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 – October 2013

Dear SCTRI Members,

The SCTRI Board of Directors had its biannual Board meeting October 17-20 in Philadelphia. This brief overview gives you a snapshot of the work of your Board. 

A reminder: The SCTRI Board is made up of post-Authority Issue Group members who have the time, energy and resources to take up the role.  We meet twice a year for three and a half days each time: two days of process work to reduce the restraining forces to taking up our Board roles, and one and a half days on the business of the Board.  Complete minutes of the business portion of the meeting are posted on the SCTRI website, Members section, under Minutes.

Organizational Process Work

Our meeting began with two days of experiential training with our consultant, Yvonne Agazarian. Process work in this past meeting brought to the forefront the challenge to integrate at a deeper level the fact that SCT is a theory-driven system.  As a Board, we carry the mission to develop an organization using SCT theory and methods as our "map.” In exploring the driving and restraining forces to understanding and using the theory in relation to the work of the Board, we discovered that the theory is not yet fully integrated at many system levels - a significant restraining force to our organizational goal of putting our theory into practice through our work in SCTRI. With this clarity we developed a force field and explored the organizational driving and restraining forces held in a member, Dave Schwing, who recently left his membership in the Board and the organization. This force field enabled us to unpack our resonance with the member’s decision as a beginning of integrating differences back into us as a Board and into the organization.  This process gave us a deeper understanding of the vital importance in our theory of containing and integrating every difference that comes into the system through its members.  We continued our work by bringing in the differences being held in Board members that interfered with taking up our responsibility for knowing and being able to use theory to diagnose the phase of development in the system-as-a-whole in our work as Board members.

Organizational Policy Work

We spent the remaining one and a half days doing the formal work of the Board: collecting information to assess the state of the organization and setting policy.  The major issues we addressed follow.

  • Exploration of adapting organizational structures in the context of time, energy and resources of members, specifically that of membership in the Steering Group. Reminding the Board that the Steering Group has a six-month membership structure: from Board meeting to Board meeting.  We have experimented with a Board member joining on this half-year basis and discovered it to be functional for the group. Output: The group said goodbye to Joy Luther, who has contributed to the work of the Steering Group for eight and a half productive years. Dorothy Gibbons is continuing, as well as the Director, Susan Gantt, and Associate Director, Mike Maher. Claudia Byram is joining for the next six months.
  • Budget - Income and outgo:  We explored possible responses to our projected budget deficits over the next few years.  Besides trimming expenses where possible, we are considering offering another Organizational Development conference and are exploring whether there are other opportunities for SCTRI to link out to the larger world in ways that meet the mission and support the organization that contains the mission.  Again, adapting to the reality context of time, energy and resources of membership is a central consideration.
  • Training for trainers: We began a force field of the driving and restraining forces to supporting and training licensed members to become SCT Trainers.  This was a significant step toward developing a more structured trainer training program, building on the elements that have emerged so far.  This initial FF will go to the Trainers Group for input, and then on to the Curriculum Group to think about next steps.
  • Values and norms in outreach:  The Board reaffirmed the SCTRI value that outreach to potential members offers information that allows people to see if what is offered aligns with their goals and values.  This is in contrast to persuasion or inducements:  “tell” vs. “sell”. These are guidelines for the Conference Marketing and the Membership groups for mapping their strategies for outreach to support the development of the organization’s interface with the world.
  • Relicensing:  We authorized a proposal from Licensed Members to modify the relicensing interval, after the first 5 years, to 7 years with the provision that licensed members continue to develop a greater expertise in the knowledge and application of the current theory in their practices. This proposal was sent to the trademark holders for authorization, and they supported it. (The Trademark owners hold the ultimate authority, responsibility and accountability to insure that the SCT that is delivered by licensed members is SCT.)
  • Provisional license, or Licensed with Provisions: The Board also clarified that “Licensed with provisions” is a full license with next steps for development to reduce a specific restraining force at the leading edge emerging in the sample. 
  • System development: Reviewed the authorization for plenipotentiary power to work groups whose development fulfills the requirements of readiness in their ability to take up their authority. Criteria include looking at the phase of the group’s development, its ability to modify restraining forces and capacity to use the resources of the organization when necessary.  We also recognized the value and benefits in the development of the system-as-a-whole in granting groups plenipotentiary power.

BOARD MEMBERSHIP

A reminder: Anyone who has completed the Authority Issue Group training and has the time, energy and resources is eligible to be on the Board. If you qualify and are interested, be sure to let the Steering Group know!

Sincerely,

The Board of Directors of SCTRI
Claudia Byram, Fran Carter, Dick Ganley, Susan Gantt, Dorothy Gibbons, Eileen Jones, Nina Klebanoff, Joy Luther, Annie MacIver, Mike Maher, Jon McCormick, Rich O’Neill, Sven-Erik Viskari