Open Meeting - Autumn 2018

Event date: 
Monday, October 22, 2018
09:30 - 17:00
Open Meeting
Manchester Business School, Room G13D, Sackville Street, Manchester M1 3WE
(All Welcome)
Event Details: 

An open meeting where a series of presentations of general interest regarding systems practice will be given - this will include 'craft' and active sessions, as well as introductions to theory.

Advance booking can be made here:

Session: Inverting the pyramid - Mike Burrows

Sooner or later, most Agile teams find that it’s hard to sustain change, and harder to still to encourage the wider organisation to change with it. How about we turned it upside down, inverting the organisational pyramid so that supporting change becomes the organisation’s responsibility? How might we make that work?

Session: Mind the Gap! The missing body of knowledge and methodology for assessing peoples’ systems thinking capability - Niki Jobson

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. Specifically, what they require are: 1) a competency framework which defines the body of technical knowledge (concepts, methods tools and techniques), practitioner skills and behaviours 2) an assessment framework that enables competencies to be evaluated, measured and assessed and 3) assessment methodologies. This session will include:

  1. an outline of an SCiO’s competency framework being developed in line with the Level 7 apprenticeship
  2. interactive session seeking feedback on the individual elements of the competency framework
  3. exploring the systems methods and tools used during practice that that members find most useful
  4. exploring thoughts on potential assessment of systems competence
Session: Predicting Organizational Crisis using the VSM - Michael Pfiffner

This session looks at organizational crisis – one that poses an existential threat to an organization, and at the VSM conditions, which can be used to understand and predict such organisational crises. The findings of a quantitative phd-study with 135 organizations shows that the (absence of) system viability is significantly and strongly connected with the occurrence of Organisational crisis. We discuss the limitations, implications and consequences of these findings.

Session: Reconnecting Severed Heads: a case for subjective-empiricism in systemic intervention - Louie Gardiner

This will be an interactive workshop session.

I give first-person inquiry (critical self-reflection/reflexion) prominence alongside second and third person inquiry, and I express the emotional experience of being in a research process. I thus avoid the ‘severed head’ syndrome (abstracted rational thinking) advocated in the Academy, which demands the partial or total separation of the Self from the research process, and rational inquiry from the emotions – as if this were even possible. Instead, I take the stance that, without me (the active, reflective-reflexive agent) I could produce no research. Through my approach, I found my way to comprehending what I later discovered von Foerster conveyed through his analogy of the chicken, egg and rooster: when it comes to first, second and third-person inquiry, we need all three.

I embody this inclusive stance in my thesis, writing in four voices/dimensions which I call ‘state-waves’. These constitute ways of ‘being-expressing’ self-knowing. Each enriches my emergent narrative and research experience, contributing to my sense-making and a profusion of insights and novel contributions.

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