Monthly Archives: February, 2009

New audio interview on SF conflict management

Interested in resolving conflict in the workplace and elsewhere?  You can now listen to a 10-minute audio discussion between Mark McKergow and Antoinette Oglethorpe, developer of the PARTNER model of solutions-focused conflict management at  Antoinette talks about why conflict management is important and cost-effective, and how PARTNER is different to other models about dealing with conflict.   You can also download the audio from

This page also has details about the forthcoming PARTNER 2-day training, 21-22 April 2009 at Missenden Abbey.  There is a special money-saving offer in the interview, so make sure you listen before you book!

Conversation with complexity guru Prof Ralph Stacey

I have been interested in the connections between SF and complexity science for over fifteen years now – there has always seemed to me to be an important parallel here, the way complex systems self-organise and the way conversations unfold and emerging future.  One of the key writers in this area is Professor Ralph Stacey, who runs the Complexity and Management Centre at University of Hertfordshire Business School (

I was lucky enough to be able to meet Ralph in London this week, and my notes of the conversation are in the Karlstad Group area  of – see it at  I hope to write more about Ralph’s work on Transformational Teleology in the near future – I think we are saying very similar things, and his writing is a great way into a difficult topic.

By the way, the Karlstad Group is an international co-operation of people interested in exploring the connections between SF and other intellectual/philosophical traditions, in order to place SF better in the ‘landscape of ideas’.  Our work can been seen in part at The group is free to look at and free to join, so get over there if you haven’t already!

Wonderful responses from 2008 SF Pro participants

I have just been going through the written feedbacks from the participants on our most recent SF Professional course (Autumn 2008).  Because the three-module structure gives plenty of time for in-between learning and application, the group has just finished their third module and are now into the project report stage.  As part of the process, participants design and implement an SF evaluation for their own course.  Here are some of the responses they generated: Continue reading →

Great range of projects on SF Professional

We’re just back from running module 3 of the latest SF Professional certificate course, which was a real blast.  The participants each pick a project to apply their SF skills, and we had updates from everyone.  There were some very impressive stories, in areas such as

  • Dealing with ‘initiative-itis’ (too many initiatives, not enough change) in the public sector
  • An strategy awayday for a university-based multi-stakeholder group
  • Using SF to lead selling conversations in the technology sector
  • Designing a workshop to help business owners discover how to make the most of their assets
  • Emerging learning from an upcoming coach
  • Coaching L&D professionals in the financial sector
  • Helping small business owners develop their operations
  • Writing a book on leadership in a business school context
  • Becoming an even more effective team coach in the oil/gas industry

Everyone is making great progress, and all look forward to the project review day in May.  The next SF Professional course starts 31 March-1 April at Missenden Abbey near High Wycombe, Bucks.  You could join us and work on your own project – from your real work – as part of your SF learning.  More details at

Remember the Early Bird discount rate expires on March 2, so book before then.

Mark’s latest article – coaching by building on success

Mark’s article from Coaching At Work magazine, Jan 2009 – Manager as coach: Building on success
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