Nothing so practical as a good theory: The Logic of Feeling

Gizmo en de Logica van het Gevoel
For many years I am working and playing with the knowledge theory¬†The Logic of Feeling, the intellectual legacy of the philosopher Arnold Cornelis.¬†Why does this theory appeal to me? Unlike most management models it does justice to the complexity, the different layers, of our reality. It gives an important role to the often neglected factors of time and feelings in change processes. And to the fact that we humans are bodily creatures, making our decisions based for a large part on emotions we are not even conscious of. It is easily said that change processes fail to deliver the intended results in over 80 percent of the cases, but why do they fail? I am of the opinion that this caused by approaching the issue too narrowly. Leaving out the context in time and space, leaving out the role of irrational processes. The Logic of Feeling not only provides explanations and insights, it also generates practical guidelines for sustainable change. This illustrates the adagium of Kurt Lewin “Nothing so practical as a good theory“.

The essence fo the Logic of Feeling is learning how to think of reality in more than one knowledge system. Cornelis defines reality as layered, because of three steering systems operating at the same time: the steering system of the material world, the steering system of the social reality of human actions, and the steering system of meaning and values. When looking at a problem, it is important to know which steering system the problem is playing in. Looking for a solution in the wrong system leads to catastrophic learning processes, because you are looking for a solution in a system where it cannot be found.

The Logic of Feeling is a very rich concept, it takes some time to grasp the essence. In December 2013 I was asked to give an interactive lecture for a group consultants and managers. Filling a morning program from 9 to 12.30 am. with a lecture is quite a challenge, for the audience as well as the speaker. I made two new presentations, answering the questions “What is The Logic of Feeling?” and “How can I use this theory in my practice?”.

Part one of my presentation shows how the Logic of Feeling can be applied on every level of organisation: individual, collaboration (a formal organisation), society, science and even the whole evolution of mankind. Part two is about practical applications, showing how this theory can be used to match interventions for change and development with the nature of the issue at hand and what the time is ripe for. You will see a few examples of how the capactity to change, what I see as sustainable change, can be further developed.  I used the Logic of Feeling for my research on effective use of Large Scale interventions. The theory gives explanations of why this participative approach contributes to sustainable change. Below you find videos of the two presentations (powerpoints with animation, no sound).

Tip: Watch in Full Screen in HD

Part 1: The Logic of Feeling. A theory for development of people and organisations

Part 2:  Applications of the Logic of Feeling

Read more about the Logic of Feeling and sustainable change.

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