Resources

Please search or filter the resources to find those of interest to you. If you are a non-member, you will not be able to see all the videos and presentations from past SCiO Open Meetings.

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Many organisations are preoccupied with Strategic Planning and the use of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) with a clear desire to ‘get to where they want to go’.  On this journey, many fall foul of ‘The Tyranny of Meaningless Metrics’ (songs of the Sirens)  Worst still, if they do reach the destination, they may discover where they wanted to get to wasn’t the destination actually required to grow or survive after all! (“Alice: Would you tell me,... Read more
Three Horizons is a simple and intuitive tool for thinking about the future. It grew out of a wealth of experience in future thinking, notably in strategic scenario thinking. It is an easy to use but potent way of thinking about working towards the future in the present, including maintaining the best of the present system. It helps groups explore systemic patterns to identify which of the dominant patterns are no longer fit for purpose, how the ... Read more
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Claims are frequently made about changing THE system.  Many talk about Whole System change. Then there is systematic change as well as systemic change.   What do practitioners do when they engage, or claim that they engage, with these types of change?  What are the elements of systemic praxis (theory informed practical action)? What are the implications for the use of methods and methodologies? And for situational change which constitutes an impr... Read more
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If your occupational health and safety policy states a commitment to providing a safe workplace, reporting accidents, continual improvement etc. have you considered this from a cybernetic viewpoint? Most organisations govern their safety management by trying to achieve Zero Harm through implementing corporate risk assessments, but accidents still happen, and management hunts down someone to blame for poor safety statistics on the management revie... Read more
This talk examines System Thinking by exploring the following themes: 1. System Thinking is embedded within a philosophical framework which is totally different from that of so-called “standard thinking” found in what may be called the Newtonian sciences, such as classical physics, DNA/ molecular biology, the monogenic conception of disease in Biomedicine, and so on. 2. Modern science beginning in the 17th century in Western Europe (which was/is... Read more
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It is often said that organisations are full of paradoxes. But this refers to contradictions and tensions. It is understood as something that needs to be taken care of. When organisations are looked at as social systems, however, it becomes clear that they are only possible because of paradoxes, and particularly paradoxes of self-reference. Understanding how these paradoxes create and maintain organisations is an important skill for practitioners... Read more
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The Model T wasn’t Fords product, it was River Rouge, anybody could make the Model T but not  everybody could make River Rouge.  River Rouge was a special type of transactional organisation that gave it competitive advantage. This  advantage comprised of Taylorising the activities by separating the Knowledge from the activity, and coordinating these activities by moving the car between stations, there was no communication/learning between station... Read more
Organisational agility is now a relatively hot topic, which it wasn’t when I first talked about this subject at SCiO 6 years ago. Since then, we’ve significantly developed and extended the model for measuring agility, so will be talking about the latest developments. We’ll start with the need for business agility, going beyond the hype to look at the business reality and strategic importance of agility. We’ll then go on to look at the different ... Read more
One of the most important intersections between design and systems is their shared concern for ethics. When we think of ethical considerations in either context, we often do so in terms of applied ethics—as the application of ethical insight to guide practice, addressing issues such professional standards of conduct, and our relationships to the environment and to each other. There are, however, difficulties with thinking of the relationship bet... Read more
Both the academic and corporate literature recognise the value of systems thinking in helping today’s decision makers address the socially complex and dynamic challenges they face.  However, as systems thinking is an emerging professional practice there are a number of requirements for a body of knowledge to enable organisations and decision makers to develop staff, or access external resources, that have the requisite knowledge and skills. Speci... Read more