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 230 members from around the world and most of what we do is done by action groups of volunteer members. Our members include therapists, organizational consultants, pastoral educators, managers, educators, administrators, and 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, age, disability, religion, gender 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.

The following revisions reflect additional roles and responsibilities that have emerged with the continued development of the organization.

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

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

Article VI Officers, is hereby amended to include:

Section 1.  Director.  The 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. The Director acts on behalf of the Board of Directors in holding the organization accountable to its mission and for ensuring that the work of the organization is in alignment with the theory, values and vision of SCT, and is accountable to the Chair and to the Board of Directors. Working with the Chair, the Director is also responsible for holding the Board of Directors accountable for fulfilling its roles and responsibilities.

Section 4.  Appointments and Terms of Service.  The Chair, Director, Associate Director, Secretary and Treasurer, are selected and serve at the discretion of the Board of Directors, 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 works with the Director in 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.

Section 7.  Chair.  The Chair shall be a member of the Board of Directors 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. The Chair is responsible for how SCT crosses the boundary and is represented in the larger world, holding the authority, responsibility, and accountability for the organization’s ownership of trademarks and copyrights. The Chair provides leadership to the Board of Directors, and with the Director is responsible for holding the Board accountable for fulfilling its roles and responsibilities. The Chair is selected and confirmed or removed by the Board of Directors, is accountable to the Board and acts on its behalf in holding the Director accountable for carrying out the responsibilities of the Director role, as determined by the Board.

On and effective December 12, 2017, the Board of Directors approved this amendment by consensus.

 

Report to members from May 2018 SCTRI Board meeting

We had a productive and satisfying Board meeting in May 2018. Overall, we see the system as working well, with many examples of new energy coming in and people taking up their roles with increasing authority.
Following our normal practice we did 2 days of process work undoing any restraining forces to taking up our membership in the Board. This was followed by 1.5 days of task focus where we explored agenda items emerging from the reports from the SCTRI task groups, the Chair and the Director.

In the process work we continued to process Yvonne’s death. We discriminated the loss of Yvonne as a person from the theory and methods, which we continue to live and take into the world. We also undid our pulls to scapegoat differences and explored our experience at the edge of the unknown as we step into leadership in a new context, taking strength from the knowledge we are working to support each other to build a system that matters in the world. 

In the task work, we got better at discriminating policy (our remit) from implementation (the Steering Group’s remit) which meant we worked more efficiently and got through all of our high and high to medium priority items.

State of the system
We see the system as in an exciting transition phase with new leadership, new people coming into trainings, and lively and active contributions from members. The Talk with the Board lunch meeting at the Conference embodied this, with members holding the Board accountable for finances, raising concerns about diversity and asking questions with the goal of exchanging information. New members have joined the Web Group (Mindy Lemoine and Åsa Bergquist Håål); the Membership Action Group (Bernd Postma); the Ad Hoc Web Content Group (Daniel Norlander); and the Steering Group (Norma Safransky). The state of our finances is healthy and stable and actively managed by the Treasurer (Nina Klebanoff), the Finance Group and the Steering Group making course corrections when appropriate.

Vision for research
We identified that to date research on the impact of SCT methods has been emergent with individuals taking the initiative without a steer from the Board and that research has focused on process, not outcomes. The outside world tends to value effectiveness research. With this in mind, we clarified our priority for future research is: to demonstrate the outcomes on task and process of Functional Subgrouping in different contexts. The Steering Group will take up the implementation of this. This does not preclude individuals taking up and being supported in other research initiatives.

Difference and diversity
We had this as a “high” importance item on our agenda, with the criterion that there is an increased voice within SCTRI to explore diversity using SCT methods. It also relates to our steps to crossing the boundary taking SCT into the world, which means opening our boundary to the world. In our exploration we recognized there is important work to do to understand the information in the language of the wider culture around diversity. Then we can define this theoretically so that we can develop hypotheses enabling us to test SCT methods with the goal of discriminating and integrating this information.

Future conferences
We explored criteria for where to hold future conferences after 2019, given the reality of rising hotel costs and flat attendance numbers. We gave to the Steering Group the following criteria to explore options: locations close to an international airport, amenities and restaurants, and a local training group; and affordable. We look forward to their recommendations.

Web content
An Ad Hoc Group is working on updating the website content with the goal of making the information inviting to both people who know SCT and those who don’t and are curious to learn more. Again, the goal here is to reduce restraining forces to taking SCT into the world.

Board membership
We welcome new members to the Board. If you have completed the Authority Issue Group and have the time, energy and resources to take up the role, please contact Jim Peightel jpeightel@comcast.net. Our next Board meeting will be held October 18-21, 2018 in Philadelphia.

The Board of Directors:
Claudia Byram, Fran Carter, Rowena Davis, Dick Ganley, Susan Gantt, Dorothy Gibbons, Ray Haddock, Nina Klebanoff, Juliet Koprowska, Annie MacIver, Mike Maher, Jon McCormick, Irene McHenry, Rich O’Neill, Jim Peightel, and Norma Safransky