Taking stock: Transduction — leading transformation — Issue #61

Benjamin P. Taylor
13 min readSep 5, 2022

I’m definitely in a lull with writing posts. What would you do next, if you were me?

For the last two or three years, I’ve been very disciplined about writing one or two intentional LinkedIn psts every week (Monday and/or Wednesday), and then pulling them together with a bunch of the things I’ve shared on Twitter and the Systems Community of Inquiry over the weekend and sending that out as a newsletter. And (as well as Revue and other sites), everything is also located on my blog.

It is, frankly, an odd thing to do. To write not to a fixed audience but with the intention of being widely seen and shared and discussed — but to stick resolutely to obtuse topics of personal obsession — systems | complexity | cybernetics, (public) service transformation, consulting/change and ‘misc’ (deep history, human liberation, inspiring music, and generally the poetry and passion of insight) — well, that’s perverse.

I have certainly made a commitment to ‘stubbornness with regard to the once-chosen path’.

What it has done is to sharpen (I think) my writing and my thinking, and open up all kinds of engagement I wouldn’t otherwise have had.

I think I’ve avoided the hard sell, banging on tediously about hang-ups or frustrations — or being *too* political.

And while I’m very backed up with client work, running my business, other commitments, and I have an enormous trove of unreleased podcasts, a nearly finished book or two, some amazing collaboration offers — all suffering due to lack of time — mostly doing the posts gives me more energy and inspiration to get things done.

Partly I’ve just got lazy about identifying ideas that really tickle me to be prepared to write the posts. Partly I’ve shared a lot of core material already, and don’t want to just be recycling it. And partly life has got in the way.

So… something may need to come next. I might go quiet, I might change tack. Most likely I’ll pop up on Wednesday with a post on some workshop warm-up exercise with allusions to systems thinking :-D

So, in this edition — Australasian Change Days 2022 where I’m speaking THIS WEEK. And from #freethinkerscorner — where I’m also speaking THIS WEEK if we can get dates and times to align (it’s admirably last-minute :-))

One piece from the last week, a few links from my tweets and many more from syscoi.com.

And a bunch of my ‘greatest hits’ LinkedIn posts.

This week

What are the blogs or social media which you learned the most from, early on?chosen-path.org
A recent comment from Mike Parker had me thinking about #systemsthinking Twitter, in the early days — a great little community of folks sharing, learning, and debating together. Then there was Gene Bellinger’s original Systems Thinking group here on LinkedIn (which I merged my group into) — which still continues in new form at https://lnkd.in/dMB3xvRz, and is slightly being … Continue reading What are the blogs or social media which you learned the most from, early on? →

Australasian Change Days 2022 — Shifting Balance | 28 comments

www.linkedin.com
What are the costs of separating ‘#changemanagement’ from delivery of #change? I’m looking forward to speaking at #ACDC22 — Australasian Change Days 2022… 28 comments on LinkedIn

Welcome to Australasian Change Dayswww.australasianchangedays.com
Australasian Change Days

#FreethinkersCorner Launch Conference 12–16 September 2022goodorganisations.com

Uniting the World in Dialogue about Good Organisations

Core links

An invitation to the RedQuadrant tool shed — chosen pathchosen-path.org
An invitation to the RedQuadrant tool shed Over nearly twenty-four years of service transformation, 15 as a consultant, and twelve years of running RedQuadrant as a network consultancy, I have developed a rich multi-methodology approach which is highly applicable for anyone who wants to transform organisations and their results. The offer I’m offering small group…

Systems Community of Inquiry | An open discussion on systemsstream.syscoi.com
An open discussion on systems

My blog — the chosen path chosen-path.org
‘Many are stubborn with regard to the once-chosen path, few with regard to the goal’ -Nietzsche

RedQuadrant | public service transformation | United Kingdomwww.redquadrant.com
RedQuadrant support public services to transform themselves. Strategic consultancy, change delivery, leadership and organisational development, and capability building. We believe in social and economic justice, cutting edge methods and interventions, and experienced, authentic delivery together.

The Public Service Transformation Academy — Public Sector Leadership Programmeswww.publicservicetransformation.org

Building capacity and capability for public service to transform themselves.

Quadrant Resourcingwww.quadrantresourcing.com
Interim resourcing, digital, agency, contractors, turnaround, strategy, consultants, local government, private equity, social work, central government, programme and project, change, lean, service design, business transformation, leadership development, organisational development

Greatest hits, arguably

not the banana | 47 comments

www.linkedin.com
Cybernetics is not the banana. Wat? What are we offering the world? Imagine a chimp in a cage. In this cage is a banana on top of a large shelf, out … 47 comments on LinkedIn

adaptive public service, the adaptive council | 63 comments

www.linkedin.com
>> What capability do #publicservices most need in 2022 and beyond? << The degree of stress, pressure, and overwhelm seems to have been growing for the… 63 comments on LinkedIn

five worlds practices for system transformation | 25 comments

www.linkedin.com
What does seeing the different worlds that make up an organisation show you? It can unlock #innovation, #creativity, and improve #customerrelations and… 25 comments on LinkedIn

#futureofwork — Benjamin Taylor, RedQuadrant | 44 comments

www.linkedin.com
What do you want the #future of work to hold? How will it impact our #careers, #motivation, and #management thinking? How can we maximise #creativity and… 44 comments on LinkedIn

classification and its consequences | 62 comments

www.linkedin.com
Do things fit into neat categories? Is a Jaffa Cake a biscuit or a cake? Is a flapjack? Is a tomato a fruit or a vegetable? Is a worker an employee, a… 62 comments on LinkedIn

8 things to think about systems | complexity | cybernetics | 62 comments

www.linkedin.com
Have you ever been encouraged to ‘see the whole’, or ‘think holistically’? Have you read that it is critical for our #future that we ‘see the whole of… 62 comments on LinkedIn

five key questions and the learning ladder of purpose | 35 comments

www.linkedin.com
Transformation is a load of old b*ll*cks, isn’t it? People often ask me this — or they might put it a bit more politely: ‘what does transformation really… 35 comments on LinkedIn

signals of demand

www.linkedin.com
How does the signal of demand get through to your organisation? Are you actually able to hear where you can create value? I was once in a project to … 93 comments on LinkedIn

don’t give liars power | 72 comments

www.linkedin.com
Have you ever been taken for a mug? Lied to, manipulated? We hired someone into an important #management position, with financial responsibilities. They… 72 comments on LinkedIn

RedQuadrant — discovery for complex services | 30 comments

www.linkedin.com
What tools, approaches, perspectives do you reach for when you have to review an organisation, service, team, or department? Here’s my ‘go to’ list when… 30 comments on LinkedIn

down with jobs #futureofwork | 252 comments

www.linkedin.com
Do you want a job in the future? Is my theory crazy? I believe that the future of work is — no jobs. The idea of an ‘employment contract’ will fade away… 252 comments on LinkedIn

‘Freedom day’ — 133 comments

www.linkedin.com

So, today in England is ‘freedom day’*

We all want freedom — but what does it mean?

Honest Guv’nor — change management used for evil

www.linkedin.com
Have you ever seen #changemanagement used for evil? To give people a false sense of input into a foregone conclusion? My session at Australasian Change… 56 comments on LinkedIn

The worst projects I’ve ever been on have been doomed to succeed | 121 comments

www.linkedin.com
The worst projects I’ve ever been on have been doomed to succeed We’ve all been there. The leaders and politicians/board have literally put their names… 121 comments on LinkedIn

Systems Convening

www.linkedin.com
💡 Do you enable learning across boundaries? 💡 Can you connect people across silos? 💡 Are you able to bring a broader view to local settings? Have… 65 comments on LinkedIn

unreasonable demands and double binds at work | 78 comments

www.linkedin.com

How do you deal with unreasonable demands at #work? What if there’s no way out? I had a conversation with a client yesterday that I think will stick with… 78 comments on LinkedIn

blame and context | 56 comments

www.linkedin.com
When have you seen someone change their position — and suddenly change their perspective? The arrogant superstar suddenly brought low? The ardent Trade… 56 comments on LinkedIn

Requisite Agility unleashed | 40 comments

www.linkedin.com
Do you want to do the work of the future, or the past? Which work are you currently doing? The work of the future is · to create value for people… 40 comments on LinkedIn

conscious organisation | 100 comments

www.linkedin.com
What question would you like to have answered about ‘conscious organisation’? On 7–8 October I’m proud to be hosting an event that brings together 14 … 100 comments on LinkedIn

the pinball organisation — doing the wrong thing right | 43 comments

www.linkedin.com
Have you ever been ‘referred’ or ‘signposted’? How did it feel? We worked with one council to analyse the whole of their customer contact. The council… 43 comments on LinkedIn

Overthrow Capitalisation (An ACRONYMS) | 51 comments

www.linkedin.com
Why I Am Against Capitalisation (Or, Actually, Capitals) Have you ever been in a #management meeting where everyone used the jargon, but nobody had a … 51 comments on LinkedIn

desire paths and responses to them | 59 comments

www.linkedin.com
Here’s a puzzle for you, another ‘whodunnit’. In a district council we worked with, there was a new housing estate nicely situated near to the commuter… 59 comments on LinkedIn

Adaptive Leadership — technical and adaptive change | 11 comments

www.linkedin.com
Technical vs adaptive problems I don’t quite know why this distinction is so valuable to people — but it is! The attached is from a recent session to… 11 comments on LinkedIn

Accelerating Enterprise Digital Transformation | 34 comments

www.linkedin.com
What’s your most controversial view about #digitaltransformation? We should all just straight-up refuse to use the phrase “digital transformation” from… 34 comments on LinkedIn

The RedQuadrant tool shed | 47 comments

www.linkedin.com
Have you ever seen #consultants deliver the right thing — in the wrong time and place? Go wrong because they were trying to impose their model, not adapt… 47 comments on LinkedIn

Taylor’s Law | 122 comments

www.linkedin.com
What’s your favourite saying that you invented?* What Law would bear your name? Or what’s your favourite Law from someone else? Taylor’s Corollary to… 122 comments on LinkedIn

transaction costs do not predict systems costs | 49 comments

www.linkedin.com
If you wanted to predict how many customer contacts a council would have, and how much they cost, what factor do you think would best predict? Population… 49 comments on LinkedIn

mystery shopping and customer insight | 23 comments

www.linkedin.com
How are you experiencing what your customers experience? When leaders have no idea of the real-life experience of their service, finding out can be a … 23 comments on LinkedIn

RedQuadrant — how to help your change succeed with VECIT | 57 comments

www.linkedin.com
Wouldn’t it be good if you could improve your chances of successful change? Is your pattern of change interventions on track for success — or failure? … 57 comments on LinkedIn

stress leaves its marks | 61 comments

www.linkedin.com
It’s often *after* the stress that the problems kick in. Are you ‘floundering’? How do we exit from stress gracefully? If you’ve ever been to a busy … 61 comments on LinkedIn

the learning ladder of purpose — RedQuadrant | 33 comments

www.linkedin.com
Where is your organisation on the learning ladder of purpose? How organisations relate to their contexts is critical. I’m talking customers, consumers… 33 comments on LinkedIn

Systems Community of Inquiry

Patterns — Gordon Brander

stream.syscoi.com
This is my bag of tricks — patterns, rules-of-thumb, tools, cheatsheets, gimmicks, leverage points, questions, risks, and unknowns. Patterns — Gordon Brander See also ‘library’ page at https://gordonbrander.com/lib

Disciplinarity (Or, Musicology is Anything You Can Get Away With)stream.syscoi.com
Originally posted on Dial M for Musicology: I like musicologists. I like books and journals of musicology, musicology conferences and symposia, dinners with musicological colleagues near and far, musicological gossip and chit-chat. I like the concrete manifestations of musicology in the world. But I do not love that abstraction, “the discipline of musicology.” Like every…

Subscendence — Journal #85 October 2017 — e-flux — Timothy Morton

stream.syscoi.com
Subscendence — Journal #85 October 2017 — e-flux Very good, this. h/t Michael Garfield SubscendenceTimothy MortonA record of a positive discharge of electricity, also known as a Lichtenberg figure, in the text Walter E. Woobury,‟Photographing Electrical Discharges” in Popular Science Monthly, Volume 49, (July 1896). Photo: Wikimedia CommonsIssue #85October 2017 Subscendence — Journal #85 October 2017 — e-flux

From first-order to second-order evaluation practice: time to shift the ground — EES

stream.syscoi.com
From first-order to second-order evaluation practice: time to shift the groundby Sharon Scotcher | Aug 30, 2022 | Blog From first-order to second-order evaluation practice: time to shift the ground — EES

Emergent Engineering: Reframing the Grand Challenge for the 21st Century | Santa Fe Institute

stream.syscoi.com
Emergent Engineering: Reframing the Grand Challenge for the 21st Century Emergent Engineering: Reframing the Grand Challenge for the 21st Century | Santa Fe Institute EMERGENT ENGINEERING:REFRAMING THE GRAND CHALLENGEFOR THE 21ST CENTURYDavid C. Krakauer, SFISanta Fe Institute, 2019

Centre for Systems Studies, University of Hull — 30th Anniversary Event, 21 September 2022, 1–4pm @UK time (online and in person)

stream.syscoi.com
Centre for Systems Studies Anniversary Event Webinar The 30th Anniversary Celebration of the Centre for Systems Studies21 September 2022, 12.30–4pmDiscovery Room, Hull University Business SchoolOnline & In-PersonOn 21 September 2022, we are holding an event to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Centre for Systems Studies (CSS) here at the University of […]

A Systemic Perspective on National Preparedness | John Beckford |National Preparedness Commission

stream.syscoi.com
A Systemic Perspective on National Preparedness01 September 2022In this article John Beckford articulates a set of themes on applying systemic thinking to the notion of national preparedness. These themes will be explored in a set of subsequent papers commissio A Systemic Perspective on National Preparedness | National Preparedness Commission

Sustainability from ecological anthropology: the second life of trees — Coevolving Innovations

stream.syscoi.com
Sustainability from ecological anthropology: the second life of trees Sustainability from ecological anthropology: the second life of trees — Coevolving Innovations

Integrating a systems approach into Defra — GOV.UK

stream.syscoi.com
Integrating a systems approach into Defra Published 23 May 2022 Integrating a systems approach into Defra — GOV.UK Document references: Defra appoints six new Academic Fellows to lead Systems Research Programme (3 May 2019) https://www.gov.uk/government/news/science-research-programme-launched-to-inform-defra-policy-making

Failing Productively in Systems Change: Key Mindsets & Practices — CoCreative on NetworkWeaver

stream.syscoi.com
FAILING PRODUCTIVELY IN SYSTEMS CHANGE: KEY MINDSETS & PRACTICESBy CoCreative 23 Aug 2022 Failing Productively in Systems Change: Key Mindsets & Practices — NetworkWeaver

Misc

Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist by Kate Raworth — Brave New Europe

braveneweurope.com
Book review by Branko Milanovic My first Summer book to read and review is Kate Raworth’s very successful “Doughnut economics: Seven ways to think like the 21st-century economist”. It is an ambitious book whose objective […]

Development and application of ‘systems thinking’ principles for quality improvement | BMJ Open Quality

bmjopenquality.bmj.com

Introduction ‘Systems thinking’ is often recommended in healthcare to support quality and safety activities but a shared understanding of this concept and purposeful guidance on its application are limited. Healthcare systems have been described as complex where human adaptation to localised circumstances is often necessary to achieve success.

Revealed: levelling up fund allocated south-east twice as much as north-east | Politics | The Guardian

www.theguardian.com
New figures raise further questions about failure of government fund to reach the poorest areas of UK

Why do new cars look like this?? — Blackbird Spyplanewww.blackbirdspyplane.com
“Wet Putty” whips are everywhere. What’s behind it? … a BBSP investigation

Rough sleeping & the inverse reality of social media — Grace + Truthgracetruth.blog
The plight of another human being sleeping rough is one of the most visceral and obvious expressions of poverty and social exclusion. The instinctive empathy it provokes makes rough sleeping a potent subject on social media. For example, a few years ago a video went viral which showed how Amazon Prime could be used to…

FLASHBACK: Biden promised in 2020 he would ‘never’ use military as a ‘prop’ | Fox Newswww.foxnews.com
President Biden promised in 2020 not to use the military as a “prop,” something he is accused of doing in Thursday’s speech outside Independence Hall in Philadelphia.

Thomas Leroy 🍣🐈‍⬛ on Twitter: “Now, I can’t resist showing you the intro to the game with Johan Strauss’ famous music, The Blue Danube (Atari ST version) The idea was probably inspired by Stanley Kubrick’s film, 2001: A Space Odyssey! 💫 #Elite #DavidBraben #IanBell #Firebird #Retrogaming #AtariST #Chiptune https://t.co/OiAZyOABrB" / Twittertwitter.com
“Now, I can’t resist showing you the intro to the game with Johan Strauss’ famous music, The Blue Danube (Atari ST version) The idea was probably inspired by Stanley Kubrick’s film, 2001: A Space Odyssey! 💫 #Elite #DavidBraben #IanBell #Firebird #Retrogaming #AtariST #Chiptune”

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