System Fables


The Village

A Dollar Spent Earnestly in the Village is Undoubtedly a Wonderful Thing, but Why are Universal Measurement Tools as Rare as Unicorn Droppings? System Fable# 6: The Village A King summoned her three bravest and most trusted Knights of the realm and informed them she would need to go on a pilgrimage. (Yes women can …

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Jam Tomorrow

The Simple Matter of Delivering Predictable Outcomes in a Complex Ecosystem While Making Jam (or “Jelly” as Some May Know It) How often are you expected to deliver systemic outcomes within a defined timescale? Afterall, these days the quality of products and services can be predictably measured in terms of the end-to-end process and the …

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Discarded Drink Can

The Headmaster’s “No Litter Rule”

It Wasn’t Me, Honest! Our second system fable is based on learning from system redesign work conducted in Birmingham, UK circa 2013/14. It involved numerous public service organisations, social enterprises and volunteers working in partnership. It would be fair to mention the project attracted local, national and international interest when it featured as a high-potential prototype …

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Rain Dancers

Hope, Trust and Interdependency When facing system change, it can be easier to keep doing what we’ve always done rather than forage the valley of uncertainty for new possibilities. Familiarity becomes a false friend in times of change. Through the promise of stability and certainty, desire for the familiar suppresses our appetite for risk. Given the …

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