Tag Archives: fractals

chaotic thoughts on employment counselling

another live blog from the career management conference!

glenn olien works in employment/career counselling in the construction industry

warning: aptly, since this is about chaos theory in counselling, these notes will be somewhat chaotic, more than the two live blogs before. kind of like twitter on a blog 🙂

questions to be discussed: why do people fall into the pit of unemployment?

he also kept asking, “who gets a good job? who doesn’t? why not?”

he was a funding officer for a while. he figured that a program that helps people with employment would work “if they loved the participants”

career counselling and chaos theory: why does the marble attract employment, why does it resist employment?

supported work model in nelson: people with serious mental health issues were helped to get a job, they loved their jobs so much they had to be told not to work saturdays

(i love how he keeps saying, “then i was REALLY confused”)

glenn olien is the author of the unified employment theory

he worked with a chaos and complexity advisor to further explore his ideas

“i wrote thousands of words and threw them all away”

now it’s all in one sentence:

all human potential for change can be represented by a fractal object with 33 parts

his theory is used in all kinds of different environments – eg unified famliy transitions theory


all his work is about tools of the imagination; it’s magical

research: people who go through a 2-week program that uses this approach were 300 percent more effective

unemployment can be seen as a failure to imagine

“every bad job i’ve gotten i’ve job searched”

“you can’t be an expert on a mystery” – “i’m not an expert, i just help people with their imagination”

the alchemy of drawing a line between now and the future: it CHANGES your future

chaos scientists are finding that if you deal with genuine complexity, no matter how much knowledge you have, the best thing you can do is use your imagination


fractals generate all the complexity in our lives. those objects which are not fractals can be fixed. that’s why we can’t fix people

fractals: if you look at something and look at it closer and closer, you keep seeing the same patterns again and again

everything that’s controllable is based on euclidian geometry; that’s the stuff that is completely predictable

examples of fractals in the human body: veins keep on branching and branching and branching in the same way

a fractal is the signature left behind from complexity

in employment: our employment patterns follow the same structures

a company is a fractal made up of its employees (the health, education, etc. of its employees)

if you change one part of something, for example the education of an employee, you change the whole thing – that’s the butterfly effect

as counsellors, when we say something small to a client, it can have a huge effect

big effort, no change …. big effort, little change …. big effort, large change
small effort, no change …. small effort, little change …. small effort, large change

–> all these are possible. often hard to predict

big effort, no change – it’s because wenow we”re complex; we may look at doing X to produce Y, doing a lot of X to produce why – but there may be other areas in our complexity (like A, G and M) that hinder the effort

information can be fractaled

after the break: now we’re on to trying out his theory, using this site

we’re asked to think of a dream job and use the tool.  i’m using the online tool which is specifically designed for construction workers.  one of my dream jobs is corporate philosopher.  that’s kind of amusing.

his theory is very much centered around getting support.   eg getting support from friends in finding a job.  thinking: what is the general pattern of a person’s supports?  how does that pattern propagate through all the different aspects of those supports?  (e.g. is the way you look for help from family similar to the way you look for help from friends?)

“now”, he says, “comes the magic part”.  first we look at all the 33 parts of the employment fractal and see where we already HAVE what we need.  then we look at what we want to improve.  the actual action of visually representing for ourselves is magical – “it’s amazing,” he says, “to see what happens when you do nothing but fill in the assessment, put it away, and then go back to it a month later – chances are you’ll have gotten closer to where you want to be.” this activity can be the butterfly effect.

he also has ways of creating action plans from this.

this is the practical part.  i want to hear more about how all of this ties in to chaos and complexity!  will we have time to talk about that?

a gallery of compassion

you may remember that a little while ago, i participated in the compassion project put together by the three monks. we were all asked about presenting our unique thoughts, definitions and views of compassion. i wrote about compassion and social media.

this group writing project has come to an end. i’d like to present to you some of the ideas that came up, and give you the list of all the people who participated.

so first, here are some samples:

at the new horizons project, a challenge to reach further with our compassion

how many people notice when others are struggling and suffering at home or at work and consciously do something about it? if you answered yes to that question then think how often you extend that same compassion to others outside of your normal relationships.

paula talks about “i am that“, an important buddhist approach.

this particular brand of i am that awareness started while i was listening to the radio (something i rarely do) while driving my daughter to preschool one day. a popular song written by meredith brooks in the nineties called, “bitch”, came on.

i’m a bitch, i’m a tease
i’m a goddess on my knees
when you hurt, when you suffer
i’m your angel undercover
i’ve been numbed, i’m revived
can’t say i’m not alive
you know i wouldn’t want it any other way

dreambuilders gives us this to think about:

we all conceal love behind the shadow we create for ourselves. we aren’t meant to turn our back on it. we need to learn to work through it.

at good life zen, the connection between compassion and forgiveness is investigated. are some things too hard to forgive?

the four young men who killed amy were pardoned and released from prison in 1998 after serving four years. soon after that, two of them, easy nofomela and ntebecko penny, made contact with amy’s parents. you can imagine how hard it was for linda and peter to meet face to face with the killers of their daughter. but when they saw how bleak their prospects were, they decided to offer help and support to easy and ntebecko. they started training as builders in one of the biehls’ programmes and have since been involved with a construction company that the biehls started.

evan remembers the lessons wecan learn from early christians, the desert fathers:

compassion embraces truth – it doesn’t allow us the luxury of sentimentality and illusion. we do not have the luxury of pretending that our society is better or worse than it is. compassion demands that we deal with the practical details of suffering and the nitty gritty of what creates suffering.

i really enjoyed samir’s post, who looks at the connection between art and compassion.

compassion is a deep awareness of, and a sympathy with, someone else’s suffering. that is the traditional definition, but really compassion is much broader than that. compassion is an innate sense of empathy with things and people outside of ourselves ” not just their suffering but their feelings, their thinking, and their situation. to be compassionate is to see, feel, and sense beyond yourself. it is this broader sense of compassion that truly makes us human. what would such a thing have to do with the ballet of swan lake and musical fountains? i thought you’d never ask.

read on! samir will tell you what it is …

finally, of course i had to go to this blog – you know how i feel about fractals! “compassion,” says this artist, “begins with myself.”

compassion, for me, is about one simple thing: allowing, instead of trying. it is accepting situations as they are, and just letting things flow naturally. yes, in such a state a deep empathy for all living beings arises within, but that is just a byproduct of allowing oneself to see the world from a natural and accepting viewpoint. compassion is also about embracing creativity, expressing the self naturally without any restraints.

so, friends, i this was a little glimpse into this beautiful gallery of compassion. now please, come on in, take your time, and savour all of these delicious posts:

ben lumley at the new horizons project.

kris vockler at beyond zen.

corinne edwards at personal growth with corinne edwards.

paula kawal at journey inward coaching.

liara covert at dream builders.

david bohl at slow down fast.

deb estep at deb_inside.

swami nirmalananda giri and reddyk at the atma jyoti blog.

mary jaksch at goodlife zen.

takuin minamoto at daily action and natural expression.

robin at reflections on compassion, posted at yogini myspace blog.

karen zara at abaminds.

jenny mannion at heal pain naturally.

evan hadkins at wellbeingandhealth.net.

shawn williamson at do you live or simply exist.

patricia singleton at spiritual journey of a lightworker.

alex blackwell at the next 45 years.

akemi gaines at gratitude magic.

vitor bosshard at the fractal forest.

cg walters at into the mist.

john torcello has also contributed an entry by email, i’ve included it in the comments below.

brightdays at brighter days for you and me!

karen at loving awareness.

krista at lucid amphibology.

karen lynch at live the power.

andrea hess at empowered soul.

waters at waters: the last thing i wanted to give.

eric grey at deepest health.

stephen hopson at adversity university.

em dy at pulse: intention to treat.

iain hamp at follow your passions.

rahul at raw speak.

stephen miracle at altnoise.net.

pearl at interesting observations.

mark at my tropical escape.

matthew at loving awareness.

daylle schwartz at lessons from a recovering doormat.

charities link at charities link.

mihaela lica at pamil visions ewritings.

david at virginia breeze.

jerry summers at nothing like now.

wishbone at wishbone.

arvind devalia at make things happen.

samir bharadwaj at samir bharadwaj dot com.