Transduction — leading transformation — Issue #110

Benjamin P. Taylor
21 min readDec 1, 2023

This week:

  • Commissioning Academies
  • Systems Thinking
  • Systems and Complexity in Organisation
  • Systems change Learning

Upcoming events:

Two new commissioning academies: coming this winter!

Exciting News! Introducing two Commissioning Academies.

  • We will be offering a new Virtual Commissioning Academy, launching in October, facilitated entirely online
  • and an In-Person Commissioning Academy launching in January, with in-person sessions held in Nottingham.

Both offer the same great content, accredited by the PSTA and Cabinet Office.

Join our flagship development program to transform outcomes for the communities we serve!

  • Be part of a national network of commissioning practitioners.
  • Learn to initiate and lead change across complex systems.
  • Develop capabilities to drive real transformation.
  • Access expert insights and collaborative learning.
  • Apply innovative ideas and approaches to your work.

Here’s what’s in store for you at the National Commissioning Academy:

  • Foundation concepts: Working as a system, outcomes thinking, collaborative working.
  • Commissioning for outcomes as a system: Systems thinking, asset-based commissioning, trauma-informed practice, prevention and early intervention.
  • Creating conditions for change: Systems leadership, coproduction, innovation, and promoting social value.

Expect a transformative experience with masterclass workshops, action learning, expert speakers, peer challenges, practical action planning, and membership in our nationwide alumni community.

Ready to make a difference? Apply now to secure your spot at the Academy! Contact David Mason at david.mason@publicservicetransformation.org

Systems Thinking Apprenticeship (2023)

We are delighted to share the news that there is now a Level 7 Systems Thinking Practitioner Apprenticeship available in England.

Systems thinking practice was developed specifically to address highly complex, adaptive, and dynamic situations. It helps you to model each situation as a system incorporating many different parts, dependencies and relationships. Systems thinking practitioners are uniquely equipped for achieving large-scale transformational change.

If you live in England, you can benefit from the scheme. The Apprenticeship is a two-and-a-half year, day release, post-graduate qualification with government funding of up to £18,000 per person. It is fully supported by expert tutors, comprehensive learning materials, and ongoing action learning.

This is a practice-based, portfolio assessed programme which draws on core systems approaches and practice skills. You’ll be supported in your job to actually put the learning to work right away, and you will be evaluated on how you incorporate your continual learning into your practice.

It’s been designed by practitioners for practitioners — the people who have not just read the books, but have written them. More importantly, these are people who have been there, done it, know about all (or at least most) of the pitfalls, and can guide you away from them.

The professional body for systems practice, SCiO, is providing world-class systems practitioner-tutors, and is supporting the curriculum development and overall approach of the programme. They are acting in collaboration with Cherith Simmons Learning and Development, who provide the apprenticeship. Further details are available here.

If you’re not in England, you can still sign up to individual modules here.

And if you are interested in developing your transformation skills, take a look at the RedQuadrant tool shed. This is a small group action learning journey with Benjamin Taylor, founder of the consultancy RedQuadrant, supported by 24 online modules covering all aspects of organisational transformation. Get a 20% discount by mentioning Enlightened Enterprise Academy.

Link Collection:

My Weekly Blog posts:

In today’s challenging landscape, where the pandemic, war, and climate crisis impact us, prioritizing people is pivotal for organizational success. Reflecting on the Operational Excellence Summit, the consistent theme emerged — It’s All About The People. The five core leadership practices offer proven and impactful ways to foster organizational development. From honest conversations to clarity, learning, culture shaping, and clear intent practices, they empower leaders to navigate the complexities of the mid-2020s. Recognizing the significance of how we treat and listen to our people, these practices pave the way for success in the dynamic environment we face.

The joke often goes that managers pick up the hashtag#OperationalExcellence bible and flip through the chapters: hmmm ‘Create Flow’? Sounds confusing… what else we got? ‘Pull at the rate of demand’? Ok, ok, whatever that means…. ‘Remove Waste’! Aha! THAT I like…

Facilitation is a nuanced art that can transform dynamics in meetings. I’ve experienced skeptics embracing the ‘helicopter view’ concept and witnessed bitter adversaries finding common ground through skilled facilitation. In teaching facilitation as part of the Level 7 Systems Thinking Apprenticeship, I emphasize the need to distinguish between ‘naïve facilitation’ and ‘deep facilitation.’ To aid this, I’ve crafted a facilitation canvas focusing on planning (identifying key contributors, preparing, considering inputs, and shaping the environment), vibes (addressing pitfalls, challenging assumptions, clarifying intent, and creating a conducive container), and process (visualizing outcomes, defining outputs, planning the agenda, and incorporating reflection). It’s a flexible tool for thoughtful and effective facilitation.

Are you planning a workshop, meeting, or event that needs effective facilitation? If so, you might want to check out this handy tool that I use to prepare, design, and deliver engaging and productive sessions. It’s called the facilitation canvas, and it helps you think through three key aspects of facilitation: planning, vibes, and process.

Systems Thinking — from rhetoric to action — Cambridge Institute for Sustainabilty Leadership, Dr Theo Hacking (2022)

23 August 2022 — Dr Theo Hacking, CISL’s Director for Postgraduate Programmes and Research Strategy, reflects on the need for clarity in the use of systems thinking by sharing some of the common misconceptions that can lead to systems-related terms and concepts being misconstrued or devalued by false expectations. Systems Thinking — from rhetoric to action | Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)

Back to basics: Developing systems methodologies from first (systems) principles — Hoverstadt and Lucy Loh (2023)

Perhaps a fitting tribute to Lucy Loh, who tragically passed away in October, as per Patrick Hoverstadt’s obituary post just shared.

The paper is not yet available outside the paywall, but looks to be another seminal bit of work she was instrumental in creating.

Patrick Hoverstadt, Lucy Loh

RIP Lucy Loh, a systems thinker who exemplified the best of the field, made many significant contributions, and was almost universally admired, respect and liked

[I was lucky enough to know Lucy, and marginally work with her through her partnership with Patrick Hoverstadt and involvement with SCiO. My comments, though, probably belong in their existing place as responses to this LinkedIn post from her long-time business partner (and great friend) Patrick Hoverstadt. I think this serves as an excellent obituary, including all the comments, responses, and reshares. If you wish to add your comments, I suggest you respond there].

Patrick Hoverstadt:

Sad to have to share that my long term business partner Lucy Loh died last week. I worked with Lucy for around 11 years, she wasn’t just very, very smart, creative — making substantial advances in several fields she worked in, she was kind, thoughtful, immensely hard working and professional, but she was also great fun to work with as several clients and colleagues have attested. Sadly, Lucy also had appalling luck health-wise with a series of accidents and spinal problems that left her in permanent pain and in a wheelchair for the last 5 years. Her overriding characteristic was I think the courage with which she faced her challenges and still managed to work both harder and smarter than pretty much anyone else I know. She will be greatly missed by family, friends, colleagues and clients. It was a privilege to know her for as long as I did.

Post | Feed | LinkedIn

https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:7119593795985264640/

End-November 2023 monthly events mailing from SCiO

SCiO UK

SCiO UK Virtual Development Event — December 2023

Tue 12 December 2023 18:30–20:30 GMT

SCiO’s Development Event offer an opportunity to draw upon the collective expertise of SCiO members in a friendly and supportive atmosphere. By taking Development Events online, using the Zoom meeting platform, we aim to make them accessible to more SCiO members Development Events are both for members who are just starting out on a journey to explore Systems Thinking approaches, and for those who have many years of exploration and practice.

Members only; FREE; Online event; English; Book now

SCiO UK Virtual Open Meeting — January 2024

Mon 22 January 2024 18:30–21:00 GMT

Virtual Open Meeting: A series of presentations of general interest to Systems and Complexity in Organisation’s members. SCiO organises Open Meetings to provide opportunities for practitioners to learn and develop new practice, to build relationships, networks hear about skills, tools, practice and experiences. The agenda comprises a brief introduction and two speaker sessions (one is listed below), followed by our usual ‘later in the bar’ open chat for around 30-mins after speaker sessions.

Running a systemic intervention in Government — a new practitioners perspective — Alison Guthrie-Wrenn
The second session for the evening will be announced as soon as possible.

All welcome, FREE; Online event; English; Book now

______________________________________________________________

SCiO Nederland

SCIO-NL monthly meeting (live in Vianen and in Dutch)

Fri 8 December 2023 11:30–15:00 CET

SCIO-NL komt elke 2e vrijdag van de maand live bijeen in Vianen (Hagenweg 3c). Er staan geen vaste onderwerpen op de agenda (daarvoor organiseren we specifieke andere meetings), maar de ervaring leert dat er altijd wel een interessant gesprek op gang komt over een systemisch onderwerp

Hagenweg 3c, Vianen, Netherlands; All welcome; FREE; Dutch Book now

SCIO-NL monthly meeting (live in Vianen and in Dutch)

Fri 12 January 2024 11:30–15:00 CET

SCIO-NL komt elke 2e vrijdag van de maand live bijeen in Vianen (Hagenweg 3c). Er staan geen vaste onderwerpen op de agenda (daarvoor organiseren we specifieke andere meetings), maar de ervaring leert dat er altijd wel een interessant gesprek op gang komt over een systemisch onderwerp. Toegankelijk voor iedereen die de jaarlijkse fee voor de live-bijeenkomsten (€50,-) hiervoor betaald. En voor gasten. Neem contact op via ed@doitogether.nl als je interesse hebt, maar nog geen lid van de club bent.

Hagenweg 3c, Vianen, Netherlands; All welcome; FREE; Dutch Book now

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SCiO Belgium

VSM deep dive sessie 2 — De kunst van het ontwerpen van functies en eenheden — de “linkervleugel” van organisaties

Tue 12 December 2023 18:00–20:00 CET

Het Viable Systems Model (VSM) biedt een raamwerk voor het ontwikkelen van flexibele en aanpasbare organisaties. Alhoewel het in de jaren zeventig en tachtig van de twintigste eeuw is ontwikkeld door Stafford Beer, en intussen internationaal veelvuldig gebruikt wordt als hulpmiddel voor het begrijpen en herontwerpen van organisaties, is het in België weinig bekend. Als SCiO-België besloten we daarom om in het werkingsjaar 2021–22 en in het werkingsjaar 2022–23 er Deep Dive sessies aan te besteden. De eerste keer deden we dit aan de hand van een lezing van tekstfragmenten uit het werk van Staf… Read more

Kon. Astridlaan 144, 2800 Mechelen, Belgium; Members only; FREE; Dutch Book now

Open lezing Miguel Pantalon: Toolkit: The power of Meta Causal Loop Diagrams, applied to the circular economy.

Tue 9 January 2024 18:00–20:00 CET

The systemic toolkit is comprehensive. A causal loop diagram occupies a special place among them. Indeed, it helps to name the specific dynamics in contexts by exploring the dynamic properties associated with our concepts and critically questioning the positive and negative feedback mechanisms. In spring 2023, a working group led by Miguel Pantalon set about applying causal loop diagramming to the broad domain of circular economy, and more specifically the food system. This led to surprising insights that had hitherto remained beyond the scope of policymakers. But at the same time, it was an … Read more

All welcome; FREE; Online event; Dutch & English Book now

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SCiO DACH (Deutschland, Österreich, Schweiz)

Kybernetik-Stammtisch — Jahresabschluss — offene Beiträge

Thu 14 December 2023 18:00–19:00 CET

Online-Jahresabschlussfeier für alle Mitglieder. Es besteht die Möglichkeit kurz zusammengefasste Ergebnisse der eigenen Forschung/Arbeit im Bereich Systems Practice des vergangenen Jahres den übrigen Mitgliedern vorzustellen.

Members + Guests; kostenlos; Online event; German Book now

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/1/#inbox/FMfcgzGwHxqHPZxCSKvxFXflxZqtrqrN

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For Systems Thinking Practice APPRENTICES of all Providers

SCiO has opened up Cohort 3 (Apprentice Edition) of the Enhanced Learning Club. Here, we have created a safe and accessible space where apprentices can come together to explore systems ideas, concepts and approaches and, together, enhance our understanding and confidence. Others studying Systems Thinking are also welcome.

This is the place to ask the ‘silly’ questions, to discuss your difficulties, to share your ideas and interpretations whilst helping others do the same. In the ELC, there are no novices, and no experts.

If you’re interested in joining cohort 3 with fellow apprentices, please enquire here.

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Individual modules of professional development courses from the apprenticeship can be booked by anyone at commercial rates — see details here .

Happy Holidays!

Steve

SCiO — Systems & Complexity in Organisation

Updating the Identity-based Model of Belief: From False Belief to the Spread of Misinformation — Van Bavel et al (2023)

AUTHORSJay J Van Bavel, Steve Rathje, Madalina Vlasceanu, and Clara Pretus

Updating the Identity-based Model of Belief: From False Belief to the Spread of MisinformationAUTHORSJay J Van Bavel, Steve Rathje, Madalina Vlasceanu, and Clara Pretus

PsyArXiv Preprints | Updating the Identity-based Model of Belief: From False Belief to the Spread of Misinformation

John Heron — Human Inquiry Archive

Post on LinkedIn from Jack Martin Leith:

Just discovered the John Heron (1928–2022; co-operative inquiry, co‑counselling, Human Potential Research Group etc.) archive:
https://lnkd.in/e5ydrbUj
The Complete Facilitator’s Handbook is on the list and available for download in its entirety (428pp):
https://lnkd.in/e23JXDxw
You can read about Heron’s three facilitation modes on the Newcreate website:
https://lnkd.in/eSNfuyXQ

Post | LinkedIn

New Proof Shows That ‘Expander’ Graphs Synchronize

The proof establishes new conditions that cause connected oscillators to sway in sync.

Samuel Velasco and Paul Chaikin/Quanta Magazine By Leila Sloman

Contributing Correspondent

The Systems Thinking Starters Kit — Tijn Tjoelker (substack paywall)

Over 80+ of my favourite systems thinking resources — for the complete beginner, absolute expert, and everything in between.

The Systems Thinking Starters KitOver 80+ of my favourite systems thinking resources — for the complete beginner, absolute expert, and everything in between.TIJN TJOELKERNOV 28, 2023∙ PAID

(1) The Systems Thinking Starters Kit — by Tijn Tjoelker

The Mycelium

The Systems Thinking Starters Kit

This Starters Kit is a living document, based on a LinkedIn post that went viral that you can access for free. Based on my personal learnings and your input, this guide will continually evolve and improve. Get an annual paid subscription and you’ll get access to all my upcoming starter kits on…

What Systems Thinkers Can Learn From Historical Synthesis | Dr. Michael Bonner | Systems Thinking Ontario 2023–11–13

For the November 2023 Systems Thinking Ontario session, historian and policy advisor Dr. Michael Bonner was invited for an interview by Zaid Khan. In organizing the sessions, we’re trying to avoid the trap of systems thinking becoming a discipline, through learning with a sweeping-in process.

The session opened on a map of The Sassanid Empire c. 620 CE, also known as Second Persian Empire, a high point for the Iranian civilizations before the early Muslim conquests of the 7th–8th centuries.

Systems explained by Peter Checkland

  • Audio 15 minutes

Peter Checkland recalls how a shortage of management education led him to develop his theories.

https://www.open.edu/openlearn/money-business/leadership-management/systems-explained-peter-checkland

Buckminster Fuller Institute 40th Anniversary Celebration — 15 Dec 2023, 5–9pm PST, in person, paid event

Join us in person to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Buckminster Fuller Institute! A night of inspiration, innovation and community.

By The Buckminster Fuller Institute

Date and time: Friday, December 15 · 5–9pm PST

Location: Gray Area / Grand Theater, Mission Street, San Francisco, CA, USA2665 Mission Street San Francisco, CA 94110 United States

Buckminster Fuller Institute 40th Anniversary Celebration

Join us for a spectacular in-person event celebrating the 40th anniversary of Buckminster Fuller Institute! This is designed as an immersive experience and will not be live streamed or recorded.

We are thrilled to invite you to the Gray Area / Grand Theater on Mission Street in beautiful San Francisco, CA, USA.

This milestone celebration promises to be an unforgettable experience filled with inspiration, creativity, innovation, and special guests! We will celebrate forty incredible years of Buckminster Fuller Institute and the transformative work underway heading into our fifth decade! We’ll also have updates on current projects to reach 100 million life-centered designers, regenerate bioregions, center indigenous knowledge in design, transform financial systems, engage with regenerative AI, uplift and build capacity for design scientists, support large-scale ecological restoration and more.

The event will feature sustainable local food served throughout the evening and a cash bar.

Friday, December 15Buckminster Fuller Institute 40th Anniversary CelebrationJoin us in person to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Buckminster Fuller Institute! A night of inspiration, innovation and community.By The Buckminster Fuller Institute54 followersFollowDate and timeFriday, December 15 · 5–9pm PSTLocationGray Area / Grand Theater, Mission Street, San Francisco, CA, USA2665 Mission Street San Francisco, CA 94110 United StatesShow mapRefund PolicyContact the organizer to request a refund.Eventbrite’s fee is nonrefundable.About this event4 hoursMobile eTicketBuckminster Fuller Institute 40th Anniversary CelebrationJoin us for a spectacular in-person event celebrating the 40th anniversary of Buckminster Fuller Institute! This is designed as an immersive experience and will not be live streamed or recorded.We are thrilled to invite you to the Gray Area / Grand Theater on Mission Street in beautiful San Francisco, CA, USA.This milestone celebration promises to be an unforgettable experience filled with inspiration, creativity, innovation, and special guests! We will celebrate forty incredible years of Buckminster Fuller Institute and the transformative work underway heading into our fifth decade! We’ll also have updates on current projects to reach 100 million life-centered designers, regenerate bioregions, center indigenous knowledge in design, transform financial systems, engage with regenerative AI, uplift and build capacity for design scientists, support large-scale ecological restoration and more.The event will feature sustainable local food served throughout the evening and a cash bar.

Buckminster Fuller Institute 40th Anniversary Celebration Tickets, Fri, Dec 15, 2023 at 5:00 PM | Eventbrite

Explaining Systems Changes Learning | RSD12 | 2023–10–14

For the Relating Systems and Design RSD12 symposium on October 14, 2023, members of the Explainers subgroup of the Systems Changes Learning Circle conducted an in-person workshop on “Explaining Systems Changes Learning: Metaphors and translations” at OCADU in Toronto.

Explaining Systems Changes Learning | RSD12 | 2023–10–14 November 20, 2023 daviding 0 CommentsFor the Relating Systems and Design RSD12 symposium on October 14, 2023, members of the Explainers subgroup of the Systems Changes Learning Circle conducted an in-person workshop on “Explaining Systems Changes Learning: Metaphors and translations” at OCADU in Toronto.

Explaining Systems Changes Learning | RSD12 | 2023–10–14 — Coevolving Innovations

Three (!) new books from Otto Laske

Vol 1 https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-031-40332-3

Vol 2 https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-031-40985-1

Vol 3 https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-031-40339-2

Message from Otto:

A New Concept of Advanced Systems Thinking

Highlights

  • Focused on the mental processes of the systems thinker, the books introduce a paradigm shift in advanced systems thinking: rather than fixating attention on systems hypostatized by the thinker on purely logical grounds, the books lay bare the thought-form structure of the thinker’s real-time movements-in-thought that led him to hypostatize the system in question, thus making visible the ‘absences’ in the thinker’s thought that need to be repaired.
  • By centering on the systems thinker’s own mental process and its cognitive-
    developmental structure, the books outline an assessment methodology for judging the quality of individual system thinkers’ process in terms of the complexity and maturity of
    their thinking.
  • Thereby, they deliver the foundation for empirical studies in systems thinking as a part of studies in adult cognitive development; the books also lay the foundation for teaching advanced systems thinking in a self-reflective manner, not primarily for “solving problems” (which are always a function of the thinker’s thought maturity), but for measuring and boosting the thought complexity a thinker is presently capable of.
  • The books thus amount to an epistemology of advanced systems thinking that highlights the latter’s limitations when it is conducted in purely logical terms, simultaneously showing that logical thinking, (in Western cultures) mature at 25 years of age, naturally evolves into dialectical thinking over the lifespan.
  • The books are based on Laske’s Dialectical Thought Form Framework (DTF, put in place in 2000), which is continued to be taught in international cohorts at the
    Interdevelopmental Institute (https://interdevelopmentals.org/services/). Three New Books on Advanced Systems Thinking by Otto Laske, known as Inventor of New Thinking Tools, have appeared at Springer

Volume 1: Approaching Real-World Complexity with Dialectical Thinking (ISBN 978–3–031–40331–6)
Volume 2: How to Measure and Boost Thought Maturity (ISBN 978–30031–40984–4)
Volume 3: Manual of Dialectical Thought Forms (ISBN 978–3–031–40338–5)

  • The books spell out and interpret validated empirical outcomes of adult-developmental research in cognitive development over the life span, — a discipline now 25 years old but curiously kept out of the systems thinking mainstream which therefore lacks a reflexive meta-level.
  • The books articulate the pedagogical foundations of 20 years of undergraduate and graduate instruction in advanced systems thinking at the Interdevelopmental Institute (IDM; http://www.interdevelopmentals.org), delivered in international cohorts in English, French, German, and Spanish.
  • From a historical perspective, the books fuse insights of the Frankfurt School and the Harvard Kohlberg School as well as integrate cutting-edge insights deriving from R.Bhaskar’s and M. Archer’s Dialectical Critical Realism.
    Having proven their worth in practice, they are ready to be used for teaching and examinations at colleges, universities, think tanks, and in programs of executive and team development. I would be happy to mentor your staff in the novel subject of the three books.
    Sincerely,
    Otto Laske, Founder and Director, Interdevelopmental Institute (IDM)
    otto@interdevelopmentals.org

An Introduction to Feedback (1960) — YouTube

[Shared on the American Cybernetics Society email list by Paul Pangaro]

Eames Office

The principle of feedback — the cycle by which performance is measured, evaluated against desired results, and corrected for future performance. Made for IBM, Introduction to Feedback was one of a series of films proposed by the Eames Office to explain computers and the principles underlying their operation. Script by Charles Eames Narrated by Vic Perrin, Music by Elmer Bernstein 10 minutes, 40 seconds.

Other videos on this Eames Office YouTube account are well worth a look:

https://www.youtube.com/@eamesoffice/videos

Virtual Special Issue of Futures on Simulation and Dissimulation

Edited by Steffen Roth, Jari Kaivo-oja, Kristof van Assche, and Harry F. Dahms

Virtual Special Issue of Futures onSimulation and dissimulationEdited by Steffen Roth, Jari Kaivo-oja, Kristof van Assche, and Harry F. Dahms

Release | Special Issue | Simulation and dissimulation | Dr. Steffen Roth

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