provides the building blocks which get organised in Phases II,
and IV. Phase I happens continuously throughout the modelling because
the exemplar might add something significant at any moment. Similarly,
regularly testing against an internal criteria of significance is
necessary because the model you are creating will continuously evolve
with each updating. You
can consider the repeating, backtracking and
testing as a form of quality control. If something is
registering as significant after several testings the more
is an essential part of the exemplar's process.
One of the challenges of taking
on this model is getting a sense of what Robert is selecting for. He
several times during the
interview that although he is selecting,
marking and testing words used
by the exemplar (i.e.
these are only labels or cues for bits of process or
art is to remember to stay at this level.
We have already commented on the
three-step nature of selecting what's significant: attending to center,
noticing when a feeling of significance is activated, then marking the
triggering content in memory and making it part of you. The process
diagram shows how systemic this is. It also shows the importance
backtracking plays in keeping the process going.
The feeling of what is significant
– the radar signal – guides the direction of your
questions. This, along with your goal for modelling clearly in mind
throughout, means information gathering is not a random search. Although
you cannot know in advance where you are going, the guidance system
gives directionality to the search and increases your hit rate when
sorting the wheat from the chaff.
Phase II – Fit parts together
The process Robert uses to fit
together what he is marking as significant is depicted in our two Phase
Phase II "is a different information gathering process" to Phase I, you
can use a similar three-step strategy:
to your center
- Notice when
there is a resonance between things marked as significant
- Capture those parts that fit
together in a picture.
describes how things "start to arrange themselves" and "a field is
created". It seems he doesn't use his "cognitive mind" until the
out-of-awareness arranging has progressed enough that it is ready to
become conscious. Once this happens he starts to "explore a direction"
which, we'd guess, enables him to "fill in" more and to test the
robustness of the fits in another iterative loop.
Notice how the metaphors of "radar"
and "guided" from Phase I, and "direction" and "explore" from Phase II
work together as a coherent method of mapping a new territory.
– Create associated/dissociated movie
Robert has identified some of the significant parts of the
process and started to fit them together he can transition
arranging everything into a movie.
– Arranging what is essential into a model
We are not sure if in Phase II Robert
one picture which contains all the significant parts that fit together
or he creates a number of pictures – a "storyboard"
naturally become a movie when there are enough
frames. Either way, then he can
"step in" to the exemplar in the
Section 4 we commented extensively on Robert's ability to associate
into and dissociate from the internal movie he creates. By creating an
inner movie and associating into the position of the exemplar in the
situation where they apply their skills, Robert is "installing" the
exemplar's process into himself. You will note that in Phase I the
significant parts were already "becoming part of me". We suspect that
when pairs of significant things are "registered" in Phase II that too
has the effect of installing them. If so, installation is another aspect
of Robert's strategy that happens throughout his modelling.
Robert mentioned "exploring a direction" in relation to Phase II, from
observing him it is clear that in Phase III his questions have a
definite directionality too. It seems that when bits are missing or feel
vague he pursues a line of questioning around that chunk of the
exemplar's process. He continues to "figure out" and "fill in" until a
feeling of congruence lets him know he can do it. Then he's done.
Phase III is essentially an
extension of Phase II with three
additions: sequencing of events; an
perspective; and an exit strategy.
Our model of Phase IV is less
complete than Phases I, II and III because we didn't observe Robert
produce his model and we didn't have much time to explore what he does
internally during that process.
This is why our description is more conceptual than the previous three
phases. However we thought what we did get was useful and below we
present an outline of a model. Overview
Just as at the beginning of
modelling, in Phase IV Robert is strongly focussed on his outcome: To
organise what is significant in a way that is meaningful and useful:
Meaningful has to do with deeper desires (for
you and the exemplar).
It is felt in the center
is facilitating the meaningful to happen
outside (physically and perceptually)
As with previous Phases, Phase IV
starts outside of Robert's
awareness. We think it is highly likely
that Phase IV processes have been operating in the background during the
earlier phases. Robert becomes the recipient of this knowledge when
there are enough significant things gathered and fitted together (in
Phases I, II and III) that they start to fit into coherent structures;
they start fitting together as a
In locational terms, Robert arranges
the parts of his model
"workbench" in front of him, whereas his knowing that he has
identified a deep structure is
a felt-sense inside his body. As in
the other phases his "cognitive" and "somatic" minds work in
the most general of process terms, to construct a formal model once he
has interviewed the exemplar Robert reviews his Phase III movie and his
written notes, and:
Starts with general connections
Applies known rules/structures to
fit things together as a unit
detail about activities.
that Robert uses iteration in Phases I, II and III we can be reasonably
sure that he does the same in Phase IV. If so these processes are not
to be seen as linear procedure but more as a systemic wheels within
Let's take a look at these processes
in a little more detail:
Start with general connections
Identify connections –
this is about that
by kinds of information, e.g. goals, activities
links between significant things
visual and auditory perspectives to find:
- Nice fits – what goes with
that fit together form themselves into where they belong in a process
of words which are clues to deeper structure
- What makes sense
inside for connections and relationships
words are surface structure. They are cues/labels about a deeper
known rules/structures to fit things together as a unit
It is like using a workbench
Cognitive structures, e.g.
the deep structure of the process so that it flows through the whole
Get details about activities
Identify details of how to do
Ask yourself: What is
each activity trying to make happen?
When you look at Robert's model of
Martin in the Appendix you will see that it has been
structured in a way that is congruent with the above:
General comments on Phases I, II, III
and IVMozart analogy
After the interview Robert said the
most surprising thing to him was how much he referred to Mozart for
analogies of his modelling process. These helped Robert explain what he
does to himself as much as to us. We did not specifically reference
Mozart in our diagrams. Instead we attempted to retain the value of
analogy by putting all of Robert's references to Mozart into one
preparatory story that replicates the four phases of his modelling.Questions Robert asks himself
to Robert's methodology are the questions he asks himself. We counted
about 40 in the transcript of our interview – that's over one
per minute. Not only is the frequency important, so is the quality of
the questions. They are 'pure' modelling questions which neatly dovetail
with his outcome orientation.
We recommend you read through the
Appendix, Section 12 and pick out the questions Robert asks himself. (We
have made this easy for you by indenting them and putting them in
italics.) When you look for the pattern in these questions (and the
questions he imagines Mozart asks himself) you will notice that they are
remarkably 'clean'. That is, they are short, to the point and they only
ask for information about what is happening with minimal presupposition
outside of the context. To answer his own questions Robert has to
keep modelling. Searching for
the answer to each question naturally takes him towards his outcome.Bottom-up
(parts to whole) and Top-down (whole to parts)
Robert is modelling bottom-up from
specific examples provided by the exemplar to create a top-down model
for an acquirer (see our article, Modelling
Top-down and Bottom-up
In Phase I
bits of process are selected; in Phase II he finds pairs that fit
together; and in Phase III he is looking for how they fit together into a
movie which can be represented as a unit in Phase
IV. Each phase, to use Ken Wilbur's term, "transcends and includes" the
In Phase IV however Robert does
something different. He finds general connections, applies known rules
and then identifies the detailed 'how to' of each activity. This
culminates in a physical representation of his model. So Phase IV is
more of a top-down methodology. It starts at a high level and works its
way down to a specific representation.
characterise this bottom-up and then top-down process in the following
transcript and video clips demonstrate another common phenomenon in
– when the same word means different things. During the
interview Robert uses the word "fit" 20 times, but not always in the
same way. It took a diligent analysis to differentiate the meanings. We
think there is a difference between the "fit" in Phase II, the "fit" in
Phase III, and the "fit" in Phase IV. "Fit" in Phase II and Phase III
means fitting parts together and then
fitting the fitted parts
together. These form the basis for the "fit" in
Phase IV which is at
least one logical level higher, at the
fits parts together
fits those fitted parts into a movie
IV ensures a fit with the structure of the whole model.
In this way Robert covers several
fundamental ways of organising experience: functional relationship
between attributes; temporal relationship between events; and part-whole
relationships.Agent and recipient
modelling is an active process requiring a large degree of agency on
behalf of the modeller, much of what Robert does has a more passive
'it's just happening' feel to it. It appears Robert is as much a
recipient of signals as he is an active agent. He experiences these
signals or cues as feelings, embodied fits, intuitions, thinking "that's
it", and congruence. These are not emotions; rather they are
felt-senses or kinesthetic representations or embodied knowledge.
one hand, Robert leaves the identification of what is significant to
the activation of his radar signal and is guided by that feeling. Then
things fit together and at some point start to arrange themselves. This
creates a field and the words start to form themselves into where they
belong in the structure. On the other hand, Robert actively gets
involved in setting his goals and intent, listening to his center, and
doing external behaviours such as note taking, backtracking and asking
questions. Later he actively tries to capture what has been brought to
his attention first in a picture, and then in a movie – if
necessary filling in when something feels vague or is missing.
the time he gets to Phase IV, Robert is mostly an active agent:
relating things; finding links; using visual and auditory perspectives;
using a workbench; and applying rules, cognitive structures, principles,
training and experience.
dual agent/recipient function can be seen by an analysis of Robert's
I’ve got to find out
what’s essential to create something
by the feeling of what’s essential
I listen a
lot to my center
significant times the center becomes activated
backtracking and pulling out those things
have been marked
like a radar signal that goes beep, beep, beep
for what’s useful and what’s meaningful
radar is going to go ‘this thing is significant'
I’m trying to get a picture
There’s some kind of a
field created by these different things
I’m trying to fill in
Do these two notes love each other?
To really capture what it is
They start arranging themselves
I’m trying to construct a
phase where things start fitting
I’m already installing
Lots of data that comes
out, where does this movie stop?
does it feel vague?
forming themselves into where they belong
I’m going to register that
Something will register
Mozart would start to apply rules
start to fit into a structure
In a parallel process the relationship
between Robert's "somatic mind" and his "cognitive mind" changes during
the modelling. In Phase I, Robert's modelling mainly involves somatic
mind with little or no cognitive mind. In Phase II and III there is a
"interplay" between somatic and cognitive minds. By the time he gets to
Phase IV his process is mostly cognitive, organising what he has
previously identified somatically.
you have an overall sense of what Robert does you can
behaviours with more of a context for how they work
together to produce
excellent modelling. You can also return to
and 4 (and the transcripts in the Appendix) and review the information more cognitively. Since we do not
have a complete model of Robert’s method of modelling
will have to fill in bits – just like he does!
After you have acquired a model as
as you can to the way Robert does it, you can consider adjusting
of the elements to make better
use of your existing resources.
significance signal might be located somewhere
and it may not be like the beep,
beep, beep, radar signal
uses. You can substitute your
own location and metaphor as
as it has enough of the same characteristics that it
same function as
in the model.
We have completed the tour through our model of Robert modelling. That journey involved three iterations, each one visiting the same material with fresh eyes but with an accumulated knowledge. Next we turn the spotlight on our methodology.