Mapping the systems landscape (facilitation)

Steve Morlidge
27 October 2014

People have been working in the systems field for over 50 years and there is a rich array of approaches and perspectives that can leave even seasoned practitioners in the field with large blind spots, not least those actively engaged in creating new systems knowledge. Newcomers to systems can easily be confused and overwhelmed. In addition, the language of systems has often been hijacked in an attempt to make their own ideas appear more comprehensive, novel and scientifically respectable than they really are.

Steve Morlidge will lead a session aiming to create a map of the systems landscape charting the different systems approaches, their provenance and their interrelationships drawing on the knowledge and experience of SCIO members. The goal is to help create a shared integrated framework to help orientate members, select topics for exploration and guide discussion.

We have the following provision definitions to work with:

Definition of a system

> Included: any entity comprised of interconnected parts

> Excluded: an entity comprised of connected parts (arranged in sequence) i.e. a process or an entity with no definable parts


Our system of enquiry:

> Included: any set of concepts, techniques or methodologies that can be explicitly applied to the operation of systems within organisations

> Excluded: any set of concepts that cannot be applied within organisations or which does not explicitly address the nature of the system (e.g. where the word ‘system’ is used in a general sense, as a synonym for complex or as a metaphor) 

Steve Morlidge is an ex Unilever ‘lifer’ now working as an independent researcher and author in systems specialising in the application of the VSM to the job of financial management.

Steve is a published author of 'Future Ready: Master Businsess Forecating'