Transduction — leading transformation — Issue #82

Benjamin P. Taylor
5 min readMar 31, 2023

Hey all

Feeling hopeful this week, after a short actual holiday. ‘It’s not the despair — I can stand the despair. It’s the hope!’

Hope you are too — ‘hope and optimism, in spite of the present difficulties’.

Come to one of my upcoming events if you want to keep me cheerful :-)

Summer 2023 National Commissioning Academy

We are delighted to announce the launch of Spring 2023 National Commissioning Academy which is accredited by the PSTA (Public Services Transformation Academy) and Cabinet Office.

Described by the former Civil Service Chief Executive John Manzoni as ‘one of our flagship development programmes for leaders’, the Commissioning Academy is designed to equip commissioners and change makers from across public services with the insight, know-how and tools to transform outcomes for the communities we serve.

The Commissioning Academy was established by the Cabinet Office in 2012. Originally it was delivered face to face by a faculty of subject-matter experts, facilitators and action-learning coaches whilst more recently it has been delivered by the same faculty using webinars, video-conferencing and a virtual learning environment.

We are delighted to announce that the National Commissioning Academy 2023 will be a blended programme taking the best of both worlds. Several of the sessions will be hosted by Trafford Council whilst others will be delivered virtually. The programme will launch on Fri 16 June in Trafford and run until 10 January 2024. In person dates are on Fri 16 June, Tues 18 July, Tues 26 September, Tues 21 Nov and Wed 10 Jan. Other dates for virtual sessions will be announced in due course.

How to apply to be part of the Academy?

The price per participant in the Academy is £2,300 +VAT. The next Academy is due to take place between June 2023 and January 2024. Discounts are also available for participants who have completed the Commissioning: A 10 step introduction programme. Contact Sarah Johnston for details on 077010 49836 or

National Commissioning Academy Summer 2023 Flier: Download

Link Collection:

My weekly blog post: The technique of a TOOT (Time Out Of Time) provides a neutral space for people in different roles within a system to share their perspectives and experiences. This leads to shared insights into group dynamics, which can be used to respond with better information and deeper understanding. It’s a powerful tool for management, conflict resolution, and human resources.

Michael and Enid Balint began holding psychological training seminars for General Practitioners (GPs) in London in the late 1950s. These seminars were based on case presentation and discussion in small groups led by a psychoanalyst. The focus was on studying the doctor-patient relationship during ordinary consultations. The Balint approach has since spread across the world, and there are now Balint Societies in 22 countries. A very short introduction to Balint groups « The Balint Society

Cybernetics, a science of control and communication, attracted a diverse group of theorists and technocrats from different fields to build systems based on information feedback, circular causality, and automatic governance. Bernard Dionysius Geoghegan’s history of cybernetics argues that the human sciences, not just engineering, contributed to the development of cybernetics. Cybernetics was birthed from the philanthropic foundations created by industrial magnates to create technical solutions to social problems rooted in moral conservatism. Why Is Cybernetics Still Alive? On Bernard Dionysius Geoghegan’s “Code” — Jathan Sadowski (2023)

The article discusses the development of systems thinking theories by Murray Bowen and Barry Oshry. Bowen developed his theory by studying families of schizophrenic patients and later expanded it to include work systems. Oshry developed his theory through organizational simulations at Boston University and the National Training Laboratories. Both theorists believed that a theory should consist of interlocking concepts that are descriptive, predictive, and open to further development. Two Theorists on Work Systems: Murray Bowen and Barry Oshry — Kott (2023)

The article discusses the concept of sensemaking, which has been used to shift research focus to user-centered phenomena and away from sender-receiver transactions in communication studies. Sensemaking is seen as a methodology between traditional academic disciplines that addresses gaps in individual cognitions. However, the field of sensemaking is still young and there is a need for meta-synthesis of research to find commonalities and differences among the various approaches. The article reviews current research on sensemaking and presents a new multifaceted theory of sensemaking. The Multifaceted Sensemaking Theory: A Systematic Literature Review and Content Analysis on Sensemaking — Turner et al (2023)

Aircraft retrofitting poses a challenge due to the long lifespans of aircraft, safety, security, and documentation requirements. To address this, a model-driven data handling approach combining systems engineering and data science techniques is proposed. The approach creates and enhances a digitally accessible dataset to ease access to required information during retrofitting, tailored to the unique circumstances of aviation. Systems, Volume 11, Issue 3 (March 2023) — 54 articles — and a concern

The Multifaceted Sensemaking Theory: A Systematic Literature Review and Content Analysis on Sensemaking — Turner et al (2023):

UK aid funding for refugees in the UK — ICAI

Well worth reading for an example of bad public service functioning:

Ecological Limits to Development: Living with the SDGs | ST-ON | 2023–03–13 — Coevolving Innovations:

Terror management theory — Wikipedia:

Design and Diagnosis for Sustainable Organizations: The Viable System Method | Jose Perez Rios (2012) — book and sample intro:

Develop A Systems Thinking Lens For Collective Leadership — Collective Leadership for Scotland — Joan O’Donnell (2023):

Trond Hjorteland — Good OST & STS sources | LinkedIn:

To be a person on the Future Leaders Scheme (FLS):

How a video game has revolutionised the way farmers are buying tractors:

Birds, Frogs, and Reptiles Use Sound to “Program” Embryos:

Join the @RedQuadrant mailing list — rich informative monthly mailings on what we’re up to
And if your a freelance UK public service consultant, join our consultant community:

Toolbox for the Systems Change Mindset | National Fund for Workforce Solutions:

Wayfinding in existing responsibly: