Complex Systems, Complexity, Chaos Theory,Complex Adaptive Systems,Complexity and Strategy,Organisational Change,Self Organisation,Complex Systems and Knowledge Creation,Brain,Mind,Complex Systems Resources,Complexity and Chaos Resources,Organisational Form, Complexity Theory,Consultancy

Introduction

I am an inveterate networker both electronically and face to face and I never cease (you’ll never know how may goes it took to spell that correctly) to be amazed at how one contact leads to another – as you will see from some of the comments in the section on new members to the club. Also I have just set up a local network here in Hull called trojan thinking which is for those who are interested in finding out about different ways of thinking about things and will be an event where we can gather, listen to new ideas, and discuss what they might mean for us. trojan thinking will be set in the environment of a local café - Planet Coffee – where we call have the upstairs to ourselves. It will be at breakfast time on the first Thursday of the month with the first meeting on the 7th November. So if you are ever over this way why not join us.

The topic for the first trojan thinking will be the 4 Contrary Cs which I shall describe in the next newsletter so as not to spoil things for those who can attend on the 7th November.

My inspiration for trojan thinking comes from Brainpool in Edinburgh - http://www.brainpool.co.uk/welcome/other/framesets/f_ripp.html - have a look at there site and if you are in Edinburgh why not pop along there.

Articles

Talking of networking I came across a fascinating article (via the Plexus web site - www.PlexusInstitute.org ). It is by Kevin Kelly who is the editor of Wired magazine, and it is entitled "New Rules for the New Economy", featuring "twelve dependable principles for thriving in a turbulent world".
http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/5.09/newrules.html
In his article Kevin Kelly explores principles about connections, non-linearity, the significance of tipping points, the law of increasing returns, but also generosity, allegiances, letting go, sustainable disequilibria, and seeking out opportunities.

I also came across another really good article via Dave Gurteen’s newsletter.
The article is by Robert Patterson and entitled the "Lessons of Vimy". It is all about how the Canadian Army over 80 years ago in the 1914-18 War became a learning organisation and the lessons it has for us today.
http://www.gurteen.com/gurteen/gurteen.nsf/ID/X0025DBEA?open&r=3&p=1578

Web Sites

For those of you who are interested in health and complexity you might like to visit this site which is run by a group of health professionals in Exeter.
http://www.complexityprimarycare.org/

http://www.red3d.com/cwr/boids/index.html This is a link to an amazing site called Boids which is about those simple rules that inform complex systems and it includes computer simulations of flocking and shoaling behaviour.

http://www.calresco.org/sos/sosfaq.htm Is a link to a site which explains what is meant by all those strange complexity terms. It is organised in the form of a FAQ (frequently asked questions) sheet.

http://www.wwdemocracy.org/ This is another interesting site which is about how can we develop a more inclusive society and a learning society through systems and complexity thinking.

And for something completely different - http://davidwhyte.bigmindcatalyst.com/cgi/bmc.pl?page=home.html - is the site of David Whyte the corporate poet who uses poetry to find deeper meaning in those places where we work.

Perverse Thinking

One of the thinking tools I like to use is called perverse thinking. If the idea I am being presented with is a model or a process, what happens if I run it backwards. What is the exact opposite of the idea and how much sense does it make. I also include in perverse thinking a concept I picked up from Soft Systems by Mike Jackson at Hull University – if there is a problem imagine that it it is the desired solution and what would need to be done to maximise and ensure success for that perverse solution. You will be amazed how much of what you are doing is contributing to the problem you have identified.

Books

Complexity Club member Wendy Barker - www.orlandoassociates.co.uk - e-mailed me to say “I've been reading some of the books coming from the Complexity & Management Centre at the University of Hertfordshire (Ralph Stacey et al) and the latest one, by Patricia Shaw, called Changing Conversations in Organizations (Routledge, £19 I think) is very interesting - more accessible than some of the others, with some fascinating stories. It's really helpful for looking at how complexity informs consulting work - so may be of interest to some of your other newsletter readers”.
I’ve just started reading “You’ll see it when you believe it” by Wayne w Dyer. I’ll let you know what I think next time.

Punished by Rewards by Alfie Kohn
The basic strategy we use for raising children, teaching students, and managing workers can be summarized in six words: Do this and you'll get that. We dangle goodies (from candy bars to sales commissions) in front of people in much the same way we train the family pet. Drawing on a wealth of psychological research, Alfie Kohn points the way to a more successful strategy based on working with people instead of doing things to them. More details on the Amazon site including some interesting reviews.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0618001816/qid=1034842750/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_0_1/026-6015339-3032437

New Members

Susan Graham who writes “I'm planning a project called 'Constructive Cybertheology: Mapping the theological contours of the worldwide web' This seems to me to have something to do with complexity theory. I'm putting together a 'seminar' or 'think tank' to build capacity, as they say. I wonder if this interests you or anyone you know”.
S.L.Graham@exeter.ac.uk

Ken Scott from Calgary, Canada whose interest in complexity is “I integrate ecological and sustainability ideas into my executive coaching practice --- what can an executive learn from another aware walk in the woods?”
ken@glisten.biz also has a site www.glisten.biz with some excellent links to appreciative enquiry http://www.appreciative-inquiry.org/
and in particular http://www.appreciative-inquiry.org/Pos-ima.htm

And Finally

Paula Grant – my life partner is shortly to join me in the business as a consultant. She also used to work at Humberside Training and Enterprise Council and has much experience of working in an organisation operating under the principles of complexity. She is a trained paperless 360º appraisal facilitator and she has excellent presentation skills.

That’s all for now – best wishes

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