Carol Sanford, "Indirect Work: A Regenerative Change Theory for Businesses, Communities, Institutions and Humans" (Interoctave, 2022)


I recently got a chance to talk to Carol Sanford about her newest book Indirect Work: A Regenerative Change Theory for Businesses, Communities, Institutions and Humans. Carol Sanford is a consistently recognized disruptor and contrarian working side by side with Fortune 500 and new economy executives in designing and leading systemic business change and design.

She is a founder and designer of The Regenerative Business Development Community, as well as best-selling author of several other books including her previous work The Regenerative Life—and a personal favorite for any entrepreneur or corporate leader today, The Regenerative Business: Redesign Work, Cultivate Human Potential, Achieve Extraordinary Outcomes. Her books have won over 15 awards so far and are required reading at leading business and management schools including Harvard, Stanford, Haas Berkeley and MIT.

    Frankly it wasn’t until I read this newest Carol Sanford book that it occurred to me to introduce her work to Systems and Cybernetics listeners. As should be obvious from some of my recent episodes, my current systems questions are oriented around how we can engage systemically at the human systems level—work, life, education, activism, etc. Carol knows how to bring systems thinking to life in her work. Her relationship with systems thinking goes back to her early life and is reflected in approaches to change theory and practices based on:

    • Indigenous ways of living in community and on the planet from across the world
    • Threads that run through wisdom of all lineage teachers across the world
    • Quantum Cosmology about how the universe works on individual, social, and plenary level.

    Providing methods to break old patterns of working that lead to degenerative outcomes, Indirect Work strongly challenges the validity of pop psychology and the damage it causes to human psyche and soul, ultimately, impacting the quality of our society. After listening to our conversation, listeners will want to take up Carol’s challenge to shift their minds to work with counterintuitive transformation consistent with how living systems work.

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    Kevin Lindsay

    "What is the pattern that connects the crab to the lobster and the primrose to the orchid, and all of them to me, and me to you?" - Gregory Bateson
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