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Strategic systemic approach and hypnosis

      In “How Perception Can Unlock Our Potential,” Padraic Gibson, PhD, invites us to explore the profound impact of our perception on our reality and our ability to shape the future. Drawing on the work of Heinz von Foerster and other systems approach thinkers, this article offers an in-depth reflection on how our perceptions shape our understanding of problems and the creation of solutions. Through an exploration of lateral thinking, the influence of social pressure, and the need for a paradigm shift in education and learning, Gibson guides us toward discovering our untapped potential and co -creation of a brighter future.

       Heinz von Foerster

      Key points

      Adopting lateral thinking rather than traditional critical thinking allows you to approach today's problems with creative solutions.

      Problems can be interpreted as indicators of change, not just errors to be corrected.

      Knowing the impact of social pressure on perception allows us to better reflect on the influence of our behavior.

      Imagine standing at the crossroads of the present and peering into the fog that covers the future. This is the metaphorical landscape that Heinz von Foerster painted in 1971, as he reflected on the complex interplay between perception and the path we chart for the future. His ideas, although formulated decades ago, are strikingly relevant in today's world, a world that stands on the precipice of incessant change.

      Far from critical thinking

      New ways of thinking about complex human problems are needed more than ever, given the many existential threats we face today. For example, in 1967, Edward de Bono promoted lateral thinking as a concept that promotes creative problem solving. It involves viewing problems from different angles rather than approaching them through traditional logical analysis. The process involves restructuring models, challenging established concepts, and sparking new ways of seeing things. She seeks to solve problems through an indirect and creative approach and draws on ideas that may not be immediately obvious. Lateral thinking is often contrasted with critical thinking, which is more direct and traditional in its approach. While critical thinking relies on logic and sequential evaluation of information, lateral thinking encourages thinking outside the box, where the solution may not be immediately obvious from the given information, as is the case. case for many of the problems we face today.

      Heinz von Foerster

      Unfortunately rarely cited in the field of human change, Heinz von Foerster was an Austrian-American scientist whose work created a bridge between physics and philosophy, and he is recognized as the originator of second-order cybernetics. His ideas are sustainable and offer us an exit strategy from our failed solutions.

      Born in Vienna in 1911, he earned a doctorate in physics, and his family included renowned intellectuals, including Ludwig Wittgenstein. In the United States, he worked at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he became a professor and director of the pioneering Biological Informatics Laboratory. Von Foerster was an influential figure in cybernetics and worked with prominent thinkers such as John von Neumann and Norbert Wiener. His contributions span a wide range of fields, including computer science, artificial intelligence, epistemology, and interactional and strategic psychotherapy.

      At the heart of von Foerster's thoughts is a fundamental question: How do our perceptions shape the problems we identify and the solutions we design? It suggests that a problem is not just a faulty outcome; it is often our interpretation of this result that is problematic. When the results of a system do not match our wishes, even if the system is working perfectly, it is not just a call for repair, but a signal for transformation. This poses a problem for people who are averse to change, and sets the stage for an intractable problem.

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      Depression, a biological or relational phenomenon

      Asch's conformity studies and perception

      Conducted by Solomon Asch in the 1950s, these experiments were seminal for social psychology because they demonstrated the power of conformity in groups. Asch sought to discover the extent to which social pressure from a majority could influence a person to conform. In his experiments, participants were asked to match the length of a line on one card with one of three lines on a second card in front of a group. Unbeknownst to the participant, the rest of the group consisted of actors tasked with choosing the wrong line.

      The experiments showed that individuals often conformed to the group's poor choice, even though it was incorrect, highlighting the strong influence of group pressure on individual judgment and the tendency of people to conform to what they perceive as a social norm, even despite their common sense. This fact is still relevant today.

      The truth is an invention of the liar

      Von Foerster warned us about the tranquilizing effect of accepted truths or truisms, because they can numb us to realities, especially the reality that the future is not a simple continuation of the past. As the many political debates and social issues currently taking place around the world demonstrate, in times of socio-cultural upheaval, clinging to the past to predict the future makes us unprepared and reactionary, rather than proactive and visionary. Problems are nature's way of calling for new, more adaptive responses: If we don't shape our future, it will shape us.

      Learn to see and you will know how to act

      Von Foerster believed that our societal malaise was an epidemic of perception, the symptoms of which manifested as a breakdown in our ability to perceive correctly. Language , once a tool of clarity, has become a pathogen, spreading incomprehension and insensitivity. This numbing of our condition is a silent crisis that, according to von Foerster, is exacerbated by pervasive semantic or meaning confusion. This confusion, he explains, arises from a trio of erroneous associations: we confuse processes with substances, relationships with qualities, and qualities with quantities. From this point of view, education can be considered guilty of perpetuating these confusions. It often aims to transform students into predictable entities - trivial machines - instead of fostering their inherent capacity to be complex, unpredictable beings with creative potential, as De Bono's frustration with the importance we place on critical thinking.

      Disrupt and create

      The antidote to this crisis is a paradigm shift in education and organizational learning. Imagine a system that promotes legitimate questioning, where answers are not predetermined but discovered through effective investigation. It is the foundation of a society that recognizes education and lifelong learning as essential, not a privilege, and that sees each individual as a source of untapped potential. In essence, von Foerster's vision for the future is one of co-creation, where the collective aspirations and perceptions of society give shape to the world we wish to inhabit. This is a future that embraces change as an architect of progress, rather than an adversary.

      Von Foerster's recall of Dostoyevsky's work "The Brothers Karamazov" highlights the importance of keeping our doors open to society's "troublemakers" - the visionaries and dreamers, because it is through their courage to challenge established norms as new paths to the future open up for us, but these visionaries must not blind us with the rose-tinted light of the past, nor offer us a warmed-over vision, such as that which we found in the playbook of every junk dictator that has ever seen the light of day. They must offer us new ways of perceiving. This is how we will build a brighter future. In the words of von Foerster, let there be a vision, and with it, a bright new dawn.

      Where to train in the systemic and strategic approach?

      LACT offers several live certifying web training courses with 50 international trainers.

      References

      • Asch, Solomon (1951). "Effects of group pressure on modification and distortion of judgments". Groups, leadership and men: Research in Human Relations. Carnegie Press. pp. 177-190.
      • de Bono, E. (1999). Six Thinking Hats. Back Bay Books.
      • de Bono, E. (1985). Lateral Thinking: Creativity Step by Step. Harper & Row Publishers
      • Gibson, P. (2022). How To Bend In Order To Straighten. Strategic Solutions to Problem Solving, Strategic Science Books.
      • Foerster, H. von. (1971). Perception of the Future and the Future of Perception. Speech delivered at the Twenty-Fourth Annual World Affairs Conference, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA.
      • Foerster, H. von. (1972). Responsibility of Competence. Journal of Cybernetics, 2(2), 1-6. doi:10.1080/01969727208542909
      • Foerster, H. von. (2003). Understanding: Essays on cybernetics and cognition. Springer-Verlag, New York, NY.
      • Maturana, HR and Varela, FJ (1980). Autopoiesis and cognition: The Realization of the Living. D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Netherlands.
      • Miller, G. A. (1967). The Psychology of Communication: Seven Essays. Basic Books, New York, NY.
      • TIME Magazine. (1970). The homogenized man.
      • Dostoyevsky, F. (1880). The Karamazov brothers.

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      the following category of actions: Training action

      A team of more than
      50 trainers in France
      and abroad

      of our students satisfied with
      their training year at LACT *

      International partnerships

      The quality certification was issued under
      the following category of actions: Training action

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