We must act now

A dialogue between Ger Jonkergouw and Joseph Jaworski

Content of the programme

About Joseph Jaworski, Synchronicity, Presence, and ‘We must act now’
The title of this programme is derived from the closing remark by Joseph Jaworski, in which he quotes philosopher Martin Buber: “Destiny stands in need of us. Unless we act, nothing will happen”. During the dialogue, Joseph Jaworski speaks from a profound level of consciousnes. He addresses the need to achieve to deep change in the way we deal with ourselves, with each other, and with the world. Moreover, he is convinced of the great urgency to start this process of deep inner change NOW. Joseph Jaworski was founder of the American Leadership Forum and has written a well known book about leading deep change: Synchronicity – the inner path of leadership (1996). In 2004 he published a new book, that he wrote together with Peter Senge, C. Otto Scharmer en Betty Sue Flowers: Presence – Exploring deep change in people, organisations and society. In this latter book, the so called U-modell is unfolded. This model describes a proces along which deep and sustaining transformation can be achieved. A first step in the U-modell is the attempt to suspend thinking and judging from the habitual mental modells, combined with the suspension of the related behavioural reflexes. Only through such a phase one can, slowly and with a sudden jump as well, get to a level of consciousnes from which one understands the deeper relationships between causes and effects and the true potential of an ungoing transformation. This ‘unfolding’ way of inclusive thinking goes beyond the symptoms treatment that we witness in contemporary change management practices, in which a too speedy problem analysis leads to a quick and hasty definition of solutions, and often results in chaotic practices. In the dialogue, Joseph Jaworski elaborates some of his experiences in working on deep change in individuals, organisations and society.

Background and objectives of the programme

September 29th, 2006 Joseph Jaworski was keynote speaker at the annual conference of the Foundation for European Leadership in Amsterdam. The dialogue beteween Ger Jonkergouw and Joseph Jaworski was held on the day after the conference. The dialogue does not provide a systematic introduction to Joseph Jaworski’s thinking. It assumes some level of pre-knowledge of his basic concepts & lines of reasoning, and in the dialogue it is tried to reach deeper understanding.
The theme’s addressed include:

  • Key concepts like Synchronicity, Unfolding, Presence and the U-modell
  • The creative writing process that resulted in the Synchronicity book
  • Deep Change in practice and society
  • The dreams Joseph Jaworski hopes to realise

We have found a lot of of relationships between Joseph Jaworski’s fascinating body of ideas and the approaches we apply ourselves within BOLD-Performance Improvement. We also observe strong links with practices that evolve in a growing number of European companies, who seek more organic ways to transform, and who have the desire to move beyond the dominant technocratic approaches. The objective of this programme is to provide a contribution tot the further understanding of the theory and practice of deep and sustainable change.

This programme will be distributed without pursuit of profit and can be copied freely, under the condition that copyrights are respected, that the source is being mentioned and that the materials will not be used for commercial, profit oriented activities either, unless this is agreed on by the copyright holders.

© Joseph Jaworski, Ger Jonkergouw & Frans Trommelen, December – 2006

Additional information

Joseph Jaworski (1996). Synchronicity - The inner path of leadership, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, San Francisco

Peter Senge, C. Otto Scharmer, Joseph Jaworski, Betty Sue Flowers (2004). Presence, Exploring profound change in people, organizations, and society, Nicholas Brearley Publishers, London

C. Otto Scharmer (2007). Theory U – Leading from the Future as it Emerges, Cambridge, Society for Organizational Learning

  • The U-model:
    • www.community.presencing.com
    • www.ottoscharmer.com
  • 100 Leadership Dialogues (met o.a. Brian Arthur): www.dialogonleadership.org
  • The Society for Organizational Learning: www.solonline.org
  • The American Leadership Forum: www.alf-mvc.org The Foundation for European Leadership: www.foundationforeuropeanleadership.org

Location: Amsterdam, September 30st, 2006
Recording: Meteoor Productions, Tilburg
Editing: Het Collectief, Hoogeloon
Design: Jip Design, Utrecht
Production: Frans Trommelen & Ger Jonkergouw

Ger Jonkergouw