New cohorts for the RedQuadrant tool shed start soon

Benjamin P. Taylor
4 min readSep 23, 2021


If you want to join me and a small cohort of brilliant people doing real transformations (in teams, organisations, wider systems and society, people — and them selves) then please email me urgently at

More information including costs and commitments is here:

Here is my attempt to show in quotes what we offer :-)

The tool for handling complexity is organisation. But our concepts of organisation belong to the much less complex old world not to the much more complex today’s world: still less are they adequate to deal with the next epoch of complexification in a world of explosive change. Stafford Beer

Creativity and innovation, like freedom and liberty, depend not upon the soft pedalling of organisation, but upon the development of institutions with the kind of constraint and opportunities that can enable us to live and work together harmoniously, effectively and creatively. Elliott Jacques

In the varied topography of professional practice, there is a high, hard ground overlooking a swamp. On the high ground, manageable problems lend themselves to solution through the use of research-based theory and technique. In the swampy lowlands, problems are messy and confusing and incapable of technical solution. Donald Schön

The lieutenant borrowed this remarkable map and had a good look at it. He discovered to his astonishment that it was not a map of the Alps, but a map of the Pyrenees. Karl Weick

You never understand a system until you start to try to change it. Kurt Lewin

By a practice I am going to mean any coherent and complex form of socially established cooperative human activity through which goods internal to that form of activity are realized in the course of trying to achieve those standards of excellence which are appropriate to, and partially definitive of, that form of activity, with the result that human powers to achieve excellence, and human conceptions of the ends and goods involved, are systematically extended. Alasdair MacIntyre

We learn who we are in practice, not in theory. Herminia Ibarra

To understand is to know what to do. Ludwig Wittgenstein

I can only know what I should do if I can first answer the question: of what story, or stories, do I find myself a part? Alasdair Macintyre

A good guide will take you through the more important streets more often than he takes you down side streets; a bad guide will do the opposite. In philosophy I’m a rather bad guide. Ludwig Wittgenstein

Life is hard to bear: but do not affect to be so delicate! We are all of us fine sumpter asses and assesses. Friedrich Nietzsche

What power have you got? Where did you get it from? In whose interests do you use it? To whom are you accountable? How do we get rid of you? Tony Benn

The past is steeped in shame/ but tomorrow’s fair game/ for a life that’s fit for living.
Roddy Frame

Look around you friends and colleagues. WE are the ones whoa re now up to bat.
Marv Weisbord

That education is a continuous process is a truism. It does not end with graduation day; it does not end when ‘life’ begins. Life and education must never be separated.
Mary Parker Follett

Meta-rationality means figuring out how to deploy formal rationality effectively in particular circumstances. That can involve examining the specifics of the rationality/reasonableness interface in those circumstances; but it goes well beyond that. Rationality and meta- rationality are complementary activities. Meta-rationality is not an alternative to rationality. Neither can operate without the other; they walk hand-in-hand.
Meta-rationality often involves ontological revision: re-thinking the categories, properties, relationships, and individuation criteria that you build a rational model on.
Neither reasonableness nor formal rationality involve explicit theories, criteria, or methods for that.
David Chapman

Ask questions that are ambiguous, and personal, and anxiety-provoking. What promise are you willing to make without any expectation of return? What’s the crossroads? What’s the promise? What’s the doubt?

And don’t let people be helpful. All advice, all ‘help’, is an act of colonialism. All self-development is an act of violence (implying ‘I’m not enough’). The tragedy of the dominant narrative is we’re waiting for someone else’s transformation. Instead, be curious.

We’ve been looking for deficiencies — the gap — problem solving. I’m no longer interested in solving problems — it’s too small of a god to worship. Construct an experience of freedom and accountability. Ask questions that are ambiguous, and personal, and anxiety-provoking. And don’t let people be helpful.

All transformation is linguistic — we can measure transformation by ‘are they speaking into a different world?’ Tomorrow distinct from today. We’re inviting people into the wilderness — with no visible means of support — that’s why it’s a tough sell.

Always rearrange the room. At the very least, it will show everyone how they do everything.

The biggest thing you can do is restore the commons. The only reason to come together is to recreate the world. ‘How do we sustain this over a long period of time?’ ‘Exactly. Join us and we’ll see.’

Methodology is too small a god to worship.
Peter Block