The key for your company to thrive in the post-Covid era is your people’s level of emotional intelligence
This was IOCTI for me this this year. But let me start it from the start.
IOCTI - or the International Organizational Constellations Training Intensive - was created in 2004 by Jan Jacob Stam, a Dutch pioneer in the field of exploring and applying systemic dynamics in organizations and the founder of the Bert Hellinger Institute The Netherlands. As Jan Jacob admits, the initial impulse was “quite political.” “Before 2004 we would meet a lot and exchange experiences in Germany. With IOCTI I wanted to explore if there was room for the international community to also meet in other places,” he says. The first two IOCTI editions took place in the Netherlands. Then, they moved to Mexico (twice), Spain, Uruguay (twice) and, ultimately, Slovenia, where we gathered last week from Oct. 6th and Oct. 14th. With the ninth edition IOCTI is going back home – the next gathering, planned for October 2020, will take place in the Netherlands.
In short, IOCTI brings together the best in the field of systemic dynamics in organizations worldwide. I intentionally don’t write systemic dynamics in business because organizations mean so much more. From cases applied to whole state institutions – the Latvian Police – to cases that bring together farmers, schools, hospitals, communities, non-governmental organizations and their stakeholders, IOCTI is a continuous, multi-faceted and multilayered exploration. This word, exploration, probably describes the best the mindset of the people present at the IOCTI gathering.
Now, for those of you who know me, you know how much I love my clarity, structure and advance planning. Well, to someone like me, IOCTI is a systemic earthquake. In a way I was already connected to this “I don’t know” energy well before the event started – till last moment I somehow couldn’t decide whether I should attend it or not. The balance was tipped when I received the possibility to run a small evening workshop which I felt would be particularly useful for the systemic community – Personal Branding for Systemic Facilitators. At that moment I knew I needed to be there.
Then came transport. From Prague to Ljubljana there are no direct flights. In the end I settled for a bus ride, which I booked literally a bit before departure.
Then came Natasa.
Natasa Cebulji, the wonderful, tall, blond, energetic founder of the Slovenian Institute for Systemic Constellations who organized IOCTI 2018 together with her team. She was kind enough to pick me up at the bus station and take me on a ride to our hotel in Bled. On our way we started speaking about our work. And she came with the suggestion that, if I want, I could have a workshop on Wednesday morning on one of my relevant systemic projects.
Long story short, I jumped. I took the hand Life offered me and I jumped. And boy, what a ride that was!
Here are some of the main highlights of a week walked in ups and downs, fear and grace, not knowing (information) and knowing (that I was loved and held no matter what).
I return home sated, confronted, sad and hopeful. My head cannot contain yet the potential of all of our explorations. My body is tired and weak, expanding when my other containers contract. My heart… Maybe this is the main insight I take away from Bled. If I want to work from the heart (and I cannot do it otherwise anymore), I need to embrace my fear – that raw fear that brings shivers into your hands when you feel the approaching presence of Grace. And yet, the only good thing one can do is to stand up, take off your shoes and other unnecessary property, chin up, open up and do this work. Just do this work. The system will take care of the rest.