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Nadia will discuss biases, inconsistencies and irrationalities in decision making. She will introduce decision analysis as a discipline that can help decision makers take better decisions. A number of applications will be presented. The session will conclude with the presentation of a framework for assessing quality in decision making. This session will draw on material presented in the book ‘Decision behaviour, analysis and support’ which Nadi... Read more
Helen will introduce issues concerned with the design and implementation of her M.Sc. research work linked to health and well-being. In particular, her approach will cover the ‘why’, ‘what’ and ‘how’ questions, outlining the way in which her research evolved and what the outcomes have been since. The setting and interest for the research is rooted in a Partnership working for wellbeing and health.
This session will offer a brief introduction into one perspective on formalising “systems thinking” and socio-cybernetics, using three scenarios to illustrate “the problem” as it presents itself; in the education area of government policy, in an evolving hospital system, and operation of a large business. Discussion will focus on the question of how to envision a management (governance, socio-cybernetic) system appropriate to such circumstances. ... Read more
Elizabeth is interested in blending an understanding of ‘facilitation’ as a craft skill with the real challenge of engaging people in utilizing systems thinking and systems tools.  Underlying this session is a couple of niggling questions that seem to pop up so often, 'what is the problem with systems thinking?' and ‘why are the systems approaches and tools not used more?’ The workshop will explore the process of applying a systems tool e.g cre... Read more
Systemic thinking requires at least 2 types of thinking: open and closed. Open thinking is about the dynamic relationship of the organisation in terms of its environment, and closed thinking about those transactional acts that are worth improving or migrating to partners. Similarly, there are at least 2 kinds of knowledge management practice, one is about supporting the organization’s current strategy, the other is about crafting the strategy th... Read more
Strategy is a much used and abused term in business. Despite a huge literature and industry that has developed around business strategy, it has a dismal track record. This session looks at business strategy from a systems perspective, provides a short critique of traditional approaches, some radical perspectives on what strategy is and some very different models of strategy and its critical dimensions.
When working with Systems, we tend to model our system-in-focus by identifying key stakeholder groups and their involvement with the system activity. For every individual involved, there will be observed performance, in terms of observed actions and behaviours, but also hidden brain activity including autonomous functions, emotional activity, and the workings of the unconscious mind - all active below the radar. Emotional Intelligence (EI) is an... Read more
In June 2012, British Waterways will move out of the public sector and become the Canal and River Trust (CRT) within the third sector. This has been their ambition since 2009, but government acceptance came with an extremely challenging timescale. The build up and deployment of a body of volunteers within their organisation was a key part of their change strategy. Currently, the organisation’s KPIs: Volunteer time and Propensity to recommend are... Read more
How do you know what you know? What we know depends on the questions we ask, and the kinds of questions we ask depends on our philosophical assumptions, which are often 'hidden'. How frequently do we hear that 'what gets measured gets done' but this assumes that the important things can be measured and that causality can be determined. Whether this assumption holds true for you depends on your view of the world - is there an external reality that... Read more
This session will look at some of the practical implications of working on a “wicked problem” which involved multi-agency interventions using multiple methodologies. As well as a number of technical issues to do with handling each of these three aspects of a complex intervention, there were also inevitably several softer prac-tice issues: to do with the engagement of cli-ents, the thinking processes of the team and the slipperiness of the problem... Read more