I have yet to find the word ‘cybernetics’ in mainstream writing on government and yet the comparison to steering a ship appears in the writing of Plato 2,500 years ago on government, and the word itself in the writing of Ampere 300 years ago. Beer’s cybernetic approach to systems thinking upon which he based his VSM gives a foundation from which I explore the purpose and structure of democracy.
In recent decades, many people perceive that changes in professional life are accelerating. The world is becoming more and more interconnected and complex. Everything seems to be connected to everything else. Because of these changes, decisions are becoming increasingly decentralized. Employees are being given entrepreneurial responsibility. Companies expect their employees to demonstrate the same level of self-organization as self-employed peopl... Read more
Practitioners always need to be alive to the tension between “paralysis through analysis” and JFDI. This talk is a personal retrospective on Niki’s experience of supporting a government policy lead take the first steps in establishing a national operational capability and seeking to get that balance right. She will describe the approach she took, weaving a variety of systems thinking methods together to help her stakeholders tackle this comple... Read more
When Unfreeze-Move-Refreeze Isn’t Working: Doing, Thinking and Making Via Systems Changes Learning Practitioners coming to the systems sciences and/or systems thinking have an interest in “systems change(s)”. Many come from premise that that change occurs as “unfreeze-move-refreeze”, misattributed to Kurt Lewin. A more reflective view of systems changes not only sees distinctions between the intended and emergent recognized by Henry Mintzberg,... Read more
Systems Leadership and Systems Change are very popular phrases at the moment - search the web for a sense (and Medium.com if you really want to boggle your mind). Some of it is really good, some of it is risible, and much has little to do with systems thinking or systems practice. This session will explore some of the existing territory and dimensions and sketch out Benjamin's approach, drawing on two of his articles from last year (reading the... Read more
This presentation charts the journey of Public Health's engagement with systems thinking, initially via Theory U and later through Community Operational Research methods. The practical application, pitfalls, considerations of using these methods in community settings brings this, sometimes conceptual focus, into the "real" world. The emergence of Adult Development as a seam of research that helps to bring a sense of movement to seemingly intrac... Read more
Nobody really understands their business....but how well does the business understand itself? In this talk will use a case study to demonstrate how a zombie organisation can transform itself into conscious collective and become the compute function for its own operation.
Roger Duck and Jane Searles share their recent experience of creating conditions to enable exploration of transformational systemic change. The work involved the collaborative development of a visionary whole system transition architecture. The specific context was regional transport, but the systemic methodology is of more general application, and they are keen to discuss with others in the interest of mutual learning. This work was originally... Read more
Patrick talks about his new book ‘The Grammar of Systems’ which is in two parts: the ‘Grammar’ describing 33 Systems Laws and Principles and how to use them; and ‘How to think like a Systems Thinker’ which goes through 9 thought patterns involved in systems thinking. In the session he looks at the overall picture that the laws make when taken as a whole and then focuses on the 9 thought patterns, why each is important in systems, how they rel... Read more
In deze sessie vertrekken we vanuit de socio-technische systeemtheorie (STS). Seth heeft een lange academische opleiding en loopbaan genoten in deze wetenschap, en heeft deze benadering vervolgens met veel vallen en bijna even veel opstaan naar de praktijk gebracht in het afgelopen decennium. Een korte inleiding schetst STS als een theorie van zelfsturende teams. Aan de hand van praktijkvoorbeelden komen de mogelijkheden en beperkingen van deze t... Read more