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Inquiring Systems

June 16, 2009

From  Amos Clifford’s entry in his blog Restorative Resources: Friday last week I attended a networking event in Sonoma. There I
met Loren Cole, who is CEO of Inquiring Systems, Inc. I had a very
interesting conversation with him about his speciality; he is an
“ecosystemsologist” who takes an ecosystem approach to working with
organizations. Sounds right up my alley. On his website
( this bit of description appears:

“Inquiring Systems is the mechanism
for, and the process of, making a systemic inquiry into the situation,
activity or organization that is to be managed or not, as the situation
warrants. That is, we never approach a situation with a predetermined
set of insights about that ecosystem nor do we necessarily apply the
same methods or techniques for addressing the situation regardless of
the ecosystem involved. The methods and techniques to be used must be
compatible with each unique situation and the corresponding ecosystem
of which that situation is a part.”

Now, that sounds to me like a good description of how restorative
practitioners should aspire to operate. I think we often fall short of
the mark. Which is unfortunate; because our principles are entirely in
accord with the above. Where we err, in my humble opinion, is when we
decide on what procedures to apply to a given situation before we even know what the situation is.

Read the whole entry.


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