularly publish a calendar of events, including members' sharings (on their personal and practical experiences) as well as core competency workshops on the five disciplines. Organized on a volunteer basis, the network is run by the members for the members.
For more information please visit the network's website, or contact Sheila Damodaran.

6) COMMUNITY NEWS: Member Events, Opportunities, Publications, Awards

** Otto Scharmer speaks about Presence
Otto Scharmer, M.I.T. professor, organizational consultant, and co-author of Presence: Human Purpose and the Field of the Future, believes we must shape our future by responding to it now. In a presentation hosted by What Is Enlightenment? magazine's Voices from the Edge series in Boston recently, Scharmer discussed the power of presencing, his developmental model he calls the "U-Theory", and his vision for consciously evolving ourselves and our global society. The talk was recorded and divided into four manageable parts which can be viewed on the web.
See a five-minute excerpt on the Presence website.

See Otto's entire (1.5 hr) talk via streaming video on What Is Enlightenment? Magazine's online multimedia service, WIE Unbound. If you sign up for their free 1-month trial, you can view the talk in full.


** Creating the Social Enterprise: Getting Connected from the Inside Out, January 21, 2005, Cambridge, MA
This KMCluster Spring 2005 New England action/research gathering, hosted by IBM, will examine social networks and relationships from the inside out. Excellent social network analysis work has been done from the outside looking in. A refreshing and important perspective is the individual in the network. This perspective is key to creating the Social Enterprise.

Participants will have the opportunity to engage in conversations concerning the critical importance of informal networks for business collaboration. By examining networks from the perspective of the individual, you will discover ways to make organizations more productive, improve conductivity and expand innovation.
For more information or to register, visit the KMCluster website.

** Leadership at the Core: Accessing the Deep State of Leadership, Feb 3-5, 2005, Deven's Conference Center, Ayer Mass
Presenters Ronald Jue, Ph.D., and Nick Craig
Leadership at the Core introduces participants to a breakthrough approach that allows them to:
>>Understand the methodology that allows one to access deep states of being a leader
>>Access one's unique, deeply powerful leadership essence
>>Learn to help others access their deeply powerful leadership essence
>>Discover how to easily access this deep state of "being" a leader when one needs it

The approach is based on 30 years of research and development. The process has been applied in many domains and is currently being used by executive coaches and business leaders both in the U.S. and Europe.
For more information, contact Nick Craig.

** Futures Insurrection, March 31-April 2, 2005, Miami Beach, FL
The case for futures work has never been harder to make. It's time for an insurrection - a Futures Insurrection. The Association of Professional Futurists invites you to join them for their Spring Meeting -- two action-packed days of field training. Participants will develop a campaign strategy to create a more compelling value proposition for futures work. The meeting will be limited to 50 participants, and is open to APF members, sponsors, and client guests (sponsors and clients by individual invitation only).
For more information and a full conference brochure, visit the website.

** Learning Organization in a Learning World, April 18-22, 2005, Bangkok, Thailand
The King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi, Bangkok, and All India Association for Educational Research, India, invite you to participate in an International Conference entitled "Learning Organization in a Learning World." The conference is called ICLORD2005 which stands for International Conference Learning Organization Research and Development. The conference, conducted in English, will be addressed by experienced speakers from all over the world in plenary sessions. The conference is virtually advised by a globally distributed international committee.

The theme of the conference is relevant to all sectors: corporate, government, education, business, and administration. You can join the conference in multiple ways: (a) paper-delegate (b) observer-delegate (c) workshop-organizer (d) SIG-organizer by paying registration fees as per web information.

View the RFP and learn more.

** Third Annual Front End of Innovation Conference, May 23-25, 2005, Boston, MA
Peter Senge will be speaking along with keynoters Jack Welch and Steve Wosniak, among others, at this product development focused event co-sponsored by the PDMA. SoL will also be a sponsor. Participants will explore the latest best practices, tools and techniques being utilized in the Front End in a mix of workshops and plenary sessions.
For more information, visit the conference website.

** Shamabala Institute's Authentic Leadership Summer Program, June 24-July 1, Halifax, Nova Scotia
What does authentic leadership look like now?
Acting from a strong sense of purpose and direction, and helping others to do the same. Working the deep-level currents in our organizations and communities. Opening a space for conversations that need to happen. Bringing the right people and the right conditions together to engage tough, complex problems. Acting with clarity, decisiveness, and a trustworthy sense of knowing. These are some of the critical skill sets needed to lead positive change in today's complex, challenging environments.

Join other participants for the fifth annual Authentic Leadership Summer Program and create a powerful field of learning, action, and community.
Visit the progam website.


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