Transduction — leading transformation — Issue #3

Benjamin P. Taylor
6 min readJul 7, 2021

It’s been a busy week, including:

  • A review after the end of a three-year capability building contract with a client which revealed that… we had very successfully helped them to grow their capacity! Case study coming soon.
  • The reunion of our learning community to build back better in the days after, reflecting on the challenges being faced by public services and how we can help to shift the dial tovalue ‘the things we value’:
  • The last of four ‘tour’ sessions of the RedQuadrant tool shed:

I’m off for an ice cream!

Daniel Holland🎗 on

“My favourite pictures from the G7 summit.… “

Top five of the week

I’m chairing day two of the Public Sector Show 2021

Come along — signup is free. It’s billed as ‘the event for private & public sector procurement leads to join and help create more efficient public services at better value for money’ but we have been working on ensuring that a ‘radical procurement’ stream is included, so one look at the agenda will show you that there are a lot of interesting sessions even if you’re not a procurement specialist.

Making sense of systems change and systems

Systems leadership and systems change — what are we trying to achieve? What does these practices mean to you? I’ve been thinking a lot about this, from place-based change in public services to the systems change and systems leadership movements. I have three pieces out at the moment …

In world of infinite overlapping possibility and multiple, irreconcilable differences, what does #education mean?

I was invited to speak to #Gilbfest, an annual conference that’s been running for many years. The topic this year was Education, not something I really know about as a field. But my presentation was on how to educate people who are dealing with true #complexity — the space of my work in …

What I learned from 100 intentional LinkedIn

(Actually, 106 and growing!) For about a year, I’ve made the effort two or three times a week to design posts that attract comment, to invite engagement, and to pause all my usual updates for a while. Results: An average of 5,000 views, ranging from just three under 1,000 (articles and videos get very …

Systems | complexity | cybernetics

Iluminate — cultivating the field and practice of systems change

“We support the emergence of systems change practice, to advance the wellbeing of people and planet” — sign up, join their community (on Mighty Networks — sorry!), and find out a lot more about the organisation and partners …

The Magnification of Small Differences — Akimbo: A Podcast from Seth Godin — Overcast

Seth Godin in a brilliant rant on his home turf; the sociological impact of power laws and the consequent impact on human creativity and possibilities.

View from the Left Eye — Modes of

Harish is brilliant: “I was introduced to the drawing above through Douglas Harding who wrote the Zen book, “The Headless Way.” The drawing was drawn by Ernst Mach, the 19th Century Austrian physicist. He called the drawing, “the view from the left eye.””…

Second order cybernetics

Glanville (2008) in Systems science and cybernetics.

The Impossibility of Automating Ambiguity

Abeba Birhane — Artificial Life On the one hand, complexity science and enactive and embodied cognitive science approaches emphasize that people, as complex adaptive systems, are ambiguous, indeterminable, and inherently unpredictable. On the other, Machine Learning (ML) systems that claim to predict human behaviour are becoming ubiquitous in all spheres of…

Public | service | transformation

Want to help change the story of social care? Follow these basic
There are things that everyone can do to help change the story of social care. It just requires a bit of thought. Here are some basic rules to follow. People that draw on social care as…

How can you quickly assess how you are doing as a public sector #leader?

And how are you actually doing? Hint: it doesn’t involve navel-gazing, it needs you to #gosee This is a follow-on to my post about ‘ten principles for (public) service #transformation‘. It’s about how you run the #organisation in a context of meeting citizen and community needs — or, better, help …

Time for some ‘little heresies’ — thoughtful pieces on how oucomes-based contracting and targets might not always be completely disastrous in public services:

Jacque Mellender at the Good Governance Institute — Can payment mechanisms promote integrated care?

Economist and GGI Faculty member Jacque Mallender argues that targeted use of provider payment mechanisms can help to deliver improved population health and integrated care

Spotlighting Shared Outcomes for Social Impact Programs That Work — Stanford Social Innovation Review — Eleanor Carter and Nigel Ball of the Government Outcomes Lab

This piece sets out how: A greater focus on co-created, measurable outcomes can help build trust between public, private, and social sector partners, and thus improve the effectiveness of outcomes-based contracting and the social programs they create By Eleanor Carter & Nigel Ball Jun. 16, 2021

Institute for Government — Using targets to improve public services

Interesting report: The government has added new targets to existing ones across key public services such as the NHS, schools and the police, which it hopes will improve performance in those services hit by the Covid-crisis. But this report reveals the way that targets have been used for easy wins, have ignored important issues and […]

Commissioning is an approach to transformation

A definitional piece on my approach (pdf)


Miriam Makeba

ASMR: Former farmer, 84, is accidental YouTube star — BBC
John Butler’s videos have been watched by millions after he became popular with the ASMR community.

While My Guitar Gently

Prince, Tom Petty, Steve Winwood, Jeff Lynne and others perform “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” at the 2004 Hall of Fame Inductions.

Ethics in public service

Electoral Commission to be stripped of power to prosecute after probe into Boris Johnson’s flat makeover | The
Condemnation of ‘government power grab’ — as minister claims prosecutions of alleged lawbreaking ‘waste public money’

BBC Radio 4 — Profile, Matt Hancock

Featuring Gina Coladangelo telling a story about Hancock being given a simple task to perform, failing, and then covering up his failure …


Creepy sculpture with human faces is even older than experts thought | Live
A human-shaped wooden idol decorated with an eerie human face and considered the oldest of its kind ever discovered may date back even further in time, researchers now say.


Teacher Tom: Our Raccoon
Reflections on teaching and learning from preschoolers