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System Thinking 2_Group1_Appreciative systems&future

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Fahimeh Fotouhi

on 14 April 2016

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Transcript of System Thinking 2_Group1_Appreciative systems&future

Planning workshop
Examining in group:

The importance of planning

How plans & decisions of individuals and plans & decisions of group can differ?

How preactive & reactive planning does not apply when the environment and situation are changing?

How interactive planning can be used in small scale?
Geoffrey Vickers
System Thinking 2

Appreciative systems
Transformation & adaptation
Ozbekhan (1977), Haeckel (2004), Ackoff (1981)

Systems (social institutions) constantly shape our perceptions

We need to adapt to these changes

In the business, political or social contexts
"Judgement is made with sense of obligation to discover the rules of rightness that apply in particular situation" - Vickers

"Good judgement is art rather than a science"
- Vickers
Judgements are made in three knowledge domains:

= products will be tested for fit within the constructed world against contemporary fashion and style (size, shape etc.)

= business makes its profit and the value of a product is defined by market forces

= good practice is encapsulated in design text, codes and standards, handbooks and data tables and company procedures
Fahimeh Fotouhi
Anna Muukkonen
Riikka Ikonen
Petra Tammisto
Marta Jaakkola

2 February 2016

Appreciative systems, futures
The Nature of Planning
1. Advance of taking action

2. Set of interdependent decisions

a. planning must be planned

b. problems & decisions are interrelated

3. Simultaneous stages
Geoffrey Vickers
lawyer, manager, human resources director

1955 retired Reflecting on his working life

His work had strong influence on the developing use of system thinking in management, decision-making and politics.

“A trap is a trap only for the creatures which cannot solve the problems is sets. Men traps are dangerous only in relation to the limitations of what men can see and value and do.” Geoffery Vickers
“Planning is one of the most complex and difficult intellectual activities in which man can engage.” - Ackoff

Different types of planning:
Reactive planning:
bottom-up method that is directed to find and locate organization’s deficiencies and then remove or reduce them.

Preactive planning:
top-down planning consists prediction and preparation. It is planning for the future, not planning the future.

Interactive planning:
Participation and commitment of stakeholders enabled by the democratic nature of design process

Decision can be seen as narrower term than judgement. Decision may be taken on certain issue at a particular time but the capacity for good judgement can only be revealed over period of time. - Vickers
Russell Ackoffs five stages of
interactive planning

formulating the mess
= understanding the problems and opportunities involved
ends planning
= designing the desirable
means planning
= finding ways to reach the desirable future
resource planning
= deciding what human, financial and other resources are required and how to obtain them
design of implementation and control
= the details of how to put the changes into places and check that they have actually happened

Interactive planning

Decision vs. judgement
Idealization & Realization

has 2 parts:
Vickers' work in systems thinking

focused on nature of human systems and decision-making

heart of organizations
human relationships rather than seeking goals

personal responsibility of individuals for maintaining relationships and the society

systems as tools of understanding rather than a description of reality

one of the first originators of systems thinking into phenomenology

Vickers’ most significant contribution to systems thinking was the concept of the appreciative system, a description of the ongoing process of sense-making over time.

Appreciation as a “combined judgement of value and fact”
Vickers’ concept of an appreciative systems model
Is human life Finite?
Will We Become Extinct?

Form & Open systems

Systems are nets of relations which are sustained through time.

The most essential characteristic of an open system is its form.

Form is more enduring than the presence of the substances which constitute it at some moment of time.

Focuses of interest in studying form

1. Relationship
entities, objects which support the relationship

2. Regulation
the ways that systems preserve their form even through change

3. Stability
correcting deviations from normal state

No open system lasts for ever.
Appreciative System
People use judgement in the planning process, which needs to adapt to transformations in society for achieving desirable futures.
Appreciative judgement: Making judgement of the state of the system, valuing the state of the system and taking the best possible action
Planning is about creating future of a system with certain goals, objectives and ideals. Interactive planning works on the principle of "idealized redesign" of a system.
Transformation and adaptation are part of the nature of a system.
Systems or in other words social institutions constantly shape our perceptions on the world and how we see the future. We need to adapt to these changes.
Appreciative judgement is for everyone and every profession but especially crucial for engineering and designers professions that create change through built material.
3. Instrumental Judgment
What are the best means available to reduce the mismatch
between is and ought?
Determining appropriate responses to reality & value judgments
Can something be done about a situation assessed as
unsatisfactory by value judgment, and if so, what?
2. Value Judgment
What ought or ought not to be the case
Is reality judgment assessed as positive or negative?
Possibly calling for a corrective action
In an organizational context value judgments are the result of negotiation acting of stakeholders based on their individual reality judgment
1. Reality Judgment
What is or is not the case?
What is unfolding in the context within which the decision will be taken?
Fact about the "state of the system" in past, present or future
Appreciation Judgment
Vickers argued that any decision contains three judgements.

Therefore any attempt to improve decision making needs to
improve the quality of one or more of these judgements.
Implifications of Appreciative System for organization, leadership and professionals

What, Why, How
Reality Judgement
Sense Making
The objective is that the situation of concern is understood and prioritized value-neutrally.
Value Judgement
Typical example of sense-making project
Typical example of value-alignment project
The alignment process is conversational to organization's value systems. Here the alternative worldviews are tabled, compared and tested in various scenarios.
Instrumental Judgement
Typical example of a strategizing project
Exploration of various possible futures
Risk free space to discuss
Discussions based on scenarios
Balancing continuity and change

The organization's value system is the guiding factor to ensure that strategic responses are appropriate for the organization,
and suitable for the challenges that were identified.
The Appreciative System framework suggests implications for the organization, the leadership
and the professionals involved with any Futures Studies projects. Three judgmental areas could form an integrated framework to guide purpose of the project.
by Ackoff

Mess is a

system of problems.

System of external conditions that produces dissatisfaction.

The attempt to deal holistically with a mess/system of problems is
what planning should be all about.

we have the ability to see consequences of current actions in a long-run.

The essence of wisdom is
concern with the future.

- How do you perceive the meaning of the word "judgement"?

- Think of two occasions where you used your judgement - how was the process, can you identify the steps?

- Judgement can change over time, and it can also be examined!
Transformation and Adaptation
The Victim - Threat Interplay

How the portrayal of phenomena such as the current refugee crisis constantly changes and how people have to adapt to these changes by changing their own perceptions?
Burt, George, and Kees van der Heijden. 2008. “Towards a Framework to Understand Purpose in Futures Studies: The Role of Vickers’ Appreciative System.”
Holt, J.E. 1997. “The Designer’s Judgement.”
Nelson, Harold G., and Erik Stolterman. 2003. “Design Judgement: Decision-Making in the ‘Real’ World.”
Ackoff, Russell L. 2001. "A brief guide to interactive planning and idealized design."
Haeckel, Stephan H. 2004. "Peripheral Vision: Sensing and Acting on Weak Signals: Making Meaning out of Apparent Noise: The Need for a New Managerial Framework."
Ozbekhan, H. 1977. "The Future of Paris: A Systems Study in Strategic Urban Planning." Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series A, Mathematical and Physical Sciences 287, no. 1346.

book chapters

Ramage, Magnus, and Karen Shipp. 2009. “Geoffrey Vickers.” In Systems Thinkers, 77–86. Springer London.
Ramage, Magnus, and Karen Shipp. 2009. “Russell Ackoff.” In Systems Thinkers, 139–47. Springer London.
Vickers, Geoffrey. The Art of Judgement: A Study of Policy Making. Centenary Edition 1995. Thousand Oaks, CA: Chapman & Hall, 1965.
Ackoff, Russell L. 1969. The Nature and Content of Planning. In A concept of corporate planning, 1-22. Wiley-Interscience.
Ackoff, Russell L. 1981. Our Changing Concept of Planning. In Creating the Corporate Future: Plan or Be Planned For, 51-76. New York: John Wiley and Sons.
Ackoff, R. L. 1997. Systems, messes and interactive planning. In The Social Engagement of Social Science: The socio-ecological perspective, ed. Eric L. Trist, Hugh Murray, and Frederick Edmund Emery. Vol. 3. University of Pennsylvania Press.
Haeckel, Stephan H. 1999. Adaptive Enterprise: Creating and Leading Sense-and-Respond Organizations. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.
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