Resources on systems: Toolkits & Practice Guides
Ok you’re committed to taking a systemic approach, now what?
I’ll tell you what — Total Overwhelm — as you Google it and try and work out where on earth to start.
The good news is there’s been some brilliant collating of tools, frameworks and practice guides for systems change over the last two years.
To make this simple, I’ve looked back through my newsletter content for the last year and condensed this down to the best.
My newsletter is designed to share resources across the field of systems change, so if you want to keep abreast of developments, check it out and sign up. I know everyone hates newsletters, but if you’re interested in systems change, this one is seriously simple and useful.
If you have great resources I’m missing, get in touch (email@example.com). And if you missed my blog last month on communicating systems change, you can check this out here.
Toolkit: From the Academy for Systems Change. Taking you through tools for systems leadership, developing a system-wise team, building organizational capacity and engaging stakeholders for systems change. Systems Leaders Fieldbook.
Toolkit: Great list of systems tools and resources, designed for grantmakers, but could be used by anyone. Developed by Geofunders, Systems Grant-making Resource Guide.
Practice Guide: Another useful collection of tools for systemic design from Alberta CoLab, Field Guide to Systems Design.
Practice Guide: Specifically for Innovation Labs, (often used in systems change) Social Innovation Lab Guide from The Waterloo Institute of Social Innovation and Resilience.
Collaboration and community building
Framework: How can we help people create more meaningful communities? This tool is great from Community Canvas.
Toolkit: Nice toolkit from Ashoka on Forming innovative alliances
Systems change for campaigners, activist and organizers
Toolkit: I really, really love this toolkit from the NEON network learn everything from effective campaign strategies for systems change, to building your systems leadership
Measuring systems change
Resource List: Systems change evaluation resources list, from the helpful people at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
This thesis looks at how cities operate as Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS). It focuses on how certain characteristics of urban form can support an urban environment’s capacity to self-organize, enabling emergent features to appear that, while unplanned, remain highly functional. The research is predicated on the notion that CAS processes operate across diverse domains: that they are ‘generalized’ or ‘universal’. The goal of the dissertation is then to determine how such generalized principles might ‘play out’ within the urban fabric. The main thrust of the work is to unpack how elements of the urban fabric might be considered as elements of a complex system and then identify how one might design these elements in a more deliberate manner, such that they hold a greater embedded capacity to respond to changing urban forces. The research is further predicated on the notion that, while such responses are both imbricated with, and stewarded…
View original post 146 more words
The “1992 Systems Thinking in Action Conference: Creating Learning Organizations” made a statement that creating learning organizations is a long-term process of fundamental change. The 600-plus participants showed their commitment to that journey through their enthusiastic involvement throughout the 27, days. Over 30 concurrent sessions helped add details and richness to the central theme, providing people with the opportunity to learn new tools and techniques as well as share their experiences putting those ideas into practice.
Each of the three keynote speakers provided a different perspective on what it means to create a learning organization. The following pages contain excerpts from their talks, which helped paint, in broad brushstrokes, the essence of what is needed to build learning organizations.
Continues in source: The Systems Thinker – Creating Learning Organizations – The Systems Thinker
I frequently talk to groups of managers on the nature of systems thinking and its
radical implications to management. In doing so I use several case studies involving
prominent American corporations. At the end of the presentation I am almost always
asked, “If this way of thinking is as good as you say it is, why don’t more
organizations use it?”
continues (pdf) at http://ackoffcenter.blogs.com/ackoff_center_weblog/files/Why_few_aopt_ST.pdf
Systems thinking and the nature of reality
Complexity Labs In my last post I made use of a concept map of linear management, which I had made in January 2013. It was fairly neat and simple and all that with a lot of explanatory power. I used it as a contrast to non-linear management, especially of wicked problems. It satisfied me at the time, but it did not answer all questions. Linear management is one thing, but does that mean there are linear and non-linear systems? Or linear and non-linear problems? What about causality and correlation in complex situations? How exactly should we understand them? I finally googled ‘causality’ and ‘correlation’ in Youtube, which brought me to a ComplexityLabs video. I happen to have a fetish for word combinations for 14 letters, so ComplexityLabs (about) was right for me. They have their own…
View original post 1,315 more words
SCiO Viable System Model – Beginners (SC101) – Summer 2018
Saturday, 14 July 2018 from 09:30 to 17:00 (BST)
Please book through EventBrite.
SCiO members £40
Open University student £40
This is a whole day workshop designed for those relatively new to VSM and provides basic training in building a Model of an organisation using VSM.
The attendees work together in groups to develop their model of a case study organisation and to diagnose weaknesses. The workshop follows a structured approach, with a series of steps that take the groups through a modelling process in (relatively!) easy stages.
The case study is based on a real organisation – a medium sized IT and office supplies company and provides a platform for developing the skills needed to take normal organisational information, show how that relates to the VSM and how the VSM can provide a set of new insights into the company.
The workshop will be run by Patrick Hoverstadt of Fractal Consulting.
The workshop is open to members and non-members of SCiO. The fee for members and OU students is £40 and for all others is £100. Places are limited, so please book early.
Development House, 56 – 64 Leonard St, London, EC2A 4LT
9.30am for a prompt 10am start. Finishing at 5pm.
There will be a break for lunch (bring your own, or some eating and food places are near by).