John Dicus jdicus at
Sun May 3 18:23:14 PDT 1998

Ralph wrote...

> She had me look up at the room's ceiling, where half a
>dozen fans turned lazily, circulating air.  They were moving in a
>clockwise direction.  I had been doing my circles counter-clockwise.

I always walk clockwise in OS.  Usually a handful of people ask me when I'm
going to give the other direction a chance.  I tell them I have a reason
that's pretty special to me and ask for their patience until the closing

I leave one hour for closing and integration.  I introduce the
characteristics of people who prefer to inhabit the North, East, West, and
South directions of the circle (Wheel).  After getting  some consensus on
how one might recognize and manifest these characteristics, I ask the group
to select one person for each of the four directions -- people who ARE that
direction -- Elk, Eagle, Mouse, Bear.  Then I ask the entire group to get up
and relocate next to the person they feel most at home with.  Very often we
get a Elk/Bear-heavy wheel.  For a few minutes I get the group into some
playful banter by letting the Elks and Mice trade friendly insults. Then I
let the Eagles and the Bears have at it.  (Sometimes we have turtles --
wisdom -- sitting in the center of the circle with smiles on their faces)
Next I show how walking the wheel counter-clockwise can cause problems --
getting the cart before the horse, so to speak.  Then I walk and talk it out
in a clockwise direction showing how circular motion is the perspective that
unifies the entire group -- unifies the seeming dichotomies into a whole.
Willingness to come to the edge -- finding the edges -- supporting one
another on the edge -- and applying what we learn at the edge.

Unsticking oneself is sometimes necessary, and that is accomplished by
backing up one-quarter turn counter-clockwise from where you're stuck.
Pushing through is as harmful as spinning backwards all the time.  For
example, if you're stuck on connecting the threads in community, then you
need to back up and spend time co-creating, or intensifying a shared dream
before moving forward again in the clockwise direction.

Take care,

John Dicus


John Dicus  |  Cornerstone Consulting Associates
Teamwork - Systems Thinking - Leadership
Open Space - Action Learning - CourseWare  |  mailto:jdicus at
800-773-8017 |  330-725-2728 (2729 fax)
2761 Stiegler Road, Valley City, OH 44280

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