Transduction — leading transformation — Issue #54

Benjamin P. Taylor
8 min readJun 19, 2022

This week’s newsletter, including my upcoming vents…

What the hell is systems | complexity | cybernetics anyway?
UPDATE — slides, video, notes now in edited post at Today I’m doing a one-hour talk (see — you can still join if you see this when I publish — and you can see the board at at any time) on how systems practices and systems thinking can link in to the wonderful social … Continue reading What the hell is systems | complexity | cybernetics anyway? →

So. Today is a migraine
And it’s another one of those personal posts, I’m afraid. Is the lesson ‘feel sorry for me, for I am afflicted (and possibly sorry for myself)?’ or ‘don’t feel sorry for me, for I am strong and self-reliant — but obviously *especially* strong and self-reliant because I have this extra special thing’ — or is it just a general … Continue reading So. Today is a migraine day. →

SCiO Virtual Open Meeting — 11 July 2022 Tickets, Mon 11 Jul 2022 at 18:30 | Eventbrite
The programme for 11th July 2022 is as follows: 18:30 — Welcome, virtual housekeeping and check-in 18:40 — SCiO Introduction & Notices 18:45 — Session 1 (presentation and Q & A ) — When Unfreeze-Move-Refreeze Isn’t Working: Doing, Thinking and Making Via Systems Changes Learning — David Ing 19:40 — Session 2 (presentation and Q & A) — Systems Leadership & Change, Benjamin Taylor 20:30 — Summary and close 20:30–21:00 (Optional) — virtual networking ================================================= Session 1 — When Unfreeze-Move-Refreeze Isn’t Working: Doing, Thinking and Making Via Systems Changes Learning Abstract: Practitioners coming to the systems sciences and/or systems thinking have an interest in “systems change(s)”. Many come from premise that that change occurs as “unfreeze-move-refreeze”, misattributed to Kurt Lewin. A more reflective view of systems changes not only sees distinctions between the intended and emergent recognized by Henry Mintzberg, but also an ecological epistemology. That leads to an appreciation of living systems in a temporality of the landscape as described by Tim Ingold extending the tradition of Gregory Bateson. Beyond the metaphysics of Heraclitus and Parmenides, the sciences of systems can be extended through a philosophy of science underpinning Classical Chinese Medicine. The ontology of contextual-dyadic thinking outlined by Keekok Lee is in contrast to the Western dualistic thinking. For novices, the central concepts in the Systems Changes Learning approach are: (i) rhythmic shifts; (ii) texture; and (iii) propensity. Practices are depicted as a hub of “knowing from within”, and four axes of (i) recognizing contextural influences; (ii) diagnosing rhythmic disorders; (iii) prognosing likelihoods; and (iv) reordering pacing. In workshops, metaphors of (i) sun waxing and waning; (ii) musicians weaving into an ensemble; and (iii) motions riding a surfboard, have effectively reframed thinking about systems changes. Providing a workbook with guiding questions has aided self-organizing groups to surface their points of view and engage in rich discussion, with a minimal coaching by facilitators. Ongoing action learning on doing (praxis), thinking (episteme) and making (poiesis) by the Systems Changes Learning Circle is in year 4 of an espoused ten-year journey. Presenter: David Ing is past-president of the International Society for the Systems Sciences (2011–2012). He graduated from IBM after 28 years, with assignments in management consulting, industry solutions and headquarters planning. He blogs at , and is a cofounder of David resides in Toronto, Canada. ================================================= Session 2 — Systems Leadership & Change Abstract: Systems Leadership and Systems Change are very popular phrases at the moment — search the web for a sense (and if you really want to boggle your mind). Some of it is really good, some of it is risible, and much has little to do with systems thinking or systems practice. This session will explore some of the existing territory and dimensions and sketch out Benjamin’s approach, drawing on two of his articles from last year (reading them isn’t necessary to attend): and Presenter: Benjamin Taylor: Benjamin is on the SCiO board, a Fellow of the Cybernetics Society, and works on ‘systems change’ and stuff in public services. He runs RedQuadrant — offering the RedQuadrant tool shed to share methods and practices — and the Public Service Transformation Academy.

The future of work is: no jobs — Benjamin P. Taylor, Wed, Jul 13, 2022, 7:00 PM |
Wed, Jul 13, 7:00 PM BST: The Future of Work Scotland team are delighted to be hosting the wonderful Benjamin P. Taylor for this intriguing session. Benjamin will be sharing some perspectives and s

I’m hosting “Later in the bar” — SCiO UK 18 July 2022 | SCiO
“Later in the bar” is a SCiO UK networking event where we try to recapture some of the features of meeting in the bar after an open meeting. This is an opportunity to mingle freely (online) and set your own agenda. These social networking events are different from the open days (speakers and discussion) and member-only development days (each agenda slot filled set by members for learning discussions).

Jo Peters, Next Generation Local Government Finance

Are you ready for the next generation? Where is local government in the rapidly changing world of finance? Are the skills in place to navigate the change? If you are grappling with local government finance, then the new post by RedQuadrant consultant Jo Peters will be of interest to you.

Kit for Councils: A Pack for local authorities to support strong community relationships, from the Relationship Project

The Relationships Project has teamed up with Tony Clements — Strategic Director for Economy at Hammersmith and Fulham Council — to develop a kit to inspire and support councils to create the conditions for relationships to thrive within their communities. Check it out here.

An Open Systems Thinking perspective on Agile transformation, Thu, Jul 7, 2022, 9am BST
Thursday, July 7, 20229:00 AM to 10:30 AM BST An Open Systems Thinking perspective on Agile transformation, Thu, Jul 7, 2022, 6:00 PM | Meetup Joining the group is free, text of the invite: Thursday, July 7, 2022 An Open Systems Thinking perspective on Agile transformation Hosted By David W. and 2 others Details An […]

Whole-System Health | Codes for a Healthy Earth
In the face of escalating social and ecological breakdown, populations around the world are calling for a fundamental system change. Codes for a Healthy Earth offers a unifying whole-system healing framework to support people and communities in working together across national, cultural and ideological boundaries for radical system transformation and rapid social and ecological regeneration. […]

On intentionality • Marcus Jenal
On intentionality | Gaining Systemic Insight I recently said: Everything we do with intention is not systemic. I can’t really remember in what context I said it but I remember that I was surprised myself when hearing me say that. So here a bit of an exploration of this statement. Continues in source: On intentionality […]

Intro video to the history and ideas of complexity science and networks
Originally posted on Petter Holme: I needed a video presenting the historical development of ideas behind the complexity and network science in 20 minutes — an impossible task of course (especially since I couldn’t spend too much time on prepping it). Anyway, someone out there would be interested, so here it is: Some credits not stated…

Climate, covid, conflict — Food, Farming and Countryside Commission — Sue Pritchard
Climate, Covid, Conflict? Community…Sue Pritchard assesses risks and opportunities for a resilient food system26th May 2022 Climate, covid, conflict — Food, Farming and Countryside Commission

Scale, context, and heterogeneity: the complexity of the social space
Originally posted on Complexity Digest: José Balsa-Barreiro, Mónica Menendez & Alfredo J. Morales? Scientific Reports volume 12, Article number: 9037 (2022) The social space refers to physical or virtual places where people interact with one another. It decisively influences the emergence of human behaviors. However, little is known about the nature and complexity of the social space, nor…

Moral character in human systems (Geoffrey Vickers) | Adams, Catron, Cook (1995)
Originally posted on In brief. David Ing.: While Geoffrey Vickers and Gregory Bateson both worked with human systems, the background philosophies on ethics were different. — begin paste — Beginning with The Art of Judgment and culminating in 1983 with Human Systems Are Different, Vickers was concerned to avoid the narrowing of scope that had…

Chickens’ eyes function differently (Interconnected — Matt Webb)
11.09, Thursday 9 Jun 2022 Link to this postIt turns out that chickens use their eyes quite differently. (I’ve been skimming paper abstracts.)The left eye distinguishes between strangers and friends — and more generally is a novelty detector.The right eye categorises and figures out what action to take.(So a chicken looking only with its right […]

Kelly Holmes reveals she is gay as she speaks publicly about sexuality for first
Kent star Kelly Holmes has spoken publicly about her sexuality for the first time, revealing she has been living a ‘secret life’ for decades.

Boris Johnson accused of trying to appoint wife Carrie to £100k taxpayer funded role in
The Prime Minister, who served as chief of the Foreign Office between 2016 and 2018, reportedly wanted to make his future wife his £100,000-a-year chief of staff.

Deprivation of Liberty in the Shadows of the Institution: The movie! | The Small
As some of you know, I’ve recently written a book, entitled Deprivation of Liberty in the Shadows of the Institution (Bristol University Press, 2022) about the long long history and possible futures of social care detention (regulating community care living arrangements as a ‘deprivation of liberty’). Because the research is funded by Wellcome, you can…

Control Of Intransparency | Luhmann (1997) | Systems Community of Inquiry
Luhmann Control Of Intransparency shanchuan huang(PDF) Luhmann Control Of Intransparency | shanchuan huang — General systems theory shows that the combination of self-referential operations andoperational closure (or the re-entry of output as input) generates a surplus of possibleoperations and therefore intransparency of the system for its own operation. The systemcannot produce a complete description…