The Fork model is a cognitive tool to organise your thinking and experiences. It looks like a fork. That is why one of my students called it ‘The Fork’.
In Western society we organise development in a narrowing way. We are busy doing daily things without reflecting on the meaning of it. We put ourselves first and are ignoring the environment we live in. In other cases we are developing people or cultures without co-creating a common higher purpose.
THE TRUE STORY BEHIND THE MODEL
The Fork model consists of four tracks. Only by evolving on these four tracks (multi-tracking) at the same time, we will learn to develop in a sustainable way. The Fork helps people and organisations to multi-track their development. Use this model if you choose for long lasting and meaningful development.
The principle of multi-tracking contrasts with linear and one-dimensional approaches (like getting rid of a problem or changing from A to B). Multi-tracking our way of developing responds to the fact that life has become more layered: behaviours are part of personality and individuals are part of wholes. Reflecting on how we manage, guide, and relate with development and change has to become a pivotal point in our thinking.
TRACK 1: PROJECT
Define your project. A project is a structured approach in order to reach a goal.The structure consists of different components: the present situation, the desired outcome, resources, actions and feedback loops. It is by putting them together and work in a consistent way that success is more likely to occur. It is said that success doesn’t emerge from luck, but from learning to find the right action.
It is high benificial to concretise your own development into concrete projects. Projects are down to earth. This track is about the power of taking actions and making progress by doing something, making a difference in one’s behaviour or in one’s situation. It is by launching yourself into the world of concreteness that you find out what you want and how things work out.
What is your project exactly about?
What new reality do you want to create?
In comparison with common ways of project management which are behaviour based, we like to emphazise the power to create. In the frame of personal development a goal is more than the absence of a present state. It is a new reality and humans have to ability to imagine new ways of behaving, thinking, and feeling. A project is not just about reaching a goal. It is about constructing new realities.
TRACK 2: SELF-GUIDANCE
Reflect on HOW you are doing your project, HOW you relate with your own life course and HOW you relate with the world. People differ in their ability to guide themselves efficient and nicely through life.
While doing your project, you can learn to be more effective and efficient. Maybe you are postponing or you are putting too much effort in your actions. Maybe you feel disempowered to keep going. Be honest and determine how you can improve in the way you manage your projects.
Self-guidance in relation to identity is the ability to relate with yourself going through the life course. It consists of knowing yourself, your talents, your shadow, and your personal development themes. Maybe you are fighting against something you cannot change. Happiness doesn’t depend on facts, but on how you deal with facts. Happiness is something one can learn.
The most challenging aspect of self-guidance is the relationship with the larger whole. In general people don’t think they have impact on the whole. They see it as outside and offen they feel victim. What we all learn now, is the ability to guide the whole by participating in it. In that sense ‘the whole’ is part of the self and self-guidance is a way of changing the world.
How can you improve your ability to manage your project?
How can you improve the way you relate with yourself?
How can you improve your ability to participate in the development of the whole to which you belong?
In The Fork model self-guidance is approaches as a competence. It can be assessed and taught. It can be integrated in conversations with clients by asking the proper questions.
TRACK 3: IDENTITY
Map your unique personality and create an interesting lifestory. This track is about the whole person. Everybody is unique and each life story is unique. But people often have no awareness of their uniqueness and talents. Or they are going through life with the burden of the past. Or they don’t see a interesting future and are driven by fear.
The task is to connect with the purposeful energy that runs through life. Although people are faced with facts, there is always a possibility to create a resourceful lifestory. If a person knows his values and needs, it is more easy to do the right things.
What is your development theme in this stage of your life ?
What is your life story emerging from your biography ?
A range of approaches and methods can be used to structure this track of development: typologies to know oneself, psychoanalysis, shadow work, voice dialogue, pattern awareness, biography, etc. It is our expertise to use methods that are uplifting and developmental, not therapeutic or problem solving oriented. Personal development is accepting the gift to take oneself serious and making the best of what life brings.
TRACK 4: GREATER WHOLE
Define to what greater whole you belong. The greater whole is not a context outside oneself. The greater whole in which one lives and acts is part of the inner life. The greater whole can be an organisational body like a family, a team, or a business. It can also be cultural: each individual is part of culture, society and historical period. In that sense it is easy to understand that we ARE this greater whole. Each one of us is an exemplar of the greater whole. It is one’s individual participatory identity.
Our relationship with the greater whole is in present times of great concern. We urgently have to reconnect with the whole in order to act more as a responsible employee, citizen, or professional. The crux of The Fork model is that it defines the greater whole as an integral part of well-formed development.
Participating in the greater whole is also benificial for the individual. Adding the fourth track to one’s thinking, activates the frame of meaningfulness. Meaningfulness only emerges if a person dedicate his unique personality and his projects to a desired development of the greater whole to which he belongs.
To which greater whole do you belong?
What is the development of the greater whole to which you belong?
How can you contribute to the development of the greater whole with who you are as unique person?
By putting the greater whole as an essential element of development, The Fork model contributes to a present urgent need on a global scale. The addition of this track in professional work is really the reason why we are trying to spread The Fork model as a tool for change.