How does PLAN differ from other group management techniques?

This page is an essay. It answers the question of the specificity of PLAN. As 'under construction' a simplified introdution will present an short abstract of the text below. For the moment, two graphs may help to visualize how the systematic and continuous triggering extraction during its exercise manage to reach structural and change levels.


How does PLAN differ from other group management techniques?

Although we are totally immerged, agents and dependant on group management processes, we know little about them. We easily admit however, that there must have been specific and objective variations of modes in the historical course of the people's and work's organization. The introduction of the knowledge of Writing, for example, makes a milestone in the development of a society in this regard.

There is certainly a History of Group Management, but we have hardly distinguished there the techniques and how they differ. Communities seem to form their social rules in the same natural way that a young body begins to breathe at birth, and then continues naturally. Except for rare occult methods - known as Ceremonial Magic - it is with simple spontaneity and a sense of imitation, that Organizations have built up, and enlivened the industry of the world.

In this situation, Sociology appeared at the dawn of the 20th Century.

According to its own vocabulary, Sociology explains that the current Age of Masses has imposed on us the perception of a social link. Even so, we need certain tools, instruments - as for example microscopes in Biology; and in order to make observations, Sociology uses pools, surveys, training, as well as dynamic and analysis techniques. Amongst the latter, the end of the 20th Century sees the introduction of PLAN.

The foundation of PLAN is not to be attributed to one group or person. Its development can be recognized along the gradual evolution of a major occidental process which began in 1900 [*]; this is why we may speak about it, at that 'grand' level of 'Century'. Yet, it is not this large scale that I want to stress. My present point is the specificity of the technique of PLAN in comparison to other techniques of Group Management.

When Sociology began, Human Resources Management developed by following the same empiric way of our past societies. It imitated and duplicated the former ancestral automatic procedures, as meetings, serialization of operations and leadership etc... which were naturally applied during milleniums. For example, with the Human Resources Management concept, a trainer would now come in a group and act as a leader, yet without his/her usual power - this would be called Group Dynamic. In other cases, a Human Resources Manager would meet and know every member of his department and act as a 'boss,' who would be primarily concerned with the development of his employees instead of that of his own company. In all cases, a duplicate of a certain actor function, allows the group to built up a temporary replicate of itself; this procedure creates a manifested reproduction. In Science, this is also called an Objectivation. It allows for an observation and constitutes for modern Group Management, the base for a reflection (and thus an analysis, and sometimes an intervention, etc...). **

At first sight, when PLAN enters in activity, this is exactly what it also does : members are extracted from the group during its progress, exactly as employees are sometimes temporarily extracted from their tasks during certain working days, for attending other administrative meetings. Yet, there is a major difference in comparison with all other group dynamics:

Early Group Dynamics imitate and duplicate with an empirical reason, but PLAN, at its level of science****, operates in a systematic manner, and in full awareness.
This difference manifests through a very simple mean, yet decisive aspect

PLAN graduation can be seen in comparison with a natural function, as breathing for example. A body breathes with no need for awareness. Only at a certain point it can be advantageous to look at one's respiration; medical observations for example require deep breathing, coughing etc... This is the level which is reached by early Group Dynamics.

Beyond this, a healer asks his patient to look at its own breath according to a certain rythm, and to sustain this discipline over a relatively long period of time. A very different level of observation arouses, with rapid and intense resistance - nervous and muscular systems showing spasms and difficulties, opening ways for understanding, and sometimes change in an adaptation with an environment. This is the quality that PLAN assumes. Its radical modification results from a minute introduction: systematism and/or continuance.

The nature of this transformation is easy to understand when it is seen that former Group Dynamics had no clue for detecting and, furthermore, handling the processes of resistance, though they are typical of the human phenomenon. When a resistance occurs in their approach, without even being noticed, a lapse is introduced in their loose technicality, while the problem that they treat reorganizes itself. On the contrary, when the technique (i.e. PLAN's triggering Compulsory Extraction process see PLAN in action ) is sustained continuously, structural issues suddenly become visible. Breaking-points are thus revealed, allowing for a conscious change.

The reason why primitive Group Dynamics took time before PLAN, is the need for a scientific degree in order to support this visibility. Resistance's processes are specific in Human Management, and only with the background of biology that PLAN brings into the Human Management, their control and treatment is allowed.

In imitating, duplicating and sustaining its scientific observation, PLAN discloses breaking levels and reaches structural layers. It is unique in doing so. Consultants and intervenants of previous Group Dynamics had no base for grounding, reaching and controlling such breaking-points processes. They could not perceive the resistance which distracted them from objectivity and limited them to the likeness of their client.


Evidently, PLAN meets a breaking level in the field of Group Dynamics itself, and it is where it encounters its first resistance.

As I shall explain later, the systematic level that PLAN assumes, causes change in the real organization of a group. This can be seen as dangerous, as long as a change, which fits within one's environment, is not understood as automatically rewarding. PLAN's breakthroughs renders the group permeable to its environment. It establishes a logic which is known as Desire - it is not that least figure of a Sphinx that Consumerism guaranties for the enjoyment of planet Earth; this will be explained in the next article.





[NOTES will be added shortly]

© CYBEK of New York, 1999.