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UCD-STAFFORDBEER  November 2009

UCD-STAFFORDBEER November 2009

Subject:

Re: SenseMaker Trial & the VSM?

From:

Doug McDavid <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Forum dedicated to the work of Stafford Beer <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sun, 29 Nov 2009 00:46:36 -0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (128 lines)

Russell, just a quick thought. My understanding of SM is that it is a
compendium of stories and story fragments. I have not had hands-on
experience with the tool, but I had several interactions with Dave
during the time he was doing this work as an IBM employee (!). My
thought is that the material is likely to contain stories that could
be classified as "Life inside a S1 front-line production of unit",
"How we know how things are done around here (S2)", ""We're blind to
the future! (S3/S4 conflict)". "I feel like a captain trying to steer
the ship with a wheel not connected to the rudder (S3 communication
channel and/or requisite variety problem)". Where the value can come,
I think, would be to put a human face on these abstract patterns of
interaction that the VSM causes us to be alert to, so that real-time
stories with current organizations can be more effectively analyzed
for dysfunctions and pathologies, at whatever level of recursion they
occur.

I find this fascinating, and wonder how to get further involved.

On Sun, Nov 29, 2009 at 12:32 AM, Luc Hoebeke <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Dear Russell,
> You know of my doubts about Sense-Maker. But I agree fully with you that it
> is worthwhile to experiment. Human beings have this beautiful capability to
> get good results even with wrong models.
> I repeat my doubts from a VSM perspective:
> 1. Statistical manipulation of a huge amount of data take "aggregates" for
> granted. To me this goes against the grain of recursion levels and systemic
> layers. To me the organizational unit is not the individual but a work
> system, or human activity system with a limited span of relations.
> 2. Apparently Sense Maker is an expert approach only to be done by
> "experts", as you mention. How is the "signifier set" defined. Don't we get
> a kind of teleological analysis when the signifiers have to be set
> beforehand?
> But, good to work with sensemaker and its results are worthwhile to put into
> a VSM framework. Surely recursion levels shall become on the foreground when
> its results have to be fed back to the people involved. System 3* and I see
> Sense Maker as a system 3* activity only works when acted upon by the
> relevant System 3 and the System 1's.
> Kind regards,
> Luc
>
> Op 29-nov-09, om 02:33 heeft russell_c het volgende geschreven:
>
> I am involved in a trial of the SenseMaker (SM) product and Cognitive Edge
> approach. (see: http://www.sensemaker-suite.com/ )
>
> It has been twisting and turning for about 18 months (since mid-2008) due to
> local chaos conditions in public sector governance structures etc.
>
> However, we are now at the final survey design stage and I was hoping, for
> personal research reasons, to try and include a VSM aspect within it.
>
> Unfortunately I am not formally trained in the SM methodology or design, but
> they (Cognitive Edge) are handling that aspect in any case. If anyone is
> interested, a summary site is here: http://r4regions.wikispaces.com/ and the
> VSM related section is at
> http://r4regions.wikispaces.com/Viability+Checklist
>
> I am hoping, if possible, to capture some evidence that the broad VSM
> outline (including 3*) is detectable in responses -- perhaps as attitudinal
> or values domains.
>
> For example, I asked Dave S. if they could link SM into a priority ranking
> framework to rank resources to project submissions and operational plans
> etc. I'm thinking multi-criteria decision analysis, and I'd assume public
> stakeholder perceptions (of value) collected from SenseMaker would also be a
> good cross-check, or perhaps directly inform the weighting of elements etc.
> (*)
>
> His response: "yes that ranking can be managed, if we included it in the
> signifier set" (and hey, I'm assuming Dave is not listening in on this
> Listserv!)
>
> So, in addition, now I'm thinking about what "signifier set" would capture
> VSM profiles in the population. For example, I'd assume that we would find a
> lot of S2 related attitudes and values in public sector finance employees.
> There is a Figure 1 at http://r4regions.wikispaces.com/1.+Introduction which
> helps put this in context -- i.e., internal staff alignment with external
> stakeholder sets ... and if possible with the VSM framework.
>
> If anyone has any ideas, or knows of work in this area, I'd be most happy to
> know more.
>
> We should be going out with a test run in early December. I'm happy to share
> results in due course.
>
> Please email me here or directly at: [log in to unmask]
>
> Many thanks in anticipation & regards
> Russell
>
> (*) for example: Mabin, V., Menzies, M., King, G., and Joyce, K. (2001).
> ‘Public Sector Priority Setting Using Decision Support Tools’, Australian
> Journal of Public Administration, 60(2): 44-59, June.Also
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Analytic_Hierarchy_Process
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ For more
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> Archive available at - https://listserv.heanet.ie/ucd-staffordbeer.html
> Archive of CYBCOM eList available at -
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> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ For more
> information go to: www.metaphorum.org For the Metaphorum Collaborative
> Working Environment (MCWE) go to: www.platformforchange.org METAPHORUM eList
> Archive available at - https://listserv.heanet.ie/ucd-staffordbeer.html
> Archive of CYBCOM eList available at -
> http://hermes.circ.gwu.edu/archives/cybcom.html
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



--

Doug McDavid
[log in to unmask]
916-549-4600

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
For more information go to: www.metaphorum.org

For the Metaphorum Collaborative Working Environment (MCWE) go to: www.platformforchange.org

METAPHORUM eList Archive available at - https://listserv.heanet.ie/ucd-staffordbeer.html

Archive of CYBCOM eList available at - http://hermes.circ.gwu.edu/archives/cybcom.html
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