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The Viable System Model is one of the key capabilities that SCiO has focused on. It’s an implementation of cybernetics. “Viable system” suggests living system — and vibrant systems feel alive. Are they? Can organisations be organisms? And what difference would that make? This questions our questions and stimulates provocations. At a time when science is regenerating, does management need to as the same? If we start thinking organically, how many ... Read more
Presentation
The talk will look at the underlying concepts, design and practice of War Rooms as decision environments for dealing with complex and fast moving situations. Starting with Blackett’s invention of the War Room, through Beer’s Cybersyn to the work we are currently engaged on and its use with client in tackling complex strategic issues. We’ll talk through the difference current technology offers and the different ways our modern War Rooms can be use... Read more
In this highly interactive session, participants will get to experience the five behavioural axioms for a successful co-operative system. The method is that of heuristic learning as the exercise comprises 10 rounds of decision-making in small teams. The decisions made by any team affect every team and the levels of trust. The experience will illustrate the five axioms below are necessary: 1. Be clear, on the nature of the relationship you expect... Read more
This session will show how John Dewey's general theory of inquiry (1938) can be used to understand the inquiry system of Peter Checkland's Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) and will suggest some practical opportunities that might flow from this for systems thinking practitioners. It will also show how Dewey's theory of inquiry helps to clarify the essential difference between 'hard' and 'soft' systems thinking which is not yet commonly undertstood i... Read more
The theory of Constructed Development (as per Stevens’ 2019 PhD thesis) is a measure of a person’s awareness of their constructed intentions in the moment; this measure is time and context-specific and determines how much of their thinking is at choice. This choice leads to a number of possible responses in the moment. The individual’s capacity to choose their response in the moment informs personality and thus behaviour. When applying this theor... Read more
Training is an investment, much like introducing new technologies or processes, that organisations make in order to improve their performance. However, it is harder to evaluate the success of training than of 'hard' changes like technology or process. Since the 1970s the training profession has largely drawn on variants of the so-called 'Kirkpatrick framework' to evaluate training, even though there is a general agreement in the profession that i... Read more
Presentation during the SCiO DACH Camp in Aalen Germany about the application of System Thinking methods for the management of megaprojects with a special view on the pathological archetypes which were given in using the viable system model for the diagnosis of systems.
Presentation
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
Alan is a leadership performance coach, working with people handling the complexities of technology, people and business in our hyperconnected world.  He was around when the first computers hit the workplace, and his consulting career began when ideas like systems thinking, complexity, change management and transformation started to appear.  A few years ago, frustrated that most of the advice was about trying to change others, he decided to focus... Read more
Systems thinking is a large field with different approaches. These approaches share a common system theoretical basis, but the specific interpretation is always different. System thinkers often dare to overlook the fact that their developmental stage determines their interpretation. People evolve (as individuals) differently, but according to predictable patterns. In this evolution, one gradually lets go of the ego and can think more fluid.  In p... Read more