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Systems have formed a significant part of science over many-a-year... scholars such as; Ludwig von Bertalanffy, Peter Checkland, Ross Ashby, Russell Ackoff, Stafford Beer and many more have discussed, debated and placed front and centre the importance of ‘Systems Thinking’ in helping us to deal with, make sense of the complexities that we witness first-hand every day. With many black swan events in recent times, all of which seem to have a natur... Read more
This session is a brief introduction to what Critical Systems Heuristics (CSH) is, how it fits, where it applies, how it works in a nutshell, and how it relates to other methods in the Systems Thinking meta-approach. There’s also a simplified practical example of CSH in practice, and hopefully a chance for some discussion about applying the method.   About Tony: Tony is a specialist in organisational improvement, including leadership and manag... Read more
For this final episode of series 1, I wanted to build on Buckminster Fuller’s idea of our planet – our habitat and life-support system – as being like a spaceship – Spaceship Earth, as he calls it – and building on this idea to use two related models for our discussion: the post-crash analysis and the preflight checklist First we look at the globally used post-crash analysis as a model for investigating governance – “It’s important that they are... Read more
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Dr Piret Toñurist, Systems Thinking lead at the OECD’s Observatory for Public Sector Innovation talks about the sense of powerlessness at the heart of leadership. She discusses how the pandemic has offered an opportunity for change, and what transformation looks like. She characterises systems thinking as a neutral zone where the ideology of what has to be done doesn’t exist. Themed on this question of power, our discussion looks at what power i... Read more
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John Naughton, tech columnist at The Observer Newspaper, talks about that great Wild West of our time – Cyberspace. From its roots in “permissionless innovation” to the staggering dominance of a very small number of companies over most aspects of our lives, he surveys the absence of governance, and how two effective sovereigns – Apple and Google – have appropriated powers normally associated with sovereign powers of territorial control. In our d... Read more
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Where is the power? Julian Corner used a process of local ‘action enquiry’ to bring about effective social change. This in places where, as he puts it, a system of ‘care’ is effectively a system of oppression – siloed, systematised, and more focussed on privileging its own rules than on the value of human care. In this episode he talks about these challenges, and how this ‘action enquiry’ model has allowed them to ask bigger, harder questions, o... Read more
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In common parlance ‘systems thinking’ is understood as ‘thinking in systems’ (as the title of Donella Meadows’ posthumously published, widely read book suggests). It relies on systems concepts — such as stocks, flows, feedback loops, network and hierarchy — to structure the problem solving process in relation to particular design challenges. ‘Systems practice’ goes beyond that. It is ‘systems thinking and doing’, or ‘system praxis’. The thinking... Read more
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‘Professor Eileen Munro turned decades of inadequate child protection on its head with one simple question: are we helping or hindering the front line? In this episode, she reflects on the successes - and revealing failures - of her review into child protection. Eileen covers a lot of ground in a short space of time. It is fascinating. Talking points: Centralised processes can't protect children, and this centralisation is an unavoidable conse... Read more
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Why doesn’t government work? Is it the politicians, the civil servants, the political parties?Or is it the system in which they all operate? This episode introduces the experience and current thinking of co-presenter, Ed Straw. We talk about his journey from being an engineering graduate to consulting at the heart of Westminster, how he encountered power and the confusion surrounding it.  Then we get into his current thinking - he has found ... Read more
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[presentation is in English] In the world of New Work, Teal, Agile, Self-Organisation/Self-Management, Systems Thinking and Blockchain, talk about governance is the new black. Just try to remember how often you recently read about teams experimenting with new ways of collaborating and deciding together. One example could be Zappos, a daughter company of Amazon, which got known for using a governance framework called Holacracy. Its implementation... Read more