Self-Portrait

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Michael Bischoff

Clarity Facilitation
2425 30th Ave. So.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
USA

612-521-1889

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What is an underlying question that gives form to your work or interest in this field?

“Within secular and pluralistic institutions, how can we cultivate collective spiritual grounding and discernment?"

What is your personal experience of collective wisdom in groups?

Some of my deepest experiences of collective wisdom have been with groups in prison, in Alternatives to Violence Project workshops and in Restorative Justice groups. When we, as groups, have been able to speak honestly and vulnerably about the ways we have hurt others, and the ways we have been hurt, I have seen a collective wisdom emerge.

What is it about the work in this field that excites you and connects you to your own deepest self?

I am drawn to learn how we can pray for the healing of institutions. I find that contemplative prayer with and for others tends to soften and strengthen me. Bringing this presence and practice into consulting with organizations is a challenge for me, and one that I keep returning to. Here are a couple of stories about that.

Please provide a brief storyline or snapshot of what brought you to this work.

Since 1994, I have worked with criminal justice institutions, such as prisons. Here’s a story about how my focus started with personal transformation and evolved into institutional transformation. I am a part of a Quaker faith community, and the Quaker practice of discerning the “sense of the meeting” or divine guidance for a group is an important foundation for me. The writings of Walter Wink about the spirituality of institutions are also important for me, as are the frameworks of Appreciative Inquiry, restorative justice, and nonviolent action.

How would you like to be available to others in this field?

I am currently (early 2009) in the middle of a sabbatical where I am focused on dialogue with others about the intersections between spirituality and organizational life.  I welcome conversation about that topic.  I also do organizational development consulting with groups in Minnesota (USA).

Links to this site or others:

Clarity Facilitation

The Spirit of Insititutions


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