Learning Change

Learning Change Project: 8 Blogs, +7100 Readings

Posts Tagged ‘management

Resilience Management in Social-ecological Systems: A working hypothesis for a Participatory Approach

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Approaches to natural resource management are often based on a presumed ability to predict probabilistic responses to management and external drivers such as climate. They also tend to assume that the manager is outside the system being managed. However, where the objectives include long-term sustainability, linked social-ecological systems (SESs) behave as complex adaptive systems, with the managers as integral components of the system. Moreover, uncertainties are large and it may be difficult to reduce them as fast as the system changes. Sustainability involves maintaining the functionality of a system when it is perturbed, or maintaining the elements needed to renew or reorganize if a large perturbation radically alters structure and function. The ability to do this is termed “resilience.” This paper presents an evolving approach to analyzing resilience in SESs, as a basis for managing resilience. We propose a framework with four steps, involving close involvement of SES stakeholders. It begins with a stakeholder-led development of a conceptual model of the system, including its historical profile (how it got to be what it is) and preliminary assessments of the drivers of the supply of key ecosystem goods and services. Step 2 deals with identifying the range of unpredictable and uncontrollable drivers, stakeholder visions for the future, and contrasting possible future policies, weaving these three factors into a limited set of future scenarios. Step 3 uses the outputs from steps 1 and 2 to explore the SES for resilience in an iterative way. It generally includes the development of simple models of the system’s dynamics for exploring attributes that affect resilience. Step 4 is a stakeholder evaluation of the process and outcomes in terms of policy and management implications. This approach to resilience analysis is illustrated using two stylized examples.

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Thoughts on Resilient Practice Managing Complexity

The individual or psychological concept of resilience goes beyond the notion of stress resistance, which has been so popular in the past. Here resilience does not look for the quality of letting the impact roll off, but to look rather for ways to incorporate the impact and recover to a state of health. Management theory also is moving from the concept of stress resistance towards resilience. The second promising thread is the application of the resilience concept in organisational sciences, where resilience is a property of a very social system, based on the resilience of the project team. In sum we are looking for individual and organisational contingency beyond plans to cope with complexity. The further approach to resilience in managing complexity focuses on resilient project management practices, stemming from three perspectives: Firstly, Blaise Pascal says that every development as such reaches from a state of triviality through a state of complicatedness to a state of simplicity. Scientific theories tend to grow complicatedness to compensate for challenges at the fringes. Secondly, the law of requisite variety by Ross Ashby brings forward cybernetic evidence that steering is only possible if one system bears more variety, i.e. complexity, than another system. Thirdly, the tradition of Zen practices is a rich source of research in a well-defined development of practices. The underlying idea of Dao is to follow a path of constant exercising towards a goal of satisfactory simplicity. Resilient practice as an answer to the challenges of complexity is very promising. And although we can refer to ancient Zen practices we have to admit that for managing complexity we are standing at the very beginning of an endeavour into the unknown.

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Written by Giorgio Bertini

October 3, 2014 at 1:22 pm

Empathica – Helping People Understand and Resolve Conflicts

Empathica is a tool used to graphically model conflicts with a simple and intuitive interface. Empathica is meant to be used academically, by researchers, and casually by others. Cognitive Affective Maps (CAMs) are specialized graphs used to model conflicts. These graphs were created by Paul Thagard, head of the Cognitive Science department at the University of Waterloo. CAMs are made up of simple nodes and edges. Here on the Manage Conflicts page, you can see all your open and closed conflicts and you can open new conflicts. You also have the ability to view and edit open conflicts, view closed conflicts or close open conflicts. On a conflict-level, you can invite other people to participate in a conflict, close an open conflict or view a conflict. These options appear when you hover over a conflict. The Conflict Overview page shows you the CAMs associated with this conflict. If a CAM has not been been worked on, there will be a blank image with a “+” symbol, indicating the CAM has yet to be started. If a CAM has been completed or is in progress, there will be a snapshot of the current CAM.

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Read also: The Conceptual Structure of Social Disputes – Cognitive-Affective Maps

Written by Giorgio Bertini

March 17, 2014 at 8:40 am

Posted in Conflict, Management

Tagged with ,

Tools and Techniques of Leadership and Management: Meeting the Challenge of Complexity

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Many of today’s books on the tools and techniques of leadership and management provide descriptions of long lists for use in decision-making, leading, coaching and project management. This book takes a completely different approach. It contests the claims that the tools and techniques are based on evidence and explains why human activities of leading and managing are simply not amenable to scientific proof and consequently, why long-term futures of organizations are unpredictable.

The book undertakes a critical exploration of just what these tools and techniques are about; showing that while they may lead to competent performance they cannot go further to expert performance because expertise involves going beyond rules and procedures. Ralph Stacey investigates the many questions that are thrown up as a result of this new approach. Questions such as:

  • How do we apply this new way of thinking?
  • What are the practical tools and techniques it gives us?
  • What is the role of leaders in an unpredictable world?
  • How does complexity affect the way organizations are structured and function?

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Written by Giorgio Bertini

November 11, 2012 at 2:43 pm

Homo Creativus – Aspects of Creativity and Serendipity Management

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The core of this conference paper is the question about the possibilities of homo creativus in the contexts of organisational psychology, education, management and science and technology parks. There is an urgent need for implementing new approaches to the world of science parks. In historical  terms we are implementing the third generation of science parks (3GSP). The future challenge for science and technology parks is increasingly the development of various creative environments and Serendipity Management principles.

Serendipity Management is a vital part of a new management paradigm, which aims towards creating favourable environments and situations by utilising the creative resources most effectively. A practical case example is the netWork Oasis environment, opened in December 2006 at the Joensuu Science Park.  In the netWork Oasis the focus of the concept design activities, in addition to the serendipity principle, has been maximising the support for tomorrow’s knowledge work and creativity.

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Written by Giorgio Bertini

October 21, 2012 at 1:25 pm

Markets, networks and management

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The perspective of network science views knowledge as socially created and socially re-created not as stuff of the mind that can be shared and stored by individuals. Knowing is a process of relating. From the network-based, relational perspective knowing is viewed as an ongoing and, never-ending process of making meaning in communication.

The potential of social media cannot be realized without a very different epistemological grounding, a relational perspective. Independently existing people and things then become viewed as co-constructed in coordinated networked action. Accordingly, the role of management is different, opening up new possibilities: power in networks is about “power to” or “power with”, and not “power over”.

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Written by Giorgio Bertini

April 19, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Posted in Management, Market, Networks

Tagged with , ,

When nobody (and everybody) is the boss

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At the center of the company’s design for work is a mechanism that produces a dynamic sort of order. It’s called the “Colleague Letter of Understanding” (or CLOU, pronounced “clew”), a contract in which each individual defines his or her personal mission (and how it relates to the organizational mission), work commitments, key activities, and success metrics–all negotiated with ten or twelve core colleagues (called CLOU colleagues). The CLOUs are available online to everyone in the company, they can be updated at will, and are embedded in a social network that includes a real-time feed of real-time performance data, CLOU colleague activities, and peer feedback.

The result is a live map of the enterprise–a dynamic network of peer-defined interdependencies that define the org chart (rather than the other way around). Instead of hewing uncomfortably to a rigid, top-down hierarchy, the CLOU system allows Morning Star‘s colleagues to operate in a “natural” hierarchy based on expertise, achievements, and accountability. People don’t move “up” at Morning Star, they grow in respect and responsibility (and compensation) based on their contribution.

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Written by Giorgio Bertini

March 10, 2012 at 4:00 pm

Elinor Ostrom Outlines Best Strategies for Managing the Commons

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In 50 years of research from Nepal to Kenya to Switzerland to Los Angeles, she has shown that commonly held resources will not be destroyed by overuse if there is a system in place to manage how they are shared.

How such systems work around the world was the topic of Ostrom’s keynote address at Minneapolis’ Festival of the Commons at Augsburg College Oct. 7—co-sponsored by On the Commons, Augsburg College’s Sabo Center for Citizenship and Learning and The Center for Democracy and Citizenship.

Ostrom explained there is no magic formula for commons management. “Government, private or community,” she said, “work in some settings and fail in others.”

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Written by Giorgio Bertini

November 14, 2011 at 9:26 am

Posted in Commons, Management

Tagged with ,

Social technologies on the front line: Management 2.0 winners

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Executives who won a contest McKinsey cosponsored with Gary Hamel’s Management Innovation eXchange (MIX) and the Harvard Business Review highlight myriad ways Web 2.0 is improving communication among employees at all levels.

The Management 2.0 Challenge is the first of three contests in a yearlong competition in which executives describe practices that make management more adaptable, innovative, inspiring, and accountable. In this first phase, entrants were asked to describe how Web 2.0 tools and technologies are changing management. A panel including McKinsey partners and external experts chose seven winners from a field of 143 entries. These winners come from organizations of all sizes and cultures, including the Mexican cement giant Cemex, the Dutch government, and a California-based tomato processor.

Written by Giorgio Bertini

September 21, 2011 at 1:57 pm

Management at the time of social media

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Management at the time of social media

For the first time in history it is not profitable to simply think that managers manage and workers work. Creativity and the need for intrinsic inspiration and risk taking demand individual responsibility and rich interaction between interdependent, equal peers. Top-down, one-way communication or separating thinking and acting don’t produce results any more.

In the past we located intention, or thought, apart from or before the action. We assumed a world of cause and effect where the outcomes of our actions can be known before actions are taken. Now we know that intentions arise as much in the actions and outcomes cannot be fully known in advance. This is why a new, different, view of management is required to serve the creative, learning-intensive economy.

Written by Giorgio Bertini

December 29, 2010 at 6:33 pm

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