Transduction — leading transformation — Issue #111

Benjamin P. Taylor
15 min readDec 8, 2023

This week:

  • Commissioning Academies
  • Systems Thinking
  • Systems and Complexity in Organisation
  • Civil Service

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

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 post:

Addressing the leadership challenge of merging disparate groups, I advocate for six steps based on the Center for Creative Leadership’s insights. Initially, I emphasize maintaining comfort in individual identities by reinforcing boundaries and fostering understanding between groups. Gradually, I propose creating temporary collaborative spaces and forming new teams to implement shared goals. This process evolves into establishing permanent joint spaces, fostering cross-functional teams, and ultimately redefining collective identity. Drawing on systems thinking and models like the ‘four dynamics,’ these steps aim to open up, loosen, and transform identities in the context of innovation, change management, and digital transformation.

How do you bring partners together?


A Special Integration Groupof the International Society for the Systems Sciences (ISSS)originally Society for General Systems Research (SGSR)PRESENTS ONE — WHOLE

An activity of the Primer Group



Wholeness Seminar Home page


Transdisciplinary Theory of Information, Cognition, Meaning, Communication and Consciousness

CYBERSEMIOTICS | Transdisciplinary Theory of Information, Cognition, Meaning, Communication and Consciousness

Sad news Pam Sydelko has passed away (message from Gerald Midgley and two of her papers)

In the Systems Science group on Linkedin
Gerald Midgely says:

Many of you will know Pam Sydelko, who was a member of the ISSS and graduated with her PhD from our Centre for Systems Studies at the University of Hull in July 2023.
I’m sad to report that she passed away recently, surrounded by her family, following a three-month illness.
I am taking the liberty of sharing links to two open access (free to download) papers in the European Journal of Operational Research that Pam wrote out of her PhD, which are a legacy of her contribution. One of them has a 2024 date, so will be a posthumous publication, and I’m glad that Pam saw it accepted while she was still with us. Both papers are picking up citations at a healthy rate, so I am optimistic that Pam’s influence will continue with us for a good while.…/pii/S0377221720310043…/pii/S037722172300512X

You can respond to Gerald’s message here:

International Conference-Biennale “System World of Alexander Bogdanov” December 7–9, 2023 (online)

Received by email:

I am very pleased to remember that our traditional International Research & Practice Conference-Biennale “System World of Alexander Bogdanov” will be held on December 7–9, 2023. This Conference is dedicated to Bogdanov’s 150th anniversary, and we hope that everyone who participated in the 2021 conferences in June in Kingstone-upon-Hull and in December in Moscow, as well as in the Bogdanov special issue of SRBS (, will speak in plenary or roundtables.

We are also waiting for everyone who is interested in Bogdanov’s legacy and modern systems thinking.

The working languages of the Conference are Russian and English. The plenary session (December 7 in the morning and afternoon), round tables (December 7 and 8 in the evening) and post-discussion (December 9 in the morning) will be held with simultaneous translation. Sections (December 8 in the morning and afternoon) will be held only in Russian. But we will publish all abstracts in Russian and English.

The Conference programme is in the attached file (Moscow time is indicated everywhere). We invite you to participate in the plenary session by asking questions. We also invite you to participate in roundtables and post-discussion with short talks.

The first roundtable (December 7, 16.30–18.00) will be devoted to general issues of the cultural and historical background and modern significance of Bogdanov’s heritage. In particular, we will discuss why the modern systems approach appeals to Bogdanov?

The second roundtable (December 8, 15.40–17.40) will focus on the use of Bogdanov’s ideas and systematic methodology in modern management.

The post-discussion (December 9, 11.00–13.00) will be devoted to a broad reflection of the entire problematic and thematic field of the Conference (and not just the TRIZ systems methodology, as we initially planned).

To receive a link to connect online, register on the Conference website:

Also, please inform me by return letter at which of the Conference events (round table, post-discussion) you plan to speak.

We have also created an English-language chat for Conference participants and anyone interested in Bogdanov’s legacy. Join us via this link:

Participation in the Conference is free. If you would like to publish abstracts in the Conference Proceedings, please send your abstracts by January 31, 2024. The template is in the attached file (fill out only the English part on the left, we will follow the translation into Russian ourselves. You can also add a list of references.

We are waiting for you in connection!

Best wishes,

Dr. Viacheslav (Slava) Maracha,

Financial University (Moscow, Russia)



Systems thinking ‘collaborative articles’ on LinkedIn

Systems Thinking Collaborative Articles — 39 Articles

[LinkedIn collaborative articles are an unholy mess of assumptions, gaslighting for internet points, low-effort received wisdom and all you’d expect from a long list of categories, within which AI has generated hundreds of bizarre titles and in each article, a numbered structure of key points, to which people on LinkedIn are randomly invited to add.

But it might be worth those who do know a thing or two about systems thinking chipping in from time to time…]

(VI) How to apply the Viable System Model to get a fast design or diagnosis of an organization (Introduction-Part VI) — Jose Perez Rios (LinkedIn)

Jose Perez Rios

Full Professor at University of Valladolid

(VI) How to apply the Viable System Model to get a fast design or diagnosis of an organization (Introduction-Part VI).Jose Perez RiosFull Professor at University of Valladolid

(1) (VI) How to apply the Viable System Model to get a fast design or diagnosis of an organization (Introduction-Part VI). | LinkedIn

PNI Practicum — Project-based courses in Participatory Narrative Inquiry — free from Cynthia Kurtz

Project-based courses in
Participatory Narrative Inquiry

Wednesday, November 29, 2023The open source PNI Practicum courses are ready to goHello everybody. My free and open-source PNI Practicum courses are finally ready for you to use. As of today, any interested group can download the materials, form a cohort, schedule some meetings, and get started.

Story colored glasses: The open source PNI Practicum courses are ready to go

Professor Ray Ison announces retirement (LinkedIn)

[And includes a bunch of useful links]

Professor of SystemsProfessor of Systems

I am pleased to report that today I retire from the Open University (OU) where I was appointed as Professor of Systems in 1994 ( Tomorrow I begin as Professor Emeritus within the ASTiP (Applied Systems Thinking in Practice) Group at the OU thus continuing my long association with one of the most substantial Systems education programs in the UK, perhaps the world ( ). Current program highlights include a taught Post-Graduate Program in STiP (, a new PG level Apprenticeship for the Systems Thinking Practitioner ( and an extensive array of research and scholarship ( ).

Post | Feed | LinkedIn

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 action23 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

Back to basics: Developing systems methodologies from first (systems) principles — Hoverstadt — Systems Research and Behavioral Science — Wiley Online Library

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

Councils across the country find themselves in a turbulent financial position. Since 2021 five local authorities have declared themselves effectively bankrupt, with a raft of councils warning they may have to do the same. Exclusive polling of English councillors by New Statesman Spotlight revealed that a quarter of councillors believe their council will soon go bankrupt.

New Statesman · Nov 23 Council bankruptcy tracker: authorities under increasing financial strain By Megan Kenyon

By any memes necessary: Belief- and chaos-driven motives for sharing conspiracy theories on social media — Christina E. Farhart, Erin B. Fitz, Joanne M. Miller, Kyle L. Saunders, 2023