SCiO Open Meeting and AGM – Summer 2019, London, Mon 8 Jul 2019 09:30-17:30 – four great speakers: Systems and Complexity in Organisation

Source: SCiO Open Meeting and AGM – Summer 2019, London (All Welcome) Tickets, Mon 8 Jul 2019 at 09:30 | Eventbrite

JUL 08

SCiO Open Meeting and AGM – Summer 2019, London (All Welcome)

by SCiO – Systems and Complexity in Organisation


Actions and Detail Panel


Event Information


An open meeting where a series of presentations of general interest regarding systems practice will be given – this will include ‘craft’ and active sessions, as well as introductions to theory.

09:30 – an introduction to the viable system model. Main presentations start at 10:00.

Please note that the AGM will follow on from the open day (for members)

Session 1 (Kerry Turner) – Causal Loop Diagrams: A key tool for Systems Thinking & Practice

Causal Loop Diagrams (CLDs) are a useful tool in the kitbag of any systems practiotioner. They are used to make our mental models explicit so they can be shared, challenged and understood. CLDs enable us to capture the parts, connections and feedback in a system. They can be used to build consensus, agree definitions, identify leverage points and explore consequences of potential interventions. They enable us to share our ideas and communicate our understanding of a system to others clearly and powerfully.

The workshop will introduce the concept of a CLD and explore how the diagrams can be developed and used both individually and in teams. There will be the opportunity to practice developing causal loop diagrams from documents and from observed systems. Participants are encouraged to bring a problem/idea they would like to explore with this approach.

Kerry Turner is passionate about understanding and improving systems. She acquired her skills in systems thinking during her career as a management consultant. She has applied it to a wide range of business problems for organisations around the world. For the last decade she has applied systems thinking to every aspect of her life including horsemanship, swimming, relationships, home economics and health. She has also worked with small organisations who share her values.

Session 2 (Alan Arnett) – Leadership, Complexity and Sensemaking (provisional title)

Awaiting Abstract

Session 3 (Rod Willis) – Dimensions of Strategic Management, Through Time

Many organisations are preoccupied with Strategic Planning and the use of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) with a clear desire to ‘get to where they want to go’. On this journey, many fall foul of ‘The Tyranny of Meaningless Metrics’ (songs of the Sirens) Worst still, if they do reach the destination, they may discover where they wanted to get to wasn’t the destination actually required to grow or survive after all! (“Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here? The Cheshire Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to. Alice: I don’t much care where. The Cheshire Cat: Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go. Alice: …So long as I get somewhere. The Cheshire Cat: Oh, you’re sure to do that, if only you walk long enough.” ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland)

We have been busy over the years in many Business Schools (BS) teaching/supporting passionate learners how to ‘do strategy’, unfortunately, many seem to have missed some key parameters in the process. To test these assertions, feel free to research Ansoff’s work before you come to this SCiO event. Try to identify what he is known for and let’s discuss and explore together. Even if you think you have a handle on Igor Ansoff’s approach on Strategic Management, we will add another dimension that (as far as I have been able to identify) is not part of his work. When Igor Ansoff’s dimensions of Strategic Management are combined with the Organisational ECO-Cycle (by David Hurst) we start to see something new emerge for Strategy.

Linking Igor Ansoff and David Hurst’s work has the ability to create a dynamic approach to Strategic Management. We hear many calls for ‘Agile Business Strategies’ yet we are often using approaches that come from a school of thought that is NOT about agile or complex adaptive systems. We live in a world of paradoxes and for strategy, we would seem to be approaching the choice of the blue pill or the red pill. If you can sense Strategic Turbulence all around you, what pill would you decide to take?

To close, we will share the highlights of a Case Study that combined Ansoff and Hurst’s work, creating an adaptive, growing solution in China, please join us.

Session 4 Details tba

Date And Time

Mon, 8 July 2019, 09:30 – 17:00 BST


BT Centre, 81 Newgate Street, London, EC1A 7AJ

OrganiserSCiO – Systems And Complexity In Organisation

Organiser of SCiO Open Meeting and AGM – Summer 2019, London (All Welcome)

SCiO is a group for systems practitioners and is based in the UK, but has members internationally.

Two of the features that distinguish SCiO from other systems groups are that it is focused primarily on systems practice and practitioners rather than on pure theory and that it is focused on systems practice applied to issues of organisation.

It has three main objectives:
Developing practice in applying systems ideas to a range of organisational issues.
Disseminating the use of systems approaches in dealing with organisational issues.
Supporting practitioners in their professional practice.
SCiO is a social enterprise and a not for profit organisation which is owned by its members.

Provenance and Purpose.
Created initally by a network of practitioners in the North of England, SCiO acts as an extra channel for disseminating to others their experience of practical applications, education and research in complex problem solving. The name stands for ‘Systems and Complexity in Organisation’ but can also be thought of as short for the ‘Science of Organisation’.

Over the last sixty years the new disciplines of ‘Systems Thinking’ and ‘Managerial Cybernetics’ have emerged. The new thinking started from the consideration of complex problems faced during the Second World War; then later in the 1970’s the same patterns of thinking emerged with the new awareness of the complexity of ecological problems. The ideas developed and spread into other areas of science and in particular into management. In the last thirty years new insights and understanding have developed in the way to approach apparently intractable problems in many areas.

At this time the terms ‘whole systems approach’ and ‘systems thinking’ seem to be appearing more frequently in published policy documents and guidance on best practice in the United Kingdom and elsewhere, such as in the UK National Health Service; in documents on public health, sustainable communities, in education, in considerations of the environment, and in corporate governance.

The members of SCiO believe that the use of systems thinking and managerial cybernetics can have major impacts on the well-being of our communities, and our business and social organisations.