In 2010, the Secretary of State for Defence tasked Lord Levene of Portsoken to carry out an independent root and branch review of how the Ministry of Defence was structured and managed, to address the legacy of overspend and maximise the use of people and resources. The subsequent 2011 publication of Lord Levene’s ‘Defence Reform’ report, setting a new operating model for the MOD, hailed an unprecedented level of organisational transformation. ... Read more
Businesses have become very efficient at managing individuals in the form of human capital - defined as the skills, knowledge and experience of individual employees within the company. In the past, with relatively stable markets, this was adequate, but the current competitiveness in our markets have put pressures upon our margins as well as the need to respond quicker to our customers. It is therefore no longer sufficient to manage the individual... Read more
Elizabeth Donnelly was first introduced to systems thinking in 2006 as part of her undergraduate degree with the Open University. Following successful study she was able to introduce elements of systems thinking to her work as the Head of Skills for the aerospace trade association, including an examination of personnel reduction at the Ministry of Defence. In 2013 Elizabeth began an MSc in Systems Thinking in Practice with the OU, which she is du... Read more
Peter will give an introduction to Multi Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) and Decision Conferencing: what these techniques are used for; where they came from; and how they are used in combination to support collaborative decision-making. Case studies will be used to illustrate real-world applications, including options appraisal, strategic portfolio optimisation and systems engineering. Underlying core principles and methods such as scoring and ... Read more
The interacting forces between the elements of Authentic Enquiry (AE) are not exposed for consideration by the usual linear 8 or 9 stage process. Paul's experience is that enquiry is non-linear process, involving several loops and iterations before progressing. He proposes that the elements of AE should form a system from which emerges knowledge generation. Might the nine-fold enneagram device provide inspiration for a more dynamic enquiry met... Read more
Mike has had a recent introduction to formal systems thinking, backed up by a history of being an systemic-ish internal change agent in educational IT organisations. Having recently completed a year of study with the Open University he's still aware of the journey that people starting learning about systems face, and hopes to use this understanding to help provide some signposts. The systems cards have many purposes, from providing a quick remin... Read more
Survival of the fittest (how understanding complex systems can provided insights to a Defence scenario)
Niki Jobson is a Defence Analyst working for the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, an agency of the Ministry of Defence. The presentation will cover a number of concepts from Complex Systems Science (so includes some general systems concepts!) and how they were used as tools for thinking in a complex and highly dynamic Defence problem and to challenge existing ways of thinking. A key area of discussion will be the role of adaptation i... Read more
System dynamics (SD) is an approach that enables the behaviour of complex systems to be better understood and simulated. SD has been extensively applied to studying and managing complex feedback systems, such as business and other social systems, over the last 50 years. SD models represent changes in system behaviour over time by using the analogy of flows accumulating and depleting over time in stocks. Often these flows and stocks will be ... Read more
Why organisation and systems theory and practice will solve the enduring problems of government, and politics and more democracy (by itself) will not.
Having spent a working lifetime in and around government in various roles, I became more and more frustrated with its capacity - regardless of the party in power - to produce much beneficial change. I’ve watched able, well-meaning people themselves frustrated by Westminster and Whitehall. With a consultant’s eye it became evident that the problems lay with the system of government - problems common to most democratic countries. Analysing governme... Read more
Barry has a unique understanding of human systems, based on four decades of work with the power lab and the organization workshop, experiential educational programs which have also served as his window into human systems. His presentation will focus on the costs of system blindness and the creative possibilities of system sight. He is the author of seeing systems, leading systems, and in the middle.