Looking where we see

What’s your example of an organisation spending time and energy like the drunk in the story, ‘looking for the keys under the lamp-post’? We miss the opportunities for innovation and creativity all the time we look where we know the answers. A police officer sees someone drunkenly searching under a streetlight. ‘What have you lost?’ … Continue reading Looking where we see

improvement, legibility, ecosystems and change

Systems Community of Inquiry

In my talks about ‘commissioning’, ‘leadership’, ‘transformation’, and ‘systems thinking’, I often show people a picture of a bridge and a river – to start a conversation about how we are dealing with living systems rather than mechanistic ones. And to get people to think about the dangers of creating ‘improvements’ that depend on intentional, ‘rational’ control in a system where complexity and the ecosystemic nature has been destroyed by the demand for legibility. (And, since people come up with their own ideas, it often illustrates a lot more).

This example from David Chapman is a brilliant illustration of what this is actually about – a likely ‘water improvement scheme’, destroying a sustainable, beautiful (I presume) beaver dam has created an unsustainable system – but one shaped

It’s yet another example of how we systemically prefer the illusion of control to the possibility of allowing:
https://twitter.com/Meaningness/status/991098498282999809

(cf the normalbaum /…

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When have you seen someone change their position — and suddenly change their perspective?

The arrogant superstar suddenly brought low? The ardent Trade Unionist promoted to manager? The contract manager for the contact centre was at breaking point. ‘Those bastards! We told them about this change three weeks ago. They haven’t trained, they haven’t resourced, they’re blaming the service, and I know they’re going to use this as an excuse … Continue reading When have you seen someone change their position — and suddenly change their perspective?

Transduction – leading transformation – Issue #33

Sign up at https://www.getrevue.co/profile/antlerboyA lazy newsletter this week - trying without categories, so my usual mix is marbled throughout…Top phive / public | service | transformation / systems | complexity | cybernetics / organisational development / transformation / procurement AND commissioning / ethics in public service / environmental and social justice / more brain food … Continue reading Transduction – leading transformation – Issue #33

It’s just noise! 

Transaction costs do not predict systems costs If you wanted to predict how many customer contacts a council would have, and how much they cost, what factor do you think would best predict? Population? Number of people in poverty? Geographic size? Housing stock? Spoiler: NOTHING reliably predicts total numbers of contacts and cost. THE PHONE CALL IS COMING FROM INSIDE … Continue reading It’s just noise! 

What’s your Facilitrainer Inheritance?

The things that have been handed down to you — source obscure — and just become part of your understanding, your practice in your work? Every profession has them, things that just form the background of your work, which feel like yours, or just ‘in the air’ — but which have their own history. For facilitators and trainers, this is usually … Continue reading What’s your Facilitrainer Inheritance?

Transduction – leading transformation – Issue #32

Subscribe - and see a nicer formatted version - at https://www.getrevue.co/profile/antlerboy Season's greetings everyone! Top phive of the week How does the signal of demand get through to your organisation?Are you actually able to hear where you can create value? I was once in a project to redesign a council’s Housing Benefits form, and ‘make … Continue reading Transduction – leading transformation – Issue #32

How does the signal of demand get through to your organisation?

Are you actually able to hear where you can create value? I was once in a project to redesign a council's Housing Benefits form, and ‘make it digital'. The form was 60 pages long, and optimally designed for approximately 2.2% of applicants. That's because the vast majority of applicants were already on a ‘passporting benefit’, … Continue reading How does the signal of demand get through to your organisation?

‘No, but I could put you on the waiting list?’

When were you last put on a waiting list? Were you pleased? Did you think you were actually getting something, or just because you got to avoid rejection? When we analysed demand, in customers' own words, across a London borough, we found some really striking things One of them was that, when we did a … Continue reading ‘No, but I could put you on the waiting list?’

Transduction – leading transformation – Issue #31

This is a bit lower-effort again, as I am now triple-jabbed (with the ‘powerful’ AZ and Pfizer combo) thanks once again to the generosity and organisational effectiveness of the Serbian government - and already feeling rough. To end the year business-wise a tender loss by 1.39%, again with no pitch or interview. I honestly feel … Continue reading Transduction – leading transformation – Issue #31