Transduction — leading transformation — Issue #10

Benjamin P. Taylor
6 min readAug 14, 2021


A reminder of last week’s headline, still time to download the new #systemscovening book from Bev and Etienne Wenger-Trayner and join us at a webinar:

Register for the launch webinar on 2 September:

Download the book and join the community:

(And for more on my thinking on systems change and systems leadership, see here)

Top phive of the week

The world is grey — and it’s a lot more interesting that

What does the shift to the collective journey mean to you? I was raised on Star Wars. Almost literally; we went on exchange to the USA when I was five, and I saw the movie 14 times that year. I’m sure I could have recited the entire script for you well into my ‘tweens. And …

What might Coordinated System-Wide Climate Emergency Activity look like?
Reblogged on

Long live commissioning! But what shall we call it?

What do you call an approach that moves #publicservices from ‘spending money on services to meet needs’ to ‘intervening and learning in the complex systems that actually shape our lives’? The former sees ‘services’ as the whole universe, brought into being by our public service cash. The latter sees that people are busy living their …

The Peter Block Community Exercise — connection, gifts, community: better than ‘a warmup’

How do you get people to connect to each other quickly? There are lots of ‘icebreakers’ and warmups, but something I come back to time and time again is this that is stolen — with encouragement — from Peter Block. The instructions are: Form groups of three. Sit facing in together, with your knees a maximum of nine inches apart.

Systems Convening (Wenger — Trayner) — Systems Changes — Open Learning Commons ¦ David Ing

Given that Etienne Wenger’s original research coming out of the Institute for Research on Learning at Xerox popularized Communities of Practice (mind the subtitle of Learning, Meaning and Identity), I can’t say that I’m surprised at the continuing development of their work. The focus is on the…


Systems Science, Cybernetics, and Complexity | Gary S. Metcalf and Stuart A. Kauffman (2021)

well, I can’t wait for this to become available! a good piece

Absorptive capacity — Wikipedia | Systems Community of Inquiry

In business administration, absorptive capacity has been defined as “a firm’s ability to recognize the value of new information, assimilate it, and apply it to commercial ends”. It is studied on individual, group, firm, and national levels. Antecedents are prior-based knowledge (knowledge stocks and knowledge flows) and communication. Studies involve…

Luke Craven on Twitter: “Lots of questions for the brains trust this week:

Please send the best examples you have seen of complexity/systems-conscious strategies or corporate plans 🙏🙏”

Observations on Observing, The Case Continues: | Harish’s Notebook — My notes… Lean, Cybernetics, Quality & Data
Art by Audrey Jose In today’s post, I am continuing from the last post, mainly using the ideas of Dirk Baecker. We noted that every observation is an operation of distinction, where an observer crosses a line, entering a marked state. This is shown in the schematic below. Here “a” refers to the marked state…

A Frame for Deframing in Strategic Analysis | Dunbar et al (1996) | Systems Community of Inquiry
A Frame for Deframing in Strategic Analysis R. Dunbar, R. Garud, S. Raghuram Published 1996 Computer Science Journal of Management Inquiry Deframing processes are needed to deal with pervasive change. We describe what is meant by a frame and how strategy analysts develop and rely on frames to help their understanding. We also discuss the…

The Sciences of Complexity and “Origins of Order” | Kauffman (1990)

A classic.

ISSS conference 2021 videos online | Systems Community of Inquiry

ISSS 2021 Annual Conference was online using the cvent platform, July 7–14 2021. Select video recordings from essions are here for public viewing. For these videos all participants have agreed for the video recordings from sessions to be shared publicly…


Oneteamgov’s one big goal for 2022 (and a few smaller ones)

We are longstanding supporting of oneteamgov, ‘a public sector reform movement whose aim is to take practical action to improve public services and reform the way we work’. This is an update on their overall approach and thinking:

Level with us: Lords told social value must be 100% objective
The House of Lords has been exploring how public services can be bolder in ‘levelling up’ communities around the UK. Three experts told the Lords Public Sector Services Committee why 15% ‘added value’ isn’t good enough.

After “Jane-Jacobs-Thought”| Doug Saunders | 2021 — Systems Changes — Open Learning Commons

When Jane Jacobs passed in 2006, she was said to have been studying suburbs. Her work had been famous in urban cores. As a systems thinker, however, part of her curiosity about suburbs was…

Organisational development / transformation

Half of Gen-Z would leave job if not given a hybrid work
Even though two-thirds of workers surveyed by workspace technology company say hybrid benefits mental health and ultimately productivity, over half believe that their employers don’t seem prepared to implement it.

Ethics in public service

The Death of the Last Good Chap — Byline
Why do those in positions of power now evade accountability despite numerous examples of incompetence, dangerous liaisons, lies, and even corruption at the heart of Boris Johnson’s Government? Because the British political system allows them to, says Gavin Esler

Virginia Giuffre: Prince Andrew accuser files civil case in US — BBC
Virginia Giuffre alleges the Duke of York sexually assaulted her when she was 17 years old.

How Conspiracy Theories Are Killing America —
“The discovery of the Nazis was that the masses were not so frightened by Jewish world rule as they were interested in how it could be done.”

Environmental and social justice

Why don’t they ask us? The role of communities in levelling
Download our latest report which examines how to fix local economies for communities.


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