Complexity, Change and Wellbeing


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Slides from a Complexity, Change and Wellbeing workshop I ran at Northumbria University to demystify complexity, provide some tools for working with complexity and provide participants with an interactive experience of working with a challenging issue.

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Complexity, Change and Wellbeing

  1. 1. Complexity, Change and Wellbeing<br />or the wisdom of clouds<br />Mike Bell, Mutual Inspiration CIC<br />
  2. 2. At the end of today you will:<br />Understand the distinction between complexity and complication<br />Have a range of tools for evaluating complex/ complicated situations and decisions <br />Experience a range of learning approaches relevant to complexity <br />Have explored how this new understanding has applications for your Wellbeing projects. <br />
  3. 3.
  4. 4. "In an increasingly dynamic, interdependent and unpredictable world, it is simply no longer possible for anyone to figure it all out at the top“Peter Senge, The Fifth Discipline<br />
  5. 5. “Many change programmes fail – and the traditional assessment of failure is 75% of the attempts – often because they do not take into account that they are working with a living system and not a machine.” <br />Prof Keith Grint, 2008<br />
  6. 6. Some challenges are Clocks and others are Clouds.<br />If they are Clocks, they are complicated.<br />
  7. 7. But the interconnected parts can be understood and their actions predicted. <br />Clock problems are solvable by logic and deduction.<br />
  8. 8. Many of today’s problems are Clouds.<br />They are diffuse and complex and do not yield to logic and deduction. <br />
  9. 9. They are complex because they’re made up of myriad interconnected parts.<br />These interdependent relationships are difficult to grasp – like the weather, an eco-system, or a human organisation.<br />
  10. 10. Complex problems, when they involve people, are adaptive. <br />As people learn they change, and then what appeared to work yesterday may not work today.<br />
  11. 11. Complex problems require creativity and innovation, and diverse groups are the best source of these. <br />
  12. 12. As Charles Leadbeater says in “We-Think”:<br />“In reality, creativity has always been a highly collaborative, cumulative and social activity in which people with different skills, points of view and insight share and develop ideas together.” <br />
  13. 13. In researching complex systems, <br />Scott Page found that:<br />“groups made up of many people who think in different ways can trumpgroups of people who are very bright but alike.”<br />
  14. 14. Complex problems are more easily understood and resolved when they are looked at from many vantage points. <br />The more people looking, the better the diversity of skills and experience. <br />Alan Kay, an "imagineer" at Disney, said:<br />"Perspective is worth 80 IQ points."<br />
  15. 15. Complex problems require us to move beyond information and knowledge to access collective intelligence and release our innate wisdom.<br />Wisdom has to do with intuiting the long-view through understanding systems in the context of their larger whole.<br />
  16. 16. Wisdom is also to do with acting in resonance with what is known to be true and lasting.<br />Only wisdom can guide effective decisions in how we work with challenging issues in the conditions of what Doug Engelbart calls:<br />"complexity multiplied by urgency"<br />
  17. 17. In the Wisdom of Crowds, James Surowiecki says:<br />“Groups do not need to be dominated by exceptionally intelligent people to be smart. <br />“Even if most of the people within the group are not especially well informed or rational, it can still reach a collectively wise decision.”<br />
  18. 18. Most of the intractable challenges we face today are complex. <br />The more people we can involve looking at the issues from a range of perspectives, the more likely we are to find wise solutions.<br />And the people who identify the solutions are more likely to implement them.<br />
  19. 19. Perspectives and Wisdom – 3 Approaches<br />Stacey Diagram<br />Wisdom Council<br />Wilber’s Four Quadrants<br />
  20. 20. Perspective and Wisdom<br />1. Stacey Diagram<br />The degree of agreement in the group regarding what action should be taken<br />Certainty means the relative level of probability that the outcomes can be predicted or the cause and effect relationships understood<br />
  21. 21. Perspective and Wisdom<br />1. Stacey Diagram<br />
  22. 22. Perspective and Wisdom<br />1. Stacey Diagram<br />
  23. 23. Perspective and Wisdom<br />1. Stacey Diagram<br />
  24. 24. Perspective and Wisdom<br />1. Stacey Diagram<br />Co-operation<br />Co-ordination<br />Collaboration<br />
  25. 25. Perspective and Wisdom<br />2. Wisdom Council<br />A Wisdom Council is an old form <br />of participative democracy. <br />It is a way to resolve complex challenges by looking from eight perspectives that encompass the total system and make up a sequence of wholeness.<br /><br />
  26. 26. Perspective and Wisdom<br />3. Wilber’s 4 Quadrants<br />Outer<br />Inner<br />Beliefs<br />Behaviour<br />“I”<br />Culture<br />Structures<br />“We”<br />
  27. 27. Knowledge Café<br />
  28. 28. What is needed to <br />improve personal Wellbeing?<br />Outer<br />Inner<br />Beliefs<br />Behaviour<br />“I”<br />Culture<br />Structures<br />“We”<br />
  29. 29.
  30. 30. “If you try and take a cat apart <br />to see how it works, <br />the first thing you have on <br />your hands is a <br />non-working cat.”<br />Douglas Adams<br /><br />
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