This is guide to practice; not a theoretical study of the Viable Systems Model. Jon Walker has included only those aspects of the VSM which have proved to be of most value in practical applications. Many of Beer's Axioms and Principles have been translated into everyday language, hopefully without loss of precision.
RRP: £40.75 Hardcover: 376 pages Publisher: Springer; 1st ed. 2020 edition (25 Nov. 2019) ISBN: 303025853X The design process for organizational structures sometimes resembles a random walk, especially when it is embedded in an arena of competing personal interests and power games. Many organizations still lack clear guidance and are therefore seeking a rigorous, nuanced, and impartial methodology for the design and development of their or... 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
Seeing Anew: Using John Dewey's Theory of Inquiry to Understand the Inquiry System of Soft Systems Methodology
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
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
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
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.
In this paper, problems with the philosophy and research relating to various interpretations of ‘closing the gap’ are used to open up a discussion of, and illustrate, the process whereby a narrow interpretation of ‘science’ and neglect of systems thinking result in the generation of huge amounts of dangerous and misleading misinformation and thence the generation of draconian and destructive policies. The paper opens by returning to an unfinished... Read more