1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 This essay introduces a very practical tool/technology, tested and available for 3+ decades. There are many reasons for its under-use and slow improvement. One, being its obscure name “team syntegrity” and it’s esoteric discipline “cybernetics”. This is presented here, not as a finished product, but as an early prototype upon which we can build a diverse tool-chest for seafing optimal interactivity between groups.

2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 This tool is not THE Magic Wand, from which all “good” will come. Magic Wands, tools or ideas, don’t exist and to search/wait for them courts disasters.

3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 I will use the three letter acronym TDS, for Team Dialog Scaffolding. TDS has other usages  (including: Trump Derangement Syndrome).

4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 0 TDS, in its early form, was a set of precise instructions for a group of 30 persons, over 5 days, to interact within teams of 5, synergizing 12 brief statements. This performance scaffolding has a visual representation in the regular ICOSAHEDRON (with many possible variations) .

“The icosahedron has 12 nodes and 30 struts. Beer’s model of the Team Syntegrity (Syntegration) group, the Infoset, covers 12 relevant questions to discuss, and has 30 people. In his model, the struts are people; the nodes, questions. Each node attaches to five other nodes through five struts. The five struts – the five people in a discussion group, cover one subject, shown as a node. Since each strut attaches to two nodes, each person participates in two discussions. As well, each person takes part in a third group of five criticizing another group’s idea.”

6 Leave a comment on paragraph 6 0 TDS systems attempt to optimize the exchanges of information among a group of interacting persons. TDS is independent of the topic or issue presented to a TDS seafed group.

7 Leave a comment on paragraph 7 0 I was incidentally fortunate in the mid 1990s to actually meed and dialog with many of the persons working on TDS, including Stafford Beer, who had just authored his book: Beyond Dispute: The Invention of Team Syntegrity.  I missed the opportunity of establishing ongoing dialog with these “giants”.

8 Leave a comment on paragraph 8 0 Periodically, over decades, I have attempted to emerge teams focused around the model of change I was current with, at the time. These models evolved/emerged. unfortunately, to be viable, participants in TDS type systems but have a shared commitment to the process, and be willing to devote the time and attention. Then, and today, few are open and willing. Thus, I kept putting off trying to implement a form of TDS until I might motivate others to participate. TDS is not a process to be “run” by one person.

9 Leave a comment on paragraph 9 0 When you view the urls below, on TDS, you way feel a similarity to the many group facilitation processes the emerged the past decade: flip charts, index cards, small tables, converging down on topics. These procedures characterize only the very first actions in TDS. The mixing of ideas facilitated by the icosahedron scaffolding is not used by any of the popular processes (to my knowledge). Those few papers on D&D (Dialog & Deliberation) that I have looked at make no reference to Beer or more recent reports on TDS. My crude analysis is that the “practice” of “dialog” is dominated by the realtime activity of discursive groups (conversation) and virtually ignores what changes may occur through an intentional network of dialogs.

10 Leave a comment on paragraph 10 0 With a few significant exceptions (use in Canada to resolve major issues) the current D&D practices are primarily directed at “uplifting” the participants, improving their lives and thus, hopefully, humankind. The references below hint to some significant uses of TDS in organizations.

11 Leave a comment on paragraph 11 0 Activity within and between small groups or teams will be the tangible basis for UPLIFT, far more than alone activity by individual persons. Yet, each person, in their diversity, must continue to learn (in their individual ways) to perform in TDS systems. Variations of TDS will be practiced continuously, as part of OLLO.

A few years ago I extended D&D to DDDD (Dialog/Deliberation/Decision/Doing.

13 Leave a comment on paragraph 13 0 I recommend that as our UPLIFT TEAM emerges, we experimentally adapt a version of TDS, as part of BUS (Bootstrap UPLIFT Scaffolding).

14 Leave a comment on paragraph 14 0  

url references:



17 Leave a comment on paragraph 17 0 Team Syntegrity Background

18 Leave a comment on paragraph 18 0 The Science of the Unknowable: Stafford Beer’s Cybernetic Informatics

19 Leave a comment on paragraph 19 0 Dialogue: Rediscover The Transforming Power Of Conversation by Linda Ellinor, Glenna Gerard.

I have not read this book by Linda, who is a friend and frequent email conversant. She has facilitated Bohmian Dialog, with our occasional small group meetings, in Tucson. Features of dialog participants’ behavior and attitude – during the conversations are critical in “emerging a synergy” among participants – on a topic that emerges within the Bohmian Dialog.


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