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Session F - Pre-Conference Session
Exploring Opportunities for Change:
Powerful Tools For Helping Your Team
Presented by Jon Bergstrom and Steve Byers


Description: This workshop will explore opportunities to:

  • Imagine new ways of learning together.
  • Define what your team (or organization) needs and what you can provide.
  • Lead by taking ideas back to your team, asking powerful questions, and inviting new conversations.

We will explore some fundamentals of systemic thinking and learning, and show how these can provide powerful opportunities to engage in a team setting. We will begin with a shift in our own thinking.

Workshop participants will:

  • Learn how to develop our own habits of systemic thinking.
  • Recognize how clarity of purpose and direction can influence team learning and strategy development.
  • Engage in exercises to anchor concepts and skills.

Target Audience: We are all systems thinkers, though we might be out of practice after years of emphasizing rational analysis. Donella Meadows says, “We are complex systems – our own bodies are magnificent examples of integrated, interconnected, self-maintaining complexity.” All such magnificent examples are invited to contribute to this learning experience.

Organizational Issues: We accomplish much of our work in teams. Team effectiveness can be enhanced through skillful approaches in asking open and clean questions and using creative processes.

Objectives: Upon completion of this workshop, participants will recognize their own systemic thinking habits, appreciate the value in helping their team(s) ask new questions, and be confident engaging in new ways of finding sustainable solutions to difficult problems.

Date: Thursday, April 28th

Length: 3 hours (1:15-4:15pm)

Location: Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne - 6633 Canoga Avenue, Canoga Park

Cost: None

Handouts: Available for download after the Forum

Jon Bergstrom

Biography: Jon provides a wide range of business consulting services through the Bergstrom Learning Center in Tehachapi, California. Prior to his recent retirement, he worked for Shell Oil Company and Aera Energy LLC for 35 years in a variety of engineering and management positions.

During the last five years of his career, he worked as an internal consultant in Aera’s Learning Organization and developed an appreciation for the challenges and opportunities involved in organizational change. He was personally involved in many company-wide change efforts.

He has provided team skills workshops for more than 1400 students at International Space University since 2000. The workshops for the Masters Program in Strasbourg, France and the summer sessions at locations around the world provide students with concepts and processes that enhance their team experience at the university.

Contact: Jon can be reached by e-mail at jonbergstrom@sbcglobal.net for additional information about this pre-conference session.


Steve Byers

Based in the Pacific Northwest, Steve consults with leadership teams, organizations and other communities seeking to establish or renew their essential conversation. His passion is helping human systems (www.helpinghumansystems.com) think, learn, and work together - better. Steve is a graduate of the Organization Systems Renewal (OSR), www.osr-nw.org, program at Seattle University, where he learned to design and lead significant change through collaborative relationships. Lately he’s contributed to a bloom of World Cafés in the Northwest, and in Olympia hosts a monthly First Wednesday Conversation at a local fair trade café. His favorite quote is from the poet and consultant David Whyte: “The conversation is the relationship.” Steve, with two colleagues, offers a public systems thinking workshop called New Habits of Mind for New Solutions (NHOM). He also offers several workshops through South Puget Sound Community College (Olympia): “Conversations That Matter”, “Thinking Together – Better”, and “Better Together at Work”. These workshops are highly interactive and based on the principles of co-learning. Prior to developing his practice as an organization consultant, Steve worked in quality management roles and shared his understanding of W. Edwards Deming’s System of Profound Knowledge. Steve is a life-long learner. In the last year he completed the “Powers of Leadership” seasonal retreat at the Whidbey Institute at Chinook, “The Art of Hosting Conversations that Matter” (Berkana), and “Sensing and Shaping Emergent Change” (OSR). He is co-chair of the OSR Alumni Association. He is deeply involved with the In2:InThinking Network, helping with Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne's monthly Ongoing Discussion teleconference and contributing to the design of the annual Forum. When he and his wife, Janet, aren’t working, they can be found paddling kayaks, tending their garden, staying fit at the gym, or walking with Iris, their attentive Australian Shepherd.

Contact: Steve can be reached by e-mail at smbyers@comcast.net for additional information about this pre-conference session.


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