Open Meeting - Spring 2019

Manchester, UK
Event date: 
Monday, April 8, 2019
09:30 - 17:00
Open Meeting
Rm 3.008, Alliance Manchester Business School, Booth Street West, Manchester M15 6PB, UK
(All Welcome)
Event Details: 

An open meeting where a series of presentations of general interest regarding systems practice will be given. At 9.30 Patrick Hoverstad will give an introduction to the Viable Systems Model. Please note that the meeting has moved 'back' into the new main MBS building - you will be given a pass on entry.

Please book tickets through Eventbrite:

Session: 1 Ray Ison: How is Systemic Change different?

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 improvement? Ray will draw on his experiences of designing successful modules within the STiP (systems thinking in practice) program at the Open University as well as his own research/consultancy praxis to explore what it means to become a reflexive practitioner of systemic change.

Session: 2 Robin Stowell: From Perilous Ignorance to Autonomous Safety

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 review dashboard. The system hasn't failed, it is doing what it has been designed (and allowed) to do. How do the requirements of safety management system standards integrate into the Viable System Model?
Variety, and in particular the requisite variety needed in operations to counter unwanted states in the local environment (accidents), has never been considered before from a safety perspective. This presentation will propose that requisite variety of an individual worker can be directly equated to competence, and furthermore through assessment of the person-task it provides the basis for a real-time safety performance monitoring and control mechanism

Session: 3 Keekok Lee: Why the 21st century is the century of Systems Thinking

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 Newtonian) suffered a rupture in its philosophical orientation at least thrice in the 20th century: quantum physics from the 1920s onwards, the establishment of ecology as well as the emergence of Epidemiology as proper scientific disciplines in the last century, the former at the end of WWII and the latter in the last quarter of the 20th century. The 21st century may well turn out to be the century of Systems Thinking, of the triumph of non-/not-Newtonian sciences.
3. The oldest form of Systems Thinking in world history may be found in The Yijing/I Ching as well as in Classical Chinese Medicine whose foundation rests on the insights of The Yijing/I Ching, the most well-known is the iconic Yinyang symbol. These basic insights include: Process-ontology, Wholism, non-linear/multi-factorial causality.
4. In my opinion, Systems Thinking could more tellingly be re-labelled “Ecosystem Thinking” as any phenomenon under study could best be portrayed as a nesting of ecosystems, the smaller within a larger. The benefit of this new presentation of data will be illustrated by one particular example from Classical Chinese Medicine.

Session: 4 Ian Kendrick: Three Horizons – Concept & Practice

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 emerging trends can shape the future, and what visionary action is needed to collectively move us towards a viable future.
The future can be perceived through three lenses:

Horizon 1: Continue Business as Usual
Horizon 3: Vision of a Viable Future
Horizon 2: Innovation towards the Vision

The way in which we view the future impacts how we set our priorities and which decisions we make today.
Every person will have their own unique mix of orientation toward the horizon perspectives. If they remain unsurfaced, these orientations can unconsciously impact the quality of decisions as well as team cohesion.
The three horizons are about much more than simply stretching our thinking to embrace the short, medium and long term.  The Three Horizons  offer a co-ordinated way of managing innovation, a way of creating transformational change that has a chance of succeeding, a way of dealing with uncertainty and a way of seeing the future in the present.

Ian is a co-founder of H3Uni and will explore the Three Horizons approach and show real world examples of its deployment in different domains, how it is being used online and by groups large and small.

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