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wicked problems
Certain statements about problems are likely to be rendered false ...
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Wicked Problems and Category Mistakes

john atkinson
Often the typical meeting room is full of people holding ...

Dialogue- Isaacs

The Castle Conversations. Event: Creating the Quality Eco-System. 2nd- 5th ...

Event: Creating the Quality Ecosystem

A beautiful example of murmuration from @NatGeo. Amazing .Must Watch ...

Flight of the Starlings

Acceptance can lead us to normalise and even ignore situations ...


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Understanding living systems can seem impenetrable. Working out how all the inter-dependencies and relationships work leads into a morass of aligned and conflicting theories and practices. Trying to make sense of how these could reasonably help in addressing workplace questions becomes even more confusing. Instead of making things better, looking at our worlds as living systems seems to make them ever more complicated and confusing. The theory seems self-evidently right yet it can make us feel at times powerless.

Here at Heart of the Art we seek to explore the nature of living systems and how we may understand them. We look to make sense of the nature of things and how by understanding them better, we can be more effective in our work, our relationships, our lives. We offer you this site as a place where we share our own writing alongside articles and resources from others that we have found helpful or provocative. Please enjoy it and use it as you will, crediting the original authors in anything you share.

John Atkinson

Emma Loftus

Heart of the Art is curated by John Atkinson and Emma Loftus. We have decades of experience working in and with Living Systems and we offer this to you through this site. We are always curious about new and different perspectives and to understand more deeply the things we discover. You can find a little more about who we are, our work and how to get in touch with us within this site. We look forward to hearing from you.

Phillips Kay Partnership Ltd

The Phillips Kay Partnership is John Atkinson, Jeni Bremner and Myron Rogers. We work with clients who live in messy, complex and ambiguous environments. They face uncertainty more than stability; patterns of action both novel and recurrent; and a pace of change that is an accelerating race. Expert solutions don’t work here. Their world is not static and today’s answers are out of sync with the emerging tomorrow. To succeed they need the capacity to discern in real time what is happening and what it means. They need to rapidly adapt through meaningful growth. They need to work with the inherent characteristics of human systems.