SCiO Open Meeting – Spring 2019, Manchester (All Welcome)
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. Please note that the meeting has moved ‘back’ into the new main MBS building.
Session: Keekok Lee; Why 21st century is the century of Systems Thinking
This talk examines System Thinking by exploring the following themes:
- System Thinking is embedded within a philosophical framework which is totally different from that of so-called “standard thinking” found in what may be called the Newtonian sciences, such as classical physics, DNA/ molecular biology, the monogenic conception of disease in Biomedicine, and so on.
2. Modern science beginning in the 17th century in Western Europe (which was/is Newtonian) suffered a rupture in its philosophical orientation at least thrice in the 20th century: quantum physics from the 1920s onwards, the establishment of ecology as well as the emergence of Epidemiology as proper scientific disciplines in the last century, the former at the end of WWII and the latter in the last quarter of the 20th century. The 21st century may well turn out to be the century of Systems Thinking, of the triumph of non-/not-Newtonian sciences.
3. The oldest form of Systems Thinking in world history may be found inThe Yijing/I Chingas well as in Classical Chinese Medicine whose foundation rests on the insights of The Yijing/I Ching, the most well-known is the iconic Yinyang symbol. These basic insights include: Process-ontology, Wholism, non-linear/multi-factorial causality.
4. In my opinion, Systems Thinking could more tellingly be re-labelled “Ecosystem Thinking” as any phenomenon under study could best be portrayed as a nesting of ecosystems, the smaller within a larger. The benefit of this new presentation of data will be illustrated by one particular example from Classical Chinese Medicine.
Session: Ray Ison; How is Systemic Change different?
Claims are frequently made about changing THE system. Many talk about Whole System change. Then there is systematic change as well as systemic change. What do practitioners do when they engage, or claim that they engage, with these types of change? What are the elements of systemic praxis (theory informed practical action)? What are the implications for the use of methods and methodologies? And for situational change which constitutes an improvement? Ray will draw on his experiences of designing successful modules within the STiP (systems thinking in practice) program at the Open University as well as his own research/consultancy praxis to explore what it means to become a reflexive practitioner of systemic change.
Session: Robin Stowell; From Perilous Ignorance to Autonomous Safety
If your occupational health and safety policy states a commitment to providing a safe workplace, reporting accidents, continual improvement etc. have you considered this from a cybernetic viewpoint?
Most organisations govern their safety management by trying to achieve Zero Harm through implementing corporate risk assessments, but accidents still happen, and management hunts down someone to blame for poor safety statistics on the management review dashboard. The system hasn’t failed, it is doing what it has been designed (and allowed) to do. How do the requirements of safety management system standards integrate into the Viable System Model?
Variety, and in particular the requisite variety needed in operations to counter unwanted states in the local environment (accidents), has never been considered before from a safety perspective. This presentation will propose that requisite variety of an individual worker can be directly equated to competence, and furthermore through assessment of the person-task it provides the basis for a real-time safety performance monitoring and control mechanism
Session: Ian Kendrick: Three Horizons – Concept & Practice
details to be provided.
Mon, 8 April 2019 09:30 – 17:00 BST
Rm 3.008, Alliance Manchester Business School, Booth Street West, Manchester M15 6PB
Organiser of SCiO Open Meeting – Spring 2019, Manchester (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.