Bring Meaning to Work and Purpose to Spirituality


Who We Are

We are a group of professionals (managers, architects, consultants, etc.) living in the Chicago area. The group initially started in December of 2007, shortly after the Pegasus (Systems Thinking) and Sol (Society of Organizational Learning) Conferences in Seattle. The core of our group has been meeting regularly since, reflecting and learning the principles and skills of systems thinking, Theory U in particular, in the contexts of our own situations at work and in life. For many of us, it has been a life changing experience. Now we'd like to share our learnings with you, our fellow professionals, wherever and whatever circumstances you might be in. We encourage you to spend a few minutes read about us and, better yet, listen to our community dialogues (under What We Do on the right-hand side of this page). We are confident that you will find strong resonances in us. If so, we invite you to explore the rest of our site and even consider Join Us. Please note, we are not a "virtual" community. Active participation (in-person/voice/video) in community events and services is required to qualify for membership.

What We Believe

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
Margaret Mead, American Anthropologist

"The dysfunctions of the traditional management system keep many organizations in perpetual fire-fighting mode, with little time or energy for innovation. This frenzy and chaos also undermines the building of values-based management cultures and opens the door for opportunistic grabs at individual power and wealth."
Peter Senge, author of The Fifth Discipline

“The success of an intervention depends on the interior condition of the intervener.”
Bill O’Brien, Former CEO of Hanover Insurance

“Knowledge and love are the same mental activity: to know a thing we must love it, to love a thing we must know it”
Kitaro Nishida, Japanese Philosopher

“The modern age has ended… we are going through a transition period… as if something were crumbling, decaying, and exhausting itself – while something else, still indistinct, were rising from the rubble.”
Vaclav Havel, Playwriter and Former Czech President

“Most managers spend a disproportionate a mount of time in the delivery room … The miracle of birth is most unlikely unless there’s been some activity nine months previously”
Gary Hamel and C.K. Prahalad, Management Strategists

"Intention is not a powerful force, it's the only force."
Brian Arthur, Cognitive Scientist

"Facilitating the movement from one (victim) mindset to another (we can shape our future) is what leaders get paid for"
Otto Scharmer, author of The Theory U

"The developed world was developed by men and women who shared a vision of the future and the courage and determination to make it come true; we live amid their realized dreams … Now we need new dreams; more of the same won’t do"
Timothy Ferris, Author & Journalist

"The way to grow while enjoying life is to create a higher form of order out of the entropy that is an inevitable condition of living"
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, American Psychologist

“The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking”
Albert Einstein, Scientist-Philosopher

"There is no empirical method without speculative concepts and systems; and there is no speculative thinking whose concepts do not reveal, on closer investigation, the empirical material from which they stem. To put into sharp contrast the empirical and the deductive attitude is misleading."
Albert Einstein, Scientist-Philosopher

"The psychology of the mature human being is an unfolding, emergent, oscillating spiraling process marked by progressive subordination of older, lower-order behavior systems to newer, higher-order systems as man's existential problems change."
Clare Graves, American Psychologist

“This is the true joy of life, the being used for a purpose you consider a mighty one, rather than a feverish, selfish clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy."
George Bernard Shaw, Philosopher



Lead with Power and Love - A Transformative Leadership Development Program 4 Replies

Started by Yan Song. Last reply by Yan Song Feb 25, 2012.

Is Being "Prideful" ever good? 1 Reply

Started by Gerry Bouey. Last reply by Yan Song Oct 14, 2010.

A Brief History of Work, Power and Love in Mankind

Started by Yan Song Sep 15, 2010.

The Story

Started by Yan Song Jan 10, 2010.

Self & Work 3 Replies

Started by Gerry Bouey. Last reply by Gerry Bouey Jan 7, 2010.

Latest Activity

Yan Song posted a blog post
Apr 24, 2017
Yan Song shared their blog post on Facebook
Apr 23, 2017
Yan Song posted blog posts
Apr 23, 2017
Yan Song shared their blog post on Facebook
Dec 4, 2016
Yan Song posted a blog post

The Evolution of the West: What's Next?

I just finished reading an excellent book by Nick Spencer, titled “The Evolution of the West: How Christianity Has Shaped Our Values”.For a naturalized citizen born in a very different culture like myself, this book provided a sweeping overview of the Western history from an important (Christian) perspective that I find very helpful and persuasive. It is contextual, interpretive and open minded versus argumentative or dogmatic. It offers profound lessons and even applications for dealing with…See More
Dec 4, 2016
Yan Song shared their blog post on Facebook
Jul 31, 2016
Yan Song posted a blog post

Man's Search for Meaning

I just finished rereading Viktor Frankl’s book, “Man’s Search for Meaning”. I feel that I have gained an even deeper appreciation of the man and his work than when I first read it some 25 years ago. I was jobless, depressed and on verge of a divorce then. I have since had a successful career, happily married and stayed emotionally positive most of the time. So what do I mean by deeper appreciation of a book about the meaning of human suffering? Well, the inspiration I got from reading the book…See More
Jul 31, 2016
Yan Song shared their blog post on Facebook
Dec 31, 2015

An Urgent Need

Many professionals today face a classic paradox: they feel an overwhelming pressure to perform ever faster and cheaper on one hand and, on the other hand, spend more and more time in dealing with the institutional and cultural resistance to removing the obstacles in their paths. They are truly caught between a rock and a hard place! Blaming the institution or the boss or the market rarely solves the problem as many job hoppers would eventually figure out. Consequently, there is a widely felt lack of job satisfaction and related productivity loss by professionals in all fields, independent of their economic and social status. In fact, burnout rates are higher among the more senior ranks of professionals. To make matters even worse, unlike professional sports such as the game of golf, there is scarcely any help available to guide professionals through the jungles of physical survival, commercial competition and superficial cultural bandages that litter the path of a professional’s career and life. Our educations system falls woefully short in this regard. As the MIT professor Donald Schon pointed out, “universities are not devoted to the production and distribution of fundamental knowledge in general. They are institutions committed, for the most part, to a particular epistemology, a view of knowledge that fosters selective inattention to practical competence and professional artistry.”

An Authentic Solution

Our Mission
We are a practice-based learning community by and for professionals. We offer a variety of programs and services to develop our members’ leadership capacity and skills with the ultimate goal of dramatically improving or transforming their professional effectiveness and quality of life as a single integrative process. We call this fusion of practice, community and transformation our One Authentic Swing.

Our Approach
Thanks to the pioneering works by Chris Argyris, Don Beck, Albert Einstein, Clare Graves, Otto Scharmer, Donald Schon, Peter Senge and many others who have walked the same path before us, we now possess a rich body of knowledge of what it takes to develop and play a complete game of business and life as professionals, encompassing the effectiveness of accomplishing our goals and the fulfillment of our organic nature. The greatest challenge, we feel, is not lack of good theories or models but a constructive environment to practice and improve over time. How many times we have become excited about some excellent conferences and/or training seminars only to find ourselves facing the same “reality” back home and, slowly but surely, adapting back to the same old ways? The truth is that our workplaces and/or social circle are usually too unprepared or even toxic to embrace breakthrough ideas and transformative practices that are essential to make meaningful impacts on people and organizations. So we are taking a decisively different approach from most organizational and leadership development programs:

Practice. First and foremost, we focus on the everyday experiences and practices of ourselves and our fellow professionals. We study and discuss theories or models only in the context of better understanding and calibrating our practices, not merely out of intellectual curiosity

Community. We are community-based and not-for-profit. Every member of our community is a professional in one or more specialized domains. We help each other to examine different aspects of our professional and non-professional lives in much the same way as golf swing coaches do with their clients/students. In our community, everybody is both a teacher and a student. The community serves as the resource and support center of fostering transformative practices at our workplaces and other social situations in an incremental, iterative and sustainable manner. Ultimately, we expect each individual to be his or her own architect of success in a shared experience of creation that is larger than any of us individually.

Transformation. We emphasize the transformational as well as organizational or social dimension of competancy development. We take transformation seriously and are committed to the research and development of an authentic and breakthrough method through collaboration and practice.

Our Methods and Services
The methods and services provided by our community are intended for seasoned professionals who have dealt with serious challenges and begun to doubt that quick fixes and/or money alone could deliver adeqaute outcomes. Moving the cheese is not the same as making it. The first step in a new direction is a thorough and responsible investigation of the root causes vs. mere symptoms of the fundamental difficulties that you face at work and in life. We provide an open, safe and dynamic setting in the company of similarly minded and challenged fellow professionals for you to Discover the different paths and choices of your journey at your own pace.

Once such root causes are exposed and acknowledged authentically, the next step would be to visualize and architect an effective - both practical and sustainable – solution. As demonstrated by a large body of field based research in such diverse domains as organizational and leadership development, anthropology, psychology, philosophy, physics or even cosmology, this is no merely intellectual exercise. It goes to the core of understanding our identity or existence in relationship with an evolving future. It requires us to Transform or qualitatively shift such fundamental relationships within oneself and with each other. For such a shift to occur, one requires nothing less than an inspiring vision and a robust architecture of reality that is capable of bridging the historical past with a promising future. Naturally, this does not happen easily nor in an instance and requires serious commitments of the mind, the heart and the will. There is no question that this is the most challenging and risky part of the entire journey and one stands very little chance of success in the absence of adequate support and guidance from those who have travelled down the same path before. We offer you an integrated process, tool sets, the experience and unconditional solidarity of a community of committed professional peers.

No transformation or authentic swing is complete without carrying forward the new vision of reality into day-to-day living or actions. To do so in the full complexity of your work and life situations, it requires a great deal of practical competency and professional artistry that could only be learned through incremental and iterative practice. We have developed various dialoguing, coaching and case methods to help you Master such skills while carrying out your present responsibilities, only more effectively and meaningfully.

Interested? Please consider Join Us.

One Authentic Swing in Action - A Case Study

The following case study was presented by Yan Song to the Midwest Learning Community, the precursor to OneAuthenticSwing.Org, on April 20, 2008. The primary learning tool used was Theory U. The six parts audio presentation was complimented by a set of Power Point slides:

Power Point Slides
Introduction: Why Bother?
Discover Your Environment
Discover Your Self
Discover Your Work
Transform Your Competency
Transform Your Impact Skills

What We Do

Our Intention
Our Process
Our Method
Feedback (First Timers)
Feedback (Regulars)

Discover Our Community
Paul's Frustrations and Hopes
Wake-Up Call (Members Only)
There's Got To Be a Better Way!

The Initial Clue
A Better Way: Improving Real Productivity
A Better Way: Improving Quality of Life
Challenges and Solutions for the Technocrats
Kelly's Five Most Significant Life Stones

Gerry's Five Most Significant Life Stones
Tina's Five Most Significant Life Stones
Yan's Five Most Significant Life Stones
Paul's Five Most Significant Life Stones
Aha Moments
The Experience of Opening Up
Bridging The Intellectual and Emotional Divide
Open Mind - Overcoming the Voice of Judgment
Open Heart - Overcoming the Voice of Cynicism
Open Will - Overcoming the Voice of Fear
Let Go and Let Come
Love, Family and Relationships Part I
Love, Family and Relationships Part II
Love, Family and Relationships Part III
Earth Quakes, Civilization and Progress
The Two Sides of Corporate Responsibility
The Limits of Democracy
On the Right Side of History and Happy Side of Marriage
Learning to Move with the Universe Part I
Learning to Move with the Universe Part II

Transform Your Competance
Play Alone Play Smart
Overcoming the Loneliness of Being
Love, Peace and Intention Part I

Love, Peace and Intension Part II

The Arrow of Heart
Transformation In Context

Masterful Act, New Complexity and Transformation
Small what, small how and Big What, Big How
The Process of Transformation
Go with the Artist
Freedom, Connections and The Creative Tension
How and Why to Write a Case

The Art of Writing a Case
Creating Your Own Master Piece
Master Pieces Are Not Created Overnight
Feedback, Flow and the Quality of Life
Is Nature Becoming More Complex?
Motivation Is the Question
Why Is Nature Inspiring?
Creative Destruction
Creativity and The Architecture of Reality
Growing the Seeds of Intention
Harnessing the Power of Intention

Master Your Practice or Impact Skills
What Do We Mean by Mastery?

Cog on a Wheel
Mining Deeper Energy at Work
Optimizing Organizational Energy
Improving R&D Productivity

Blog Posts

Faithful in the Routine

Posted by Yan Song on April 23, 2017 at 1:30pm

Growing Forever Young

Posted by Yan Song on March 26, 2017 at 8:11pm

The Evolution of the West: What's Next?

Posted by Yan Song on December 4, 2016 at 10:57pm

Man's Search for Meaning

Posted by Yan Song on July 31, 2016 at 1:48am

Will We Ever See the Spiral Shape of Our Galaxy?

Posted by Yan Song on December 31, 2015 at 6:00pm

When Inspiration Meets Reality in Business

Posted by Yan Song on October 13, 2015 at 1:00am

Discover Life between Our Skin and Soul

Posted by Yan Song on August 30, 2015 at 4:28pm

What Can We Learn from a Chinese Banker?

Posted by Yan Song on August 23, 2015 at 3:02pm

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