Simple Rules, Complex Consequences

A couple of weeks ago, one of my Clean Language buddies, Adrian Goodall, sent me a link to the above You Tube video, “Doodling in Math: Spirals, Fibonacci, and Being a Plant”. He sent it to me because he knew that, many moons ago, I was a maths teacher, and I still have a love of maths. And he was right to send it because I was riveted to the spot as I watched this incredible display of mathematical thinking that highlights the fabulous patterns in cones and flowers and artichokes. Part 2 is now available, and I can’t wait for part 3. As someone on You Tube has commented, whoever would have thought there could be such a thing as a mathematical cliff-hanger?!

Mathematics has been called the science of patterns (Keith Devlin), and I think one of the reasons I was drawn to Clean Language and Symbolic Modelling is that it is all about helping someone to become aware of their patterns – the useful and the not-so-useful ones. Being able to spot patterns in a client’s metaphor landscape is a key skill.

“Patterns cannot be measured or weighed; they must be mapped. To understand a pattern, we must first map a configuration of relationships.”

Fritjof Capra

So I thought I would start a series of posts designed to help you to flex your pattern spotting muscles. Starting with the second clip below which I have used a few times in trainings and events…

I won’t spoil it by saying anything else except this quote from David Grove, the originator of Clean Language:

“I’m interested in what’s not there but would need to be there, for what is there, to make sense.”

David Grove


Tags: maths, video, patterns, emergence

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About the author

Marian Way

Company Director & Trainer, Portchester, Fareham
Marian founded Clean Learning in 2001, following a successful career as a maths teacher, then many years developing and delivering world-famous learning programmes with an international organisation. She is an expert Clean facilitator, is an adept modeller, a programme writer and an inspirational trainer. Marian designs our programmes and workbooks. She leads workshops and teaches on all our courses. She's trained people in Great Britain, Russia, Australia, Japan and the USA. Marian is also a recognised Clean Assessor. Marian's book, Clean Approaches for Coaches was published in February, 2013.


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