ORID: A Meta Thinking Structure

The meta structure underlying ToP methods

ORID is an acronym for Objective, Reflective, Interpretive and Decisional and is a Meta structure underlying the Technology of Participation (ToP) methods. It is based on theories about the levels of human awareness, but perhaps more easily understood as the Socratic method- where we not only observe/experience the circumstances of our lives but dig deep into those experiences and name what we discover there, and having done so, live out of those narratives.

The premise of this Meta ToPTM facilitation structure is that awareness of our experience of a particular situation is initiated at the sensory level. We absorb and begin interacting with situations we find ourselves in, through our senses. We take note of a situation sort of factually, observationally. In ToPTM we call this the Objective level.

Awareness then proceeds to the associative level where a surface level relationship to our situation emerges typically in the form of memories, emotions, past associations. For example, we are aware of liking, disliking, enjoying or feeling confused by what we are reading now. ToPTM calls this the Reflective level.

When we dig into the whys and wherefores of our feelings and associations, our awareness moves to a deeper relationship to the situation, where we make sense of and meaning out of our experiences, where importance, value, or significance we’re attaching to our situation is revealed. ToPTM calls this the Interpretive level.

Finally, based on the meaning making we have engaged in, we move toward a resolution or conclusion about that situation. This can take the form of a decision or action or next steps or sometimes the need to go back in the process and dig deeper or canvass a wider range of information and reaction to the situation. ToPTM calls this the Decisional level.

This simple, powerful four level sequence is a natural overlay on the way we think, converse, communicate, interact, decide, and generally wrestle with the stuff of our lives. Like all things human, socialisation and convention create preferences, and what otherwise would be efficient and effective becomes dysfunctional.

Recovering and reclaiming this inherently natural structure is embedded in all ToPTM facilitation methods.

Purpose: Establish governance systems, protocols and charter of authorities to ensure adequate internal controls and statutory compliances.
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Purpose: Build a discipline of planning, monitoring, reporting and reviews to ensure delivery of the entity’s projects and plans.
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Purpose: Reform/renew an entity’s existing capacities (e.g. structure, capabilities, systems, infrastructure, technology, etc.) for adaptability & agility.
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Purpose: Define the entity / function / team capacities (e.g. structure, capabilities, systems, infrastructure, technology, etc.) required to effectively execute the vision and strategy.
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Purpose: Build a shared clarity across the team, function and/or entity on their growth / development aspirations and strategies to achieve those aspirations.
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Purpose: Define the overall transformation that the entity aspires for
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Purpose: Embed a culture that drives individual and team energies to perform to achieve an entity’s goals on a sustained basis.
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Purpose:Embed a culture to promote agility to innovate to meet the emerging needs of consumers/customers/community.
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Purpose: Embed a culture that inspires people’s discretionary effort and sustains a “want-to-do” attitude rather than “have-to-do” at a team, function and/or entity level.
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Purpose: Embed a culture that is based on core values, aligned with the Mission, Vision and Strategy at a team, function and/or entity level.
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