Transduction — leading transformation — Issue #4

Benjamin P. Taylor
7 min readJul 23, 2021

Ask me anything!

I’m trying out ‘Racket’ — so you have a chance to ask me about systems | cybernetics | complexity in public | service | sransformation… and anything else you’d like.

👉🏻 Leave a 30-second voicemail here and I’ll reply: 👈🏻

What is Racket? Here’s one I made earlier:

This week I had:

  • the weird experience of a face-to-face meeting for the first time in… 16 months??
  • the fulfilling experience of seeing graduates from a Commissioning Academy present amazing hundred-days plans and show real progress, their powerful critical thinking, and determination
  • thoughtful client feedback from a three-year capability support piece which has generated some rich thinking — look for that soon
  • Chairing day two of the Public Sector Show with some really inspiring, connected, complexity-aware, loving, productive conversations! (You can still register and see all the sessions until 30 August at
  • A trip to Manchester to help out my old dad, which has been rewarding, tiring, and emotional

‘Top’ five of the week

I’m speaking at Lean Agile Stockport — five core practices for effective

Tue, Jul 13, 2021, 7:00 PM

After Northamptonshire and Croydon, I’m sorry to say that Slough won’t be the last.

I’m speaking at Australasian Change Days 2021 “Honest, Guvnor’ — how to use manipulation, compliance, and lies to drive change”

#acdc2021 3 Day Virtual Event 9–11 September 2021.

Look out for more on my ‘challenging’ workshop theme soon!

Part of my experimenting with (see above) was thinking about two great questions posed by Indy Neogy:

Which systems theorist had the most impact on their own organisation?

So much discussion on this on facebook and on the linkedin link below (which also leads you to the Racket recording)

What are examples of the large scale impacts of systems thinking?

A complicated question!


Letter to the Prime Minister on social care reform | NHS
Independent chairs of the ICS Network are calling for clarity about the future arrangements for social care in the forthcoming NHS bill.

Stephen Burrell

I find it remarkable that the Probation Service — which is, after all, a pretty important public service — was effectively renationalised on Saturday, after being wrecked by government privatisation since 2013, but that this got, as far as I can see, no coverage in the media🧐…


SCiO — SC101. Viable System Model

A Beginners Workshop in VSM Modelling with Patrick Hoverstadt, Sat 10 Jul 2021 all day UK time

Sense of Coherence — an overview

It is so deeply important for us to feel in control, or at least that the universe makes sense.

Kevin Kelly Blog: Out of Control, The Illustrated Edition — free pdf

(h/t Arthur Battram)

On conscious purpose

Effects of Conscious Purpose on Human Adaptation (1968) — Gregory Bateson



A talk prepared for presentation at the annual Gilbfest, London, UK, June 25, 2012)

Teacher Tom: The Practice of
Reflections on teaching and learning from preschoolers

Ethics in public service

Gabriel Pogrund

💥 Matt Hancock “does not have a DHSC inbox”. 💥 On the legal challenge: 2nd perm sec “doesn’t believe there was inappropriate acts on behalf of ministers but can clearly see the optics suggest otherwise” 💥 Officials would need a “clear case” to even ask for emails…

Institue for Government — Matt Hancock’s resignation is also Boris Johnson’s failure

While Matt Hancock eventually resigned for his breach of Covid rules, the reaction to his behaviour should be a wake-up call to the government on lax standards. But the problem stems from Boris Johnson, says Tim Durrant

Environmental justice

Brian Kahn on

“Just a reminder… “

Two contrasting headlines:

John D. Cook on

“Calcium, magnesium, and iron in cabbage, lettuce, tomatoes, and spinach dropped 80–90% between 1914 and 2018.”

Jim Waterson on

‘A beaver expert involved with the project said: “The Tottenham site is going ahead, and we are looking out for more,” adding he wants to “beaver up” London.’"

Social justice

The highs and lows of dispATches;​ eight years — and counting — of chronicling developments in the assistive technology sector

This article was originally published in the June 2021 edition of the dispATches email newsletter about technologies that empower disabled and older people to be more independent — hosted and published by AbilityNet.

Dan Bloom on

NEW: DWP minister Will Quince confirms “no assessment has been made” of the effects of the £20-a-week Universal Credit cut on child poverty. Here’s his reasoning…. Hmmm…

Cops Using Music to Try to Stop Being Filmed Is Just the Tip of the Iceberg | Electronic Frontier Foundation
Someone tries to livestream their encounters with the police, only to find that the police started playing music. In the case of a February 5 meeting between an activist and the Beverly Hills Police Department, the song of choice was Sublime’s “Santeria.” The police may not got no crystal ball, but…

Enslaved: Peoples of the Historical Slave
Your description for this link…

This Haunting Animation Maps the Journeys of 15,790 Slave Ships in Two Minutes
Usually, when we say “American slavery” or the “American slave trade,” we mean the American colonies or, later, the United States. But as we discussed …

Adam Serwer 🍝

A chilling Rumsfeld obit from @attackerman…


The power of names, part one — why RedQuadrant?
How did you name your company? Or what would you name your startup? Many people ask about our name, RedQuadrant– is it ‘the quadrant where things get done’, ‘the danger zone’, a strange political reference (it’s not) — or is it a reference to part of the Gateshead Metrocentre or the failure mode indicators of … Continue reading The power of names, part 1 — why RedQuadrant? →

The power of names, part two — @antlerboy
What name would you choose, if you had to rename yourself? And why am I antlerboy? People might know @antlerboy is my consistent user name on social media — Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and everything else. It’s a little bit embarrassing. My former business partner, not too much given to wasteful professional niceties, asked me if … Continue reading The power of names, part two — @antlerboy →

Dream Crushed Over Trivial Bullshit Represents Nation Better Than Gold Medal Ever


Good news: I have gathered a bunch of photos of naval ship cats in tiny hammocks. Here are sailors of the HMS Hermione in 1941 surrounding their sleeping cat, Convoy.…


Mass Extinction in The Human Gut Revealed by Fossil Remains of 2,000-Year-Old
The microbes living in our gut are way less diverse than they were 2,000 years ago.