SCTRI: Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute

Systems-<br />Centered Training and Research Institute Values

SCTRI is a non-profit organization that supports training and research in the systems-centered approach. We are an international association of over 200 members from around the world and most of what we do is done by action groups of volunteer members. Our members range from therapists, organizational consultants, pastoral educators, managers, teachers, administrators to curious people.

The Systems-Centered Training & Research Institute (SCTRI) was established in 1995 under the wing of Resources for Human Development, a not-for-profit organization providing support for fledgling public service groups.

As of July 3, 2006, SCTRI is an independent non-profit organization, recognized as a charitable organization under IRS code 501(c)(3). 

 

Mission Statement

Knowledge and Research. A primary purpose for this organization is to contribute to knowledge with the theory of living human systems and to do related research in long- and short-term change strategies.

Education and Training. A primary purpose for this organization is to continue development of methods of systems-centered education and practice and to train systems-centered practitioners to serve the community.

Community Development and Contribution. The organization will introduce SCT strategies for change to organizations, groups and individuals in private, public and clinical settings.

 

Basic Values

The Goal of Trademark Licensing: to maintain the integrity of SCT methods and to ensure their practice within the following values:

 
  1. Respect for the dignity and worth of all human beings.
  2. Respect for context: members’ behavior congruent with the norms of the environment and the norms of SCT.
  3. Multi-level thinking: self-centering within a systems-centered context.
  4. Empowerment of groups: authority residing with the group.
  5. Decentralized authority: maximum local autonomy.
  6. Commitment to develop a systems-centered environment: differences are discriminated and integrated in the service of the goal.
  7. Creativity: to express our creativity, while affirming the creativity of others.
  8. Open communication: communicating thoughts, feelings and concerns directly.
  9. Diversity: no discriminatory behavior around race, ethnicity, culture, education, economic status, disability, religion and sexual orientation.
  10. Organizational integrity: strive to live our values, saying what we mean and being open to hearing others’ differences.
  11. Accountability: quality service adjusted through an ongoing collaborative process with consumers.

 

Bylaws of Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute

ARTICLE I

Name and General Provisions

Section 1. Name. The name of this organization shall be Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute, hereinafter referred to as SCTRI.

Section 2. Incorporation. SCTRI, the organization, was incorporated July 3, 2006 under the provisions of the General Laws of the State of Georgia as a not-for-profit organization, exempt from Federal Income Tax under Section 501(c)(3). Net earnings of the organization shall not accrue to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual; no substantial part of the resources or activities of the organization shall be used to attempt to influence legislation not related directly to the practice of systems-centered theory and methods; and the organization shall not participate in, or intervene in (including publishing or distributing statements) any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office.

Section 3. Trademark. SCT®, Systems-Centered® and Systems-Centered Therapy® are registered trademarks of Yvonne M. Agazarian and the Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute.

 

ARTICLE II

Purpose

Section 1. Knowledge and Research. A primary purpose for this organization is to contribute to knowledge with the theory of living human systems and to do related research in long- and short-term change strategies.

Section 2. Education and Training. A primary purpose for this organization is to continue development of methods of systems-centered education and practice and to train systems-centered practitioners to serve the community.

Section 3. Community Development and Contribution. The organization will introduce SCT strategies for change to organizations, groups and individuals in private, public and clinical settings.

ARTICLE III

Organizational Structure and Authority

Section 1. Organizational Management. The Management Group (Article III, Section 2) has responsibility for the overall governance and management of SCTRI according to its mission and values. The group meets twice each year, unless otherwise determined by the Management Group, at a time and place decided by the group one year in advance and recorded by the Secretary, to:
a. Explicitly review the structure and function of SCTRI and the Management Group;
b. Train and mentor each other in management roles to ensure continuity in the structure and function of organizational management;
c. Maintain accountability for implementation of decisions of the Management Group;
d. Review use of trademarks and any issues related to the rights and responsibilities of license holders with trademark holder(s);
e. Select the Director, Secretary and Treasurer, Steering Group and consultants based on functional criteria.

Section 2. Management Group/Board of Directors. The Management Group shall be the Board of Directors of the organization and consist of all those members that have become part of the Management Group, as it is constituted from time to time to have no less than one member and no more than forty-five members. A quorum sufficient for making organizational decisions shall consist of those members present. Members who have successfully completed the intermediate level of training through completion of the Authority Issue Group are eligible to join the Management Group, and become members of the Management Group by attending the regularly scheduled meetings and being recorded by the Secretary. Criteria for self-selection include:
a. Time, energy, resources, and willingness to commit to attending two meetings per year (one for members who live abroad), including the two-day experiential training prior to each meeting;
b. A commitment to contribute to the Management Group goals;
c. Taking up leadership in SCTRI;
d. Agreeing to decision by consensus and withdrawing from Management Group membership if unable to do so.

Section 3. Steering Group. The Steering Group is assigned plenipotentiary authority between Management Group meetings to maintain the vision and policies, and oversee the daily operational function of SCTRI. This group meets weekly, unless otherwise determined by the Steering Group, and can call upon the Management Group as needed to consult or meet by notice of no less than three days. Members are selected from the Management Group on a semi-annual basis, serving from one Management Group meeting to the next, and have responsibility to:
a. Implement policies and programs as directed by the Management Group;
b. Inform the Management Group regarding progress and developments between meetings of the Management Group;
c. Inform the Management Group of emergent organizational issues and any recommendations regarding these issues.

Section 4. Organizational Decisions. Systems-centered methods, particularly functional subgrouping, are employed to resolve conflict and build consensus in making decisions. Consensus means that every member of the group agrees to support decisions of the group and make them work whether or not he or she agrees with them.

 

ARTICLE IV

Work of the Organization

Action groups form as needed to implement the work of SCTRI. Action groups are filled by volunteers from membership.

 

ARTICLE V

Membership

Section 1. Eligibility for Membership. Persons who are in sympathy with the objectives and purposes of SCTRI and support its mission and values shall be eligible for general membership in the organization.

Section 2. Term of Membership. Membership shall be year to year, activated and maintained by payment of dues for the current year.

Section 3. Dues. Membership dues shall be set by the Management Group.

Section 4. Financial Consideration. A central value of the organization is that no one be kept from membership due to lack of financial resources. To implement this policy, fees and assessments are designated “more or less,” with an understanding that an individual may pay more if he or she wishes to, or negotiate to pay less if he or she cannot afford the set fee.

 

ARTICLE VI

Officers

Section 1. Director. The Director must be a member of the Management Group who demonstrates mastery of the theory of living human systems and its application to work with individuals, groups and organizations and whose work exemplifies the values and mission of SCTRI. He or she is responsible for ensuring that the work of the organization is in alignment with the theory, values and vision of SCT, for monitoring official communications between SCTRI and outside organizations, and for holding the Management Group accountable for fulfilling its roles and responsibilities.

Section 2. Secretary. The Secretary is responsible for preparing, compiling and authenticating the records SCTRI, including records of the Management and Steering Group meetings.

Section 3. Treasurer. The Treasurer is responsible for making the financial report to the Management Group, selecting the fiscal year, and ensuring that appropriate tax filings and records are completed.

Section 4. Appointments and Terms of Service. The Director, Secretary and Treasurer are selected and serve at the discretion of the Management Group, who shall have full authority to make decisions regarding length of service in accordance with Article III, Section 4 of these bylaws.

 

ARTICLE VII

Annual Meeting

Section 1. SCTRI holds an annual meeting, open to all members, and interested others of the public in observer roles.
a. The annual meeting shall be held at the time and place of the annual conference.
b. If there is no annual conference in any given membership year, notice of the time and place of the annual meeting shall be made to all Members at their recorded addresses provided in the organizational directory at least three weeks prior to the scheduled meeting.

 

ARTICLE VIII

Amending the Bylaws

Section 1. The bylaws can be amended by approval of two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the Management Group.

Section 2. Dissolving the organization. The organization may be dissolved by decision of the Management Group in accordance with Article III, Section 4, and Article VIII, Section 1. The Management Group has responsibility for the distribution of organizational assets in a manner consistent with the organization’s charitable purpose.

 

Amendments

Article VI Officers, is hereby amended to include:

Section 5. System Mentors. The System Mentors are responsible for monitoring and mentoring the function of SCTRI as a whole. They demonstrate mastery of the theory of living human systems and its application to work with individuals, groups and organizations and their work exemplifies the values and mission of SCTRI. They are responsible for ensuring that the function of the organization, its members and practitioners, is in alignment with the theory, values and vision of SCT.

On and effective October 15, 2006, the Management Group recognized the longstanding functional role of System Mentors as Officers of the organization and approved this amendment by two-thirds majority vote of the full Management Group, in accordance with Article VIII, Section 1, of these Bylaws.

 

Article VIII Amending the Bylaws, is hereby amended as follows:
Section 1. The bylaws can be amended by consensus of the Management Group, as defined in Article III, Section 4.

On and effective April 22, 2007, the Management Group approved this amendment by consensus.

 

Article III Organizational Structure and Authority, is hereby amended to include:

Section 1. Organizational Management.
e. Select the Director, Associate Director, Secretary and Treasurer, Steering Group and consultants based on functional criteria.

On and effective October 23, 2010, the Board of Directors approved this amendment by consensus.

 

Article VI Officers, is hereby amended to include:

Section 4. Appointments and Terms of Service. The Director, Associate Director, Secretary and Treasurer are selected and serve at the discretion of the Management Group, who shall have full authority to make decisions regarding length of service in accordance with Article III, Section 4 of these bylaws.

Section 6. Associate Director. The Associate Director is a member of the Steering Group who is responsible for monitoring the function and operation of the organization, supporting communication and cooperation among action groups, and ensuring consistency with the norms and values of the organization.

On and effective October 23, 2010, the Board of Directors approved this amendment by consensus.

 

The Steering Group proposes changing “Management Group” to “Board of Directors” throughout the bylaws. The Board is working at the policy and vision level and the term Management Group no longer fits.

On and effective October 23, 2010, the Board of Directors approved this amendment by consensus.

 

Article I Name and General Provisions, is hereby amended to read:

Section 3. Trademark. SCT® and Systems-Centered® are registered trademarks of Yvonne M. Agazarian and the Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute.

The term Systems-Centered Therapy® was not renewed in June 2007.

On and effective October 23, 2011, the Board of Directors approved this amendment by consensus.

 

SCTRI Board of Directors' Report to the Membership – April 2015

Introduction

The SCTRI Board of Directors held its bi-annual meeting April 23-26, 2015 in Philadelphia. This report offers a brief overview of our work.

The Board meets twice each year for 3.5 days each time. The first 2 days are process work with a consultant (Yvonne Agazarian) where we work to reduce restraining forces to taking up our Board roles. The remaining 1.5 days is spent working the business of the Board.

Minutes of the business portion of the Board of Directors Meeting will be posted on the SCTRI website, in the Members Section, under the category “Minutes.”

Organizational Process Work

The major focus of our process work was to unpack the role-lock that got triggered during the Conference Large Group and to actively integrate this work so we, as Board members, could take up our organizational leadership roles in a different way.

Specifically, we took up the work of unpacking the virulence held in the silence of advanced members, silence that triggered an outrage subgroup during the last large group. This, in turn, induced the leadership system into a role-lock with the outrage subgroup. As a result, the information in silence and outrage did not come in. We were able to find the “ouch” in the outrage role-lock, move from survival role to curious observer role, and find the resources that are available to influence the system we were outraging against (an alternative to the person system survival roles.) We also saw that these authority issue phase restraining forces were emerging in the context of the system-as-a-whole’s leadership transition from Yvonne.

Another piece of important and moving process work emerged from the male subgroup on the Board. While this work is still emerging, we think it points to work the organization is doing to separate and individuate from Yvonne, to authorize male as well as female leadership, and to provide for intergenerational continuity as an organization.

These pieces of process work proved highly useful to our business meeting work since we took up the business of the Board with increased vigor, authority and passion.

Organizational Policy Work

The major focus of our policy work was to work with understanding and planning for the financial deficit that we currently have in the system and developing the flow of leadership resources, so that members can take advantage of leadership opportunities and the organization can support short and long term succession planning.

On the leadership issue, several key roles have been difficult to fill. The Newsletter group, E-News and Membership group all have current openings. We explored restraining forces to taking up organizational roles and came away with more understanding about the need to develop leadership from within the generations and ways to link members to our leadership development group.

We also worked to take in our current financial realities. While we have adequate savings and an additional year in reserve, we recognized that Conference 2015 did not generate the finances we need. This is our major funding source for the organization, followed by membership dues, and these, too, were down this year. We identified that this is not sustainable and we took another look at the vision of our conference and a strategic plan for our funding sources. While we expect to continue this work in future Board meetings, one immediate outcome was our ability to fully own and authorize our Endowment Campaign.

We have a vision of a fun, creative, community-building campaign that will meet its $50,000 goal by the end of the next Conference (April 2016.)  We authorized the Fundraising, Finance and Conference groups to engage our membership in creative ways over the year, culminating in a “race to the finish” during the Conference 2016 Thursday night party. And, to get us across the start line, we created a Board Challenge. We would each donate $50 to the Endowment Fund if we finished our agenda 30 minutes early. We worked efficiently to meet this goal, and met it!

We expect you will see other creative challenges emerging over the next year. We look forward to your joining us!

Our next Board meeting is scheduled for October 15-18, 2015. The Board is made up of post Authority Issue Group members who have the time, energy and resources to take up the role. If you meet these criteria, and have an interest in joining the Board, please contact Eileen Jones.

Your Board of Directors

Claudia Byram, Fran Carter, Rowena Davis, Dick Ganley, Susan Gantt, Dorothy Gibbons, Eileen Jones, Nina Klebanoff, Joy Luther, Annie MacIver, Mike Maher, Jon McCormick, Rich O’Neill and Sven-Erik Viskari