Discovering Organisational systems - helping leaders learn to see submerged patterns of co-creation and interdependence
The session explores the discovery of organisational systems, how we can see submerged patterns of co-creation and interdependence, as well as models and paradigms for change, and how those can be challenged. It touches on the difficulties leaders have in solving problems; those they think they have, rather than those they actually have, and how leaders miss systemic patterns within their organisations, including those they are involved in creati... Read more
Being able to understanding how to 'change' a system, be it organisational, institutional or social, is vital for anyone involved in a systemic inquiry or intervention. The session will outline how this can be achieved, from a practical perspective.
In this talk, Simon will share some of his experiences in working with government-linked bodies in Asia and the Middle East seeking to harness new opportunities: to do new things or to do things differently. And yes: systems thinking can provide a solid basis for shaping and harnessing positive change, not just serve its traditional purpose of addressing the negative effects of ‘problematic situations’. As Donella Meadows wrote in the late 1990s,... Read more
There is a split within Systems in both thinking and practice around purpose. Is it about ‘intention’ or is it about effects – the POSIWID position. This split is not limited to the field of systems, as an example it also splits the field of ethics, but for us in our discipline it has had enormous consequences. This talk will explore this from several angles – why the split exists, how different approaches are grouped either side of the split, ho... Read more
Socially, we see a trend in organizations toward being more conscious and sustainable. The number of companies seeking to reduce their carbon footprint to zero is growing. To achieve this, new business and operational models are emerging, often focused on ecosystemic collaboration. Often a broad common ground is lacking, and one must cooperate in diversity. The leadership required for this requires significantly better assessing the parties' pos... Read more
In this light-hearted talk Ed van der Winden will share some of his experiences in trying to help IT departments move to a better place. A lot of systems models have played a role in this: the talk will focus on examples of their practical use. Some of the more well-known models that will be discussed in this talk will be: The Viable System Model, causal loop diagrams and Fernando Flores’ conversations-for-action model. But also lesser known mode... Read more
Epistemology (theory of knowledge) addresses several questions which are pertinent to Systems Thinking practice. For example, social epistemology is concerned with epistemic communities of practice, including the formation and crossing of disciplinary boundaries, the development of localised epistemic standards relating to the purpose of the discipline, and the relationship between consensus, dissensus, and political power. Meanwhile, agnotologys... Read more
Methods such as Critical Systems Heuristics and Boundary Critique use the idea of evaluation and assessment in specific ways, within those approaches. However, what does critique mean, why do we use it, and how is critical thinking useful or important for Systems Thinking practitioners?
Standard Causal Loop Diagrams from systems dynamics are very effective tools for describing and structuring complex problems. It enables conversations and brings different perspectives into the analysis for improving the decision-making process. However, Causal Loop Diagrams have three main limitations, i) The nature of the relationships prevents integrating people into the model effectively, ii) Navigation complexity increases exponentially as ... Read more
When it is time for relationships in the professional realm, switching from an individualistic or interventionist approach to one with a systemic posture is a great support in professional life as well as a “life rule” for any relationship in a healthy, truthful, harmonious and effective and productive, creative way. Lucia's workshop took participants through a number of thoughts about inter-relationship, which were used to guide dialogue and ac... Read more
A case study, using the Viable Systems Model, exploring management problems of increasing complexity in a merger of several municipal hospitals. After a short introduction of VSM, different management structures and tools of hospital management (senior management, risk, quality, controlling, etc.) are mapped to the VSM systems. Special emphasis is placed on the interaction of different systems as well as the influence of environmental changes s... Read more
Gioia (pron. Joya) Caminada will illustrate a model for leading transformative change based on the human dimensions of acting, feeling, being and thinking she designed drawing from psychologist Paul Watzlawick’s theory of transformative change. She will use the case study of Colombia’s Escuela Nueva (new school) system as an example of transformation within a complex system. Paul Watzlawick was a family therapist, communication theorist, Stanfo... Read more
The global food system suffers from some of the same vulnerabilities as the global finance system in the approach to 2008. Policy makers have ignored repeated warnings in the scientific literature that it is losing its resilience. The amplification of shocks to the system is likely to explain one of the most disturbing of all global trends: following decades in which chronic hunger declined, since 2015 it has been rising. A systems approach is es... Read more
Organisations looking to follow strategies for social or environmental sustainable operation need to make sure that their people have the necessary knowledge and skills to enable this to happen. The complexity of the sustainability challenge makes systems thinking a powerful tool to use in developing learning and development strategies. Drawing on his recently published book, "Learning strategies for sustainable organisations", Bryan Hopkins will... Read more
Vortrag von Matvei Tobman, Chirung und Risikomanager im Krankenhaus. Nach einer kurzen Vorstellung des VSM als zentrale Struktur des Vortrags, werden verschiedene Führungsstrukturen und Tools des Krankenhausmana-gements (GF, Risikomanagement, QM, Controlling usw.) den VSM-Systemen zugeordnet. Besonderer Schwerpunkt liegt hierbei auf dem Zusammenspiel verschiedener Systeme sowie dem Einfluss von Umweltveränderungen wie Gesetzgebung, Änderungen der... Read more
Speakers: Anne Pender, University College Dublin; and Dr. Tadhg O’Mahoney, Research Fellow at Dublin City University Centre for Climate & Society, and an expert advisor at the Finland Futures Research Centre.
The talk will be in two sections, the first on the emerging organization of systems as they grow. The second will be on ways of a) leaving them alone or b) helping them steer. So far, science has given less attention to how nature works by itself, giving much more to how people can make rules for controlling it, and that seems to be a principal reason for our current global crisis. Part 1. The science. Natural systems emerge from some energizing... Read more
Systems + Design + Data. Is this the formula to develop solutions that respond to the complex problems we face? Nur Karadeniz, in our second international session, will talk to us about how she uses systems thinking in the design process. Activate subtitles and automatic translation to see them in Spanish.
How visual representation of Informal Networks can help people in organisations address wicked problems
This session presents how the reality of informal networks within organisations and across collaborating entities can be presented visually. Also, using case study material, how these dynamic maps are able to generate insights that enable groups and teams to overcome challenges and realise opportunities that hitherto would be invisible to them. We hope this session will stimulate an interesting discussion, and aim to leave plenty of time for t... Read more
The terms ‘Accident’ and ‘Incident’, while in general accepted usage, are not helpful to professional in-company investigators. The proposition is that it is more useful to consider such events as failures of ‘Human Activity Systems’. This methodology, Kelvin TOP-SET, was initially developed to give offshore oil managers a means of investigation that was relatively easy to learn and apply. Practical and reliable in its outcome it is now used in... Read more
Bárbara López nos acerca a la construcción de mapas sistémicos como herramienta para describir la realidad, facilitar conversaciones y construir una visión compartida sobre situaciones complejas. Comenzará acercándonos al trabajo de Donella Meadows y la dinámica de sistemas, como marco del que nacen los diagramas causales, para pasar la parte práctica de la sesión donde construiremos paso a paso un diagrama causal. Finalmente, trabajaremos en u... Read more
Value conflicts can become entrenched in destructive patterns of mutual stigmatization, which inhibit the emergence of new understandings of the situation and actions for improvement. In extreme cases, such patterns can even lead to violence. This presentation offers a new systems theory of value conflict, which suggests the possibility of three different strategies for intervention: supporting people in transcending overly narrow value judgeme... Read more
I have a particular interest in the human aspect of systems, and the presentation is around the theme of what might serve as a map to help us navigate systems. The session will be based on the Map of Meaningful Work, a well validated tool for such purposes.
Dividimos esta sesión en 4 capítulos para flexibilizar su consulta. Puedes acceder a la traducción automática de Yotube. Te pedimos disculpas de antemano por los pequeños errores que se puedan producir en la interpretación del contenido. ¿Cómo pueden las personas dar sentido a la complejidad a la que se enfrentan en sus organizaciones?¿hay alguna forma mejor de organizar el trabajo que la división funcional de tareas?¿es la autoorganización de l... 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
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
Social learning is a set of principles, activities and behaviours, relating to how people collaborate and co-operate to learn in a variety of situations within institutional and organisational structures. This presentation explores its principles and methods, as well as providing an illustration of how it has been applied in a micro-enterprise environment, where individuals or small organisations often interact in informal ways.
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.
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
Antoni Oliva Quesada nos habla de cómo usar modelos de simulación para comprender cuáles son los factores que hacen que un problema complejo se comporte como lo hace. Para mí, el propio concepto de que los sistemas son dinámicos ya es profundo y retador en sí mismo, porque sugiere que éstos cambian y evoluciona con el tiempo. Esto implica que hay factores que pueden hacerlos cambiar más rápido o mas lento y que, por extensión, puede que tengamos ... 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
Einführung in das Viable System Model durch Michael Frahm. Der Termin richtet sich an „VSM-Neulinge“, aber auch an alle Interessierten, welche sich eingehend mit den Basics des Models beschäftigen wollen. Nach der Präsentation und einigen Beispielen aus der Praxis besteht die Möglichkeit, Fragen zu stellen und zur allgemeinen Diskussion.
We describe the work of people who take a systems convening approach, whether they know it or not. We articulate the mindset with which they approach the work and the different dimensions of that work.It’s a context-based, non-prescriptive conceptualisation based on people’s experiences. Presenters: Bev and Etienne Wenger-Trayner; Social Learning Theorists & Consultants
Introducing scenario planning modified for quick deployment and iteration, adding a dimension to finding solutions for business with complicated or complex systems. Julio introduces the 7 phases of the matrix: identify, classify, articulate, numbers, systems, engage and evaluate, and offers examples for how this approach can be used in real-life situations. We can prepare for an ‘unknown’ future! Presenter: Julio Graham: Managing Director, Oliv... Read more
Humans developed the capacity to walk x years ago. But without feedback we’d still be crawling. We would not have learnt from our stumbling mistakes. Can modern government work without feedback? Can any system? This session is a combined presentation and co-production.Cybernetics is its theoretical basis and circular causality or feedback—that is, where the outcomes of actions are taken as inputs for further action. The gaping hole at the centre... Read more
In this talk, Gerald Midgley will present the systems theory of marginalization that he has been developing and applying in systemic interventions for almost 30 years. This theory offers a generic model of marginalization processes that is equally relevant to relationships between people in small groups, organizations, communities and international relations. Both people and the issues that concern them can become marginalized. Gerald will share... Read more
El sentido común nos impide abordar las transformaciones profundas que el mundo necesita, porque es justamente lo que ha generado los complejos problemas del Siglo XXI, como las desigualdades, las discriminaciones, la crisis climática, la destrucción ambiental, el narcotráfico o las oleadas de personas que migran buscando dignidad. El sentido común es un modo de actuar automático que está instalado en nuestras mentes y culturas desde hace cuatro... Read more
¿Por qué es relevante para la estrategia o el diseño organizacional? Permite identificar a las personas clave que pueden contribuir a mejorar el desempeño gracias a su influencia. Permite también identificar los vacíos estructurales que incrementan la fragilidad de la organización.
El pensamiento sistémico es un marco de pensamiento teórico que no siempre es sencillo de llevar a la práctica (¡más bien al contrario!). En esta minicharla Eduardo mostrará la forma en la que trata de aplicarlo a su actividad profesional (consultoría para desarrollar proyectos y empresas más sostenibles y responsables), reflexionando sobre las cosas que le funcionan y las limitaciones que encuentra.
Defining and Managing Organisational Identity using Structural Coupling and Fractal Enterprise Model
Saying, such as, “Tell me who your friends are and I'll tell who you are” or “Tell me who your enemy is, and I will tell you who you are” presume that a person's identity could be derived from the person's environment. Can the same be done for organizational identity? According to Patrick Hoverstadt, it can be done by exploiting the concept of structural coupling that comes from biological cybernetic, more exactly from the works of Maturana and ... Read more
Organisations are coming under increasing pressure to work sustainably, both environmentally and socially. That will require a process of more or less adaptation, involving varying degrees of organisational learning. But what needs to be learnt? The Viable System Model has the potential to be a very powerful way of identifying what people within organisations need to learn. Based on extensive research carried out in the course of writing his for... Read more
Residuality theory is a revolutionary new theory of software design that aims to make it easier to design software systems for complex business environments. Residuality theory models software systems as interconnected residues - an alternative to component and process modelling that uses applied complexity science to make managing uncertainty a fundamental part of the design process.
The Viable Systems Model is an elegant and profound intellectual achievement, but its practical impact and recognition is limited, at least in the world of business. In this talk Steve Morlidge will demonstrate how he has introduced cybernetic thinking into the design and description of innovative management practices to improve the regulation of organisational financial resources, specifically: Alternatives to traditional annual budgeting, Busin... Read more
To introduce practical approaches to developing a more effective organisational system through gaining visibility of the informal networks that exist within the organisation. Understanding how informal networks operate is crucial to understanding organisational behaviour and identifying levers for positive change. The use of graphical representations of those informal networks is a key to getting everyone engaged in change processes - ‘people do ... Read more