SCTRI Board of Directors: Report to Members
May 2024

The Board is settling into its new rhythm of meetings: a spring meeting online, an autumn meeting in person at the SCT Center in Philadelphia. We just finished the spring online meeting, May 16-19. As usual, we worked for 2 days as a process group with the task of reducing restraining forces to taking up our Board member roles, then 2 days on organizational vision and policy. In this meeting we welcomed our newest member: Alida Zweidler-McKay. Alida brings rich resources both from her SCT training and her work as an organizational consultant. Welcome Alida!

Process Work: Reducing Restraining Forces to Taking Up Board Member Roles

Seeing ourselves in the context of the global and national strains of polarization and splitting around difference, we engaged in the ongoing experiment of SCT by identifying the survival roles and role locks that maintain splits in us. These are particularly the roles and splits that inhibit our energy in our Board role. We are discovering success in weakening role locks by getting subgroups for the inner-person survival roles that the role locked pair hold for the group. The group held both levels of work: the authority issue and the separation/individuation of dynamics of intimacy. We left our two-day process with a sense of the promise in unraveling as a lifeline to the new. Role locks exist in all organizations. Using systems-centered methods and techniques to name and work them is part of the ongoing experiment in building an organization using SCT and a theory of living human systems (TLHS).

In riding the turbulence of this work, we emerged an understanding that process cannot be pushed. The theme “don’t push the river” arose. A positive result of our work was moving into an efficient working climate in our two-day task work. We also have a shared sense of having integrated our new member – a success!

Task Work: Topics, Issues, Decisions

Location of SCT Conference 2025
Some of you may have heard at the Conference that we are looking for an alternative to the hotel/conference center model for our environment. Costs have escalated beyond many of our members’ resources as well as those of the organization. After several months of research, we have identified two university campuses, both in the Philadelphia area, that meet our needs. This will mean two changes from past conferences: the date, which will be in June, the 7-13, and the environment. The choice between the two locations will be announced by the end of June. Both have some great features as well as several differences from our usual city center environment. Both are around 30 minutes by public transportation from Philadelphia Center City and are located on lovely campuses. They have campus housing as well as nearby hotels and are significantly less expensive. We see this as an experiment – and an adventure. And like all adventures we’ll see what we discover as we go! More news to come before the end of June.
Crossing the Boundary
As we all take SCT with us in different contexts it is vital that we are guided by the values and norms embedded both in SCT and in SCTRI. This is particularly important to address as more of us use social media, both as members and by SCTRI itself. Clarity about these values is crucial for all of our members if we are to continue working to develop a system we want to live in! If you would like to refresh yourself on SCT’s values, you can find them here:

The Bigger Picture
We have the sense that SCTRI is at a crucial spot in its development, from the smaller more contained system that supported the development of the theory and its application, to one with more outreach into the world and application in more contexts. The environment has developed as well, with social media becoming a powerful force, the broader availability of virtual environments, the need to attend to the impact of climate change, and the challenge of addressing racism. These issues are in the organization as well, evidenced in questions raised by members in the “Talk with the Board” gathering at the annual SCT Conference. Other issues we named: How best to use our financial resources to support our mission? How to continue to develop a succession plan that supports member development and the organization over time? Addressing all these issues in ways that are guided by our theory and congruent with the values of SCTRI is crucial to our mission.

As a result of surfacing these and other larger questions, we decided to allocate the entire work time at the October Board meeting to developing a vision for taking SCT and SCTRI forward. We have asked our former consultant, Ken Eisold, to rejoin us to support this work. Ken consulted to the Board very effectively in the early transition into a formal organization so he is familiar with our way of working and our values. We see input from members as crucial to this process, so we will be exploring how to go about accomplishing this.
Supporting Membership
Members in training contexts may not be aware of the possibilities to join action groups and practice applying SCT methods in work contexts. These roles support both the member’s skill development and the organization that supports SCT that supports them! We made a plan to remind our trainers to let trainees know about these opportunities.
Weekend Online Conference
The January Organizational Development Conference Belonging and Performing at Work was a great success – thank you to the team that created, organized, promoted and staffed it! We all learned from their work: a large thank you to Peter Kunneman and Patricia Aerts, Co-Directors, and to the whole working group. The next weekend conference will be in late 2025 or early 2026 so we will be reaching out for people that have the energy to participate in creating it.

As always, we welcome any members who have completed the Authority Issue Group to consider joining the Board of Directors. If you have interest, please contact Jim Peightel.

Board of Directors
Claudia Byram, Fran Carter, Rowena Davis, Susan Gantt, Dorothy Gibbons, Nina Klebanoff, Annie MacIver, Mike Maher, Jon McCormick, Irene McHenry, Jim Peightel, Norma Safransky, Heather Twomey, Alida Zweidler-McKay