1. Home
  2. Blog

Simple Rules, Complex Consequences


Being able to spot patterns in a client’s metaphor landscape is a key skill in Symbolic Modelling, so here are a couple of videos to help you flex your pattern spotting muscles.

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 and Part 3 are also available. 

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 above 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

Photo by Dušan Smetana on Unsplash

Related blog posts


Maths: Questions & Answers With a Difference

22nd Jun 2012

By Marian Way

About Marian Way

Marian Way's avatar

A highly skilled facilitator and trainer, Marian, who founded Clean Learning in 2001, has developed and delivered training across the world. She is the author of Clean Approaches for Coaches, co-author, with James Lawley, of Insights in Space and co-author, with Caitlin Walker, of So you want to be… #DramaFree.

Marian is an expert Clean facilitator, an adept modeller, a programme writer and an inspirational trainer. She has a natural ability to model existing structures, find the connections between them and design new ways for people to learn. Marian was a leading innovator within the Weight Watchers organisation, which included developing the “points” strategy, a local idea that went on to become a global innovation. She is a director of both Clean Learning and Training Attention CIC, world leaders in clean applications for corporate, educational and community development. She designs our programmes and workbooks, leads workshops and teaches on all our courses. She’s trained people in Great Britain, Russia, Sweden, Germany, Australia, Japan and the USA. Marian is also a recognised Clean Assessor.

Blog categories
Adventures in Clean
Book Reviews
Clean Ambassadors
Clean Interviewing
Clean Language
Clean Space
Clean with Groups
Case Studies
David Grove
Life Purpose
Meet the Team
Practice Group
Systemic Modelling