Transduction — leading transformation — Issue #87

Benjamin P. Taylor
8 min readMay 12, 2023

My post this week was about ‘curmudgeons’ — a particular space in my ‘four quadrants of thinking thread’ map that I mostly hope to avoid — and am somewhat successful in doing so.

But I find myself more of a naive enthusiast in preparing for some events and projects I have coming up. We’ll be exploring the future of operational excellence in Hamburg in June, I’ll be speaking next week at the Systems Thinking Summit on how I’m trying to build learning systems at three levels, the current RedQuadrant tool shed group is a lot of fun, and I hope to speak at Metaphorum on the viable systems model and human system dynamics in the power+systems framework.

What’s most exciting me, though, is putting together the plan for the National Commissioning Academy starting in June — we’re reimagining a training programme to help public service leaders achieve outcomes in complexity, doubling down on action learning, adult learning, and peer learning. I’ll be leading it myself with experienced colleagues — join us if you can!

Upcoming Events:

Hamburg, Operational Excellence and Process Transformation. 14 June 2023–16 June 2023

Unlock your organisation’s full potential with the operational excellence and process transformation summit! Join industry leaders, experts, and peers for two days of insights, learning, and networking on the latest trends and strategies in process optimisation and business transformation. Learn how to streamline operations, enhance efficiency, and drive growth in today’s rapidly changing landscape. Don’t miss out on this exclusive opportunity to gain a competitive edge and stay ahead of the curve!

Find out more:

Systems Thinking Summit

15–16–17 May 2023 online 7–10 pm New York time

Dr Joseph Kasser, Bruce Lerner and Dr Raid Alqaisi are convening the first ever systems thinking summit, to assemble some of the key thinkers in Systems Engineering and Systems Thinking. It will provide a forum to discuss the state of the systems thinking profession and will be an independent place for people to meet and learn what they need to know and where and how they gain gain knowledge. Participants will be exposed to a range of educators, experts, beginners and discussion group owners and exchange information. RedQuadrant’s Benjamin Taylor will be presenting.

Find out more:

Public Sector Show

4 July 2023, in person, County Hall, London.

The 11-year strong Public Sector Show drives the UK’s public procurement marketplace forward through extensive 1–1 networking, collaboration and premium insight into the latest ways of working, best-practice case studies and policy updates.

On 4th July, it will be bringing together leading commercial figureheads, innovators and policy leaders from across the public sector, with the collective aim of improved service delivery, enhanced efficiency and value for money. RedQuadrant’s own Benjamin Taylor will be chairing.

Find out more:

Summer 2023 National Commissioning Academy by the Public Service Transformation Academy

Expected start: June, running 8 months

We are delighted to announce the launch of Spring 2023 National Commissioning Academy which is accredited by the PSTA 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.


  • A blended, interactive programme over the course of 8 months
  • Masterclass workshops (interactive, with input of ideas and frameworks)
  • action learning/coaching
  • expert speakers/short videos to watch
  • peer challenge
  • practical action planning on a project or priority you are working on
  • membership of a nation-wide alumni The Price is £2,300 + VAT. For more information, follow this link or contact

Outcome Based Commissioning: a 10 step introduction Cohort 6, by the Public Service Transformation Academy.

Expected start: 17 May until 12 June

Everyone is working hard to maximise the impact of their limited commissioning budgets. The need to make a real difference to citizens and outcomes has never been greater.

This development programme has been designed to assist all those charged with deploying commissioning budgets to improve overall effectiveness, efficiency and agility. It is an intense, introductory programme designed to give you an overview and develop the way you work. It complements the PSTA’s Commissioning Academy learning programme (designed in collaboration with the Cabinet Office).

The cost is £850 per person — discounts are available for those who book the Commissioning Academy as well, and for early and group bookings.

For more information, please follow this link or call

Please contact Sarah Johnston or 077010 49836.

Link Collection:

My Weekly Blog posts:

The advent of AI, particularly powerful language models like LLMs, has the potential to bring about transformative changes in the business landscape. Similar to past innovations such as Google Ads or the industrial revolution, LLMs can redefine the way businesses operate and open up new possibilities, even if initially used in simplistic or negative ways. This could lead to the emergence of autonomous enterprises and reshape the overall business environment. Check the link to read in more detail.

Some individuals possess valuable perspectives and challenging ideas, but their approach becomes difficult to work with due to a mix of self-righteousness, anger, self-pity, and despair. This behavior arises from a variety of factors, including the lack of recognition for their unique insights and the unrealistic ideals they set. Breaking free from this pattern is challenging, leading to a reinforcing loop of rejection. It’s crucial to navigate such dynamics when collaborating with others, charting our own course, and avoiding hasty judgments. Check the link to read in more detail.

Training on handling complexity in policy analysis and evaluation, offered in three modules. Check the link to read in more detail. Handling Complexity in evaluation — UK Evaluation Society and CECAN

Healthcare systems worldwide face challenges due to an aging population, emerging diseases, and the recent pandemic. The current hospital-centric model is financially unsustainable and lacks patient trust. The focus on disease management neglects addressing underlying causes of poor health. The healthcare market’s exploitative nature has further destabilized the system. This meeting in San Francisco aims to engage stakeholders and explore a systemic bottom-up redesign for an inclusive and sustainable health system. Check the link to read in more detail. 7th International Conference for Systems and Complexity Sciences for Health — the need for bottom-up health system redesign diversity — inclusion — sustainability 26–27 October 2023

Systems design is an often overlooked branch of study that focuses on universal architectural patterns applicable across disciplines. It involves understanding complex systems, addressing misfit within career progressions, recognizing the value of “glue work” or systems design, and its impact on projects. It requires a macro perspective, repairing incentives, and recognizing recurring archetypes to effectively navigate and solve problems. Check the link to read in more detail. Systems design explains the world: volume 1 — apenwarr

A system is a representation or model created by an observer to understand the world. The author reflects on their infatuation with control theory, realizing the need for humility and openness to different perspectives. They emphasize the importance of being a generous listener and embracing collaboration in understanding complex phenomena. Check the link to read in more detail. What is a System? — Perspicacity

VSM² combines Value Stream Mapping and the Viable System Model for a holistic view of value streams. Exciting updates coming! Check the link to read in more detail. Mark Lambertz on Facebook — Preview: VSM²

Disruptive technologies, open innovation, and participatory design are changing organizational strategies and designs, leading to far-reaching social change. The creative destruction caused by technological innovation often leads to new dominant designs and prompts industry-wide changes. The transition from market to mission economies raises questions about the role of the state as a creative destroyer. Check the link to read in more detail. CFP | Disruption and destruction. Creative extensions of core concepts of innovation — Dr. Steffen Roth

This report explores ways to enhance voluntary stewardship of antimicrobials in US agriculture to combat antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Check the link to read in more detail. Toward System Change to Tackle Antimicrobial Resistance: Improving the Voluntary Stewardship of Antimicrobials in US Agriculture — Midgley et al (2023)

This discusses the concept of systems thinking and its relevance to organizational management. It explores arguments for a systems approach in understanding living phenomena and the importance of analyzing organizations as open systems. This emphasizes the need to manage boundary conditions, establish goals based on interdependence with the environment, and match capacities to requirements for achieving a steady state. Check the link to read in more detail. Introduction, “Systems Thinking: Selected Readings”, edited by F. E. Emery (1969)

This discusses the complexity of sustainability and the need for clear conceptual and semantic understanding in measuring and implementing sustainability. Emphasising the importance of sustainable governance strategies based on knowledge and science, rather than ideological beliefs. Thisalso highlights the challenges facing global governance and the characteristics required for effective global citizens. Check the link to read in more detail. 11th World Complexity Science Academy Conference — Brussels/hybridg 10–15 September 2023 — the complexity of sustainability

This discusses the overlapping concepts of Cybernetics, Systems Thinking, Complexity Sciences, and Operations Research. It emphasizes the need to understand and address complexity in real-world situations, highlighting the shift from scientific modernism to post-modern alternatives. The distinction between First, Second, and Third Order Cybernetics is mentioned, with a focus on the intentional human element. Check the link to read in more detail. Cybernetics #1, #2 & #3 — Psybertron Asks

The Luhmann Conference 2023 offers an Early Career Programme for graduate students, postdocs, and early-career professionals. Participants can attend workshops, join a kayak tour, network with conference committee members, and connect with other scholars interested in social systems theory. The programme aims to support career development and provide a platform for informal exchange and reflection. Check the link to read in more detail. Activity | Early Career Programme — Luhmann Conference

The Double Diamond as an example of some challenges of attribution in the history of ideas:

Social work leaders must take action to embed anti-racist practice, conference told:

‘An undeniable success’: first UK council trial of four-day week set to be extended:

Bemused by Bedford’s elections? You won’t be alone:

I think it’s wrong that you have to scroll past FIFTY items on the BBC News front page before you get to the local election results:

Meet Mary Somerville: The Brilliant Woman for Whom the Word “Scientist” Was Coined:

Women’s pay day spotlight: Women in social care:

What are the consequences of trying to predict and control social change?

Anti-monarchists receive ‘intimidatory’ Home Office letter on new protest laws:

Is the “What Works” movement working?

Scientists Taught Pet Parrots to Video Call Each Other — and the Birds Loved It: