Heart of the Art

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Noticing my noticing

Travelling through northernmost Norway I am caught by the nature of scale. The grand and the delicate. The power and the finesse. In my awareness it becomes alive within me.

Disruptive Algorithms for Change

Exploring using’ clever’ algorithms as a way of interacting with and even as mechanisms for distilling change from within. It’s curious perhaps that here we see algorithms used as disruptive technology, with the potential, albeit unintentionally to wreak havoc in the social and moral compasses of our social spaces, because isn’t that exactly what we as change makers seek to do? Isn’t that all that change is?

Myron Rogers: Communities of practice

Interested in Communities of Practice? Myron Rogers has been working with the South London Health Innovation Network developing pan-London Patient Safety Communities of Practice. This just released brochure, co-authored by Myron, describes the work, and includes a comprehensive conceptual and practical guide for cultivating Communities of Practice.

There Is No Scientific Method

Why are the results of science considered more reliable than those from other forms of human inquiry, like poetry or philosophy?

Xerox PARC – an innovation ecology?

How do you create an innovation ecology? Well that is something Xerox did with great success. This slide deck shows a little of their thought, some tongue in cheek comment and some wonderful insight. Why not take a look through and see what you make of it?

Understanding Identity

Every time we change our business or political structures, we provoke questions about our identity. Who really are we? What matters to us? How must we now connect? Here John Atkinson explores issues of identity and relationships in the light of the U.K. Brexit vote and the US 4th of July celebrations.

A binary issue

Whenever you try to reduce a complex dilemma to a binary issue you are wrong. The ‘Leave’ or ‘Remain’ question asked of the British people this week was therefore always incomplete. Politics in its most visible and visceral form tries to resolve issues in this way. The Brexit vote in the UK has brought to the fore tough questions of identity, relationships and information. These are Myron Roger’s dynamics of organising. He reminds us that it is by addressing issues at this level that meaning is made, trust is rebuilt and we take appropriate action. Only then will good policy, structures and protocols be formed. (By John Atkinson)

The illusion of control

‘Take back control!’ was the slogan for the UK’s leave campaign. A palpable desire to have control over our own affairs throughout the campaigning and the vote to leave the EU. Yet the immediate aftermath of the vote is a brutal and sharp reminder that control is illusory. The harder you grasp for it the more slippery it becomes. Control does not reside in the structures we create or in winning a referendum. (By John Atkinson)

6 tips to keep your focus

New research finds that an unexpected event appears to clear out what you were thinking. This function of the brain served an important role when humans could be confronted with danger and needed a fight or flight response, but today it has negative consequences. Fastcompany give 6 tips to help keep your focus.

To be British is to Remain connected

By John Atkinson. To vote Leave is not a choice to return to greatness but a confirmation of decline. It is to deny that we are intimately connected to Europe, and to pretend that we are in some way special, unique and different. God is not an Englishman and nor was St George.

The Butterfly Effect and The Doll Affair

When we think about operating in systems, doing systems thinking, we seek to find and understand how systems work and how we may work within them. But of course there is another question we need to ask when considering this way of thinking. And that something is why? Why do we need to think in this holistic tangled way in the first place? When for the most, our lives and the organisations, tasks, roles and people within them, function perfectly well in the very lightness of thinking that is simple and linear, A to B thinking. (By Emma Loftus)

Embrace Complexity- Don’t Suppress it

By John Atkinson. If we genuinely believe the world to be a complex place, we need to consciously embrace that complexity, not suppress it. Once we do this, we realise we cannot resolve our activity into standardised processes without forever generating unintended consequences to our actions. Recognising the world we live in as a complex environment doesn’t allow us to control it

It’s Time for Quality Leadership in the Pharmaceutical Industry

The way that we have set about delivering this quality has led to an environment where improvements to processes and systems are typically gradual and linear — focusing on reducing waste and variability. Our ability to learn and adapt fast is seriously hampered by this approach. We have not paid enough attention to leveraging the differences we have as human beings — and how we when building on our differences can create much better solutions to our daily work and objectives.

Systems Thinking: The Super Power of Autism

It’s a sad fact that autism is still viewed as a disability. A disorder. That mis-wiring that characterises the neurobiological connections (or often lack there of) in the autist’s brain is at best considered a failing. But what if we look at autism differently? The absolute chaos of normal everyday life that drop-kicks those with autism and sensory disorder into meltdown and withdrawal, is in fact a super-power. This is systems thinking at its absolute beautiful edge, where every detail of the world stands out in excruciating, wondrous detail that can’t be ignored. This response to the unfathomable, the ability to absorb obscurity and sense pattern is not rigidity at all. It’s simply gorgeously mind-blowing. (By Emma Loftus.)

Linear to Complex

Here are some sound pieces of advice: the more you know about a system, the better you are at predicting its behavior. If you want a large outcome, then put a large amount of effort into the process. For the best execution, plan ahead. These are all powerful strategies – but only if you are dealing with a linear system. For a complex system, this approach spells disaster

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