Complex Beyond Words

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Adrian Apthorp

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Jan 3, 2009, 3:19:27 PM1/3/09
to VPEC-T
Thought the following web cast on complex systems would strike a chord
with this group

http://tv.theiet.org/technology/management/996.cfm

Happy New Year

Seabird

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Jan 5, 2009, 3:18:51 PM1/5/09
to VPEC-T
I found this to be a bit of a tease. Bottom line - you need something
more than English to describe complex systems. For sure. But I would
have liked more real exploration and less debunking of the "lies for
laymen" (which he called "19th. hole conversations").

Now taking it in the context of VPEC-T, there are of course parallels.
In VPEC-T we have defined some major concepts around which to
organize, but we don't have a language as such. We have some nouns, we
don't have any verbs in VPEC-T itself - not that that is a problem
necessarily. The verb set might be pretty simple. The verb set might
be an individual practitioner's private tool box, a verb set might be
a group best practice set. We don't have a syntax, nor do we have a
grammar (I challenge anyone to describe VPEC-T in BNF). By the way, I
also challenge the need to create a BNF definition of it. We would
have to introduce too much else, I fear and that would lessen its
usefulness.

Ok, back to the bird cage....

nigelp...@googlemail.com

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Jan 5, 2009, 4:25:04 PM1/5/09
to VPEC-T
I was also left with a 'where's the beef?' question in my head.I know
many on this group would agree that we need more than words to
describe stuff - Threads & Beads', for example. And abstraction is
useful - good stuff! And casual chat around a bar (19th Hole) isn't
enough - no shit!

But what he fails to do, IMO, is offer an insight like: How about if
we could make Systems Thinking as easy and as fun as a 19th hole
conversation? With pictures, storytelling and game play! Now that
would be interesting - and perhaps SIMPLE BEYOND WORDS.

n.

Adrian Apthorp

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Jan 6, 2009, 12:17:57 PM1/6/09
to vpe...@googlegroups.com
"How about if we could make Systems Thinking as easy and as fun as a
19th hole conversation?"

Isn't that the opportunity? and maybe to see if VPEC-T works for some of
the audience mentioned...

Christopher Bird

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Jan 6, 2009, 12:26:31 PM1/6/09
to vpe...@googlegroups.com
I think that in order to that we must disguise it a bit. 19th. hole conversations are usually random, usually unstructured and cut off if any of the protagonists appear to be experts. After all, no one likes a "know-it-all" - at least not when they are expecting the conversation to be casual.
 
In some ways, I think that VPEC-T (and other thinking frameworks) are well applied when they are not known symmetrically. For some of us, we like to know what method is going to be applied so we can make decisions about whether we think it will work or not. "We like to know how the sausage is being made." For others, it is a matter of trusting the sausage makers to make a good/disease free, high quality product. They don't want to know the mechanics. So these conversations become asymmetrical (my word of the year) where one party has more knowledge/more interest in the sausage machine than the others.
 
We would of course need alcohol and lies to make it a true 19th. hole conversation. Probably better than the drugs and swindles we are seeing in Wall Street!!!!

--
My kitchen blog
http://seabirdskitchen.blogspot.com

Adrian Apthorp

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Jan 6, 2009, 12:42:21 PM1/6/09
to vpe...@googlegroups.com
Sure, I was thinking more about the so called non-technical community
referred to in the presentation...
> nigelp...@googlemail.com <mailto:nigelp...@googlemail.com>
> wrote:
> > I was also left with a 'where's the beef?' question in my head.I
> know
> > many on this group would agree that we need more than words to
> > describe stuff - Threads & Beads', for example. And abstraction is
> > useful - good stuff! And casual chat around a bar (19th Hole) isn't
> > enough - no shit!
> >
> > But what he fails to do, IMO, is offer an insight like: How about if
> > we could make Systems Thinking as easy and as fun as a 19th hole
> > conversation? With pictures, storytelling and game play! Now that
> > would be interesting - and perhaps SIMPLE BEYOND WORDS.
> >
> > n.
> >
> > On Jan 5, 8:18 pm, Seabird <seabir...@gmail.com

nigel green

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Jan 6, 2009, 5:01:58 PM1/6/09
to vpe...@googlegroups.com
Now we're crossing into another thread in another group here (enterprise as a system):

http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=1327957

my posts there....

Comments (15)

  1. Nigel Green

    Nigel Green you

    Executive Enterprise Architect (Demand Side)

    Making parallels between Systems Thinking and Taoism, I favour a Koan-like self-discovery approach. My passion is to make Systems Thinking accessible to all involved in Information Systems in business, government and society in general. This is the aim of the thinking framework known as VPEC-T (or 5D Lens) nicely summarised here:

    http://www.informationtamers.com/VPECT/VPECT-and-business-information-systems.html

    by Roy Grubb. One of the key observations of folk applying VPEC-T is that it's often better to execute it 'stealthily' and let workshop participants discover the value of a 'Systems Thinking' lens by practical application.

    Its interesting that feedback also suggests that conducting a VPEC-T workshop is akin to being an 'Organisational Therapist' .

    Posted 16 days ago | Delete comment

and

I don't believe in 'leaving people in the dark', rather I prefer that they take their own journey to discovery rather than have the 'therapist' start with a fully constructed hypothesis or a detailed explanation of the technique (e.g. VPEC-T) being used to facilitate the discussion. Not so much stealth than helping the most useful discussion to take place (facilitation).

But this subtlety is why I think Machiavelli gets a bad rap!

--
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