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.

SCTRI: Systems-Centered® Training and Research Institute Board of Directors’ Report to the Membership May 2017

Introduction

The SCTRI Board of Directors held its spring meeting on May 11-14, 2017 in Philadelphia.

The Board meets twice each year for 3.5 days each time. The first 2 days are process work with our consultant Yvonne Agazarian working to reduce the restraining forces to taking up our roles as Board members. The remaining 1.5 days are spent working the business of the Board, to carry the vision for the organization and oversee its implementation.

Organizational Process Work

In preparation for the Board meeting, each member develops a force field of driving and restraining forces for taking up membership on the Board. With our consultant, we start our process work by reviewing these force fields with an eye on isomorphy, noticing that the information we as Board members hold also is information for the system-as-a-whole.

At our last Board meeting, in October 2016, we identified that our challenge as a system is to integrate new theoretical developments across the organization. Since October, Board members have met several times in an online theory group toward the goal of transferring the ownership of the theory from Yvonne to the Board.

As part of this transfer of ownership, we experimented with a different structure during the two Process days with the goal of developing SCT leadership in the group. Instead of relying on our consultant as the sole leader, the group cooperated with Yvonne’s decision to assign leadership positions to those members whom she sees as having the greatest resources for particular roles. Susan Gantt took up Board Task Leader role, and Mike Maher took up Board Process Leader role. Ray Haddock took up the newly-created role of Chief Theoretician, orienting the Board to theory as we worked.

With an eye on the new Person-as-a-System chart, we explored our driving and restraining forces to taking up our Board member roles with our full authority. As we worked, we discovered, from our apprehensive experiences, how to develop operational definitions for Inner Person, Inter-Person, and Person-as-a-Whole role systems. And we also deepened our understanding of how to integrate our learnings with what we already know about a Theory of Living Human Systems.

Organizational Policy Work

We carried our understanding of theory into the next day and a half, and we paid attention to role systems and the group climate as we conducted the business of the Board. We used the well-known norms for a work group with Director Susan Gantt in Task Leader role, with members volunteering and rotating as process leaders. A major development during this task time was how we as a Board vectored the work, as much as possible, to the SAW perspective by using our Inner Person energy to fuel our Inter-Person communications instead of communicating from our Inner Person “old adaptive role-systems.”

We found that our energy, efficiency and enjoyment of our work increased when we paid attention to the role system we were in as we brought information into the group.

We used the reports submitted by different subsystems and task groups to build our agenda, noting the information in each report was a voice for the organization. We ranked the issues raised in these reports as high-medium-low with an eye on importance and immediacy and worked them in that order, some with more depth and some as a start for work to be continued. We are grateful to all of the subsystems that generated the energy and information that fueled our work this meeting.

Areas of work included:

  • Website: Several members of the Board have formed an Ad Hoc Group to reorganize the website’s layout and update the content.
  • Coordination of Work Groups: We agreed to create more linkage among the Trainers Group, Licensed Practitioners Group and Curriculum Development Group to integrate the theoretical innovations into training groups and develop criteria and goals for each level of training.
  • Finance: Given SCTRI’s mission of operating within a financial reality, we agreed to ask the Finance Group to allocate expenses into categories that match our vision and values (research, training, web, outreach, etc.). In addition, we agreed to explore grant opportunities to support the work of SCTRI.
  • Community Scholar: As a way to cross the boundary to the outside world, the organization will be offering a Community Scholarship for the 2018 SCT Conference to a low-income worker at a not-for-profit agency in the San Francisco area.
  • Crossing the Boundary: We explored both the ways in which Board members are introducing SCT to the larger community and started to identify some restraining forces that prevent us from fulfilling our mission of introducing SCT strategies for change to organizations, groups, and individuals in private, public, and clinical settings. We agreed to continue this work of identifying and reducing restraining forces to crossing the boundary at our next meeting.

Changes in Board Membership

The Board also said good-bye in this context to members leaving the Board: Eileen Jones who has been a Board member since 2000; Joy Luther who has been on the Board since 2004; and Sven-Erik Viskari who started his membership in 2006.The Board also welcomed Jim Peightel as a new (returning) Board member.

We welcome new members to the Board. We are made up of post-Authority Issue Group members who have the time and energy to take up the role. If you meet these criteria, and have an interest joining, please contact Jim Peightel. Our next meeting will be held in Philadelphia, October 12-15, 2017.

Your Board of Directors:

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