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September 2010

Non-linear tools in a linear attitude or vice versa?

By Stefanos Michiotis  ·  September 30, 2010  · 

Complexity theorists have often indicated that complex social problems appear intractable because they are approached in a linear and simplistic way. Instead, as they suggest, a multi-dimensional approach should be employed that could probably identify the interacting elements of a complex problem space.

However, in real world applications, complexity is usually understood in terms of complex adaptive software or adaptive engineering methodologies that would meet (as their designers hope) large-scale commercial needs. Sometimes,...

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Encountering with the shadow at the fifth domain

By Stefanos Michiotis  ·  September 29, 2010  · 

Referring to the domain of disorder, Dave and Cynthia argue that "often in a group (…) individuals compete to interpret the central space on the basis of their preference for action. (…) The stronger the importance of the issue, the more people seem to pull it towards the domain where they feel most empowered by their individual capabilities and perspectives" (Kurtz and Snowden in “The new dynamics of strategy”)

Indeed, people naturally pull towards where they feel most empowered (safe) and, therefore, the central domain...

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Life after IMF

By Stefanos Michiotis  ·  September 28, 2010  · 

Early this year, acknowledging our personal share of responsibility for the bad fiscal situation, the Greeks were ready to begin our own transformation journey, personal and collective. Six months later, we are witnessing (in the name of "rescuing the country") a huge transmutation experiment. A violent attempt to impose the 'right' way to relate, to work, to live, to enjoy, to make sense.

Fortunately, as things indicate once more, meaning and joy cannot be imposed. This excellent Turkish video is dedicated to all "solution planners"...

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Unfolding complex situations resembles onion peeling

By Stefanos Michiotis  ·  September 27, 2010  · 

As I was saying yesterday, during the last five years, I have used the Cynefin model as the basic template to introduce complexity to public officers, so they could better understand the background of issues related to decision making under uncertainty, organizational culture and higher-order change.

One common thing in those cases was that we had to unfold the complex situation at hand until its very essence, so we could ‘see’ most of the different sides of which it was comprised. This unfolding reminds me the experience of...

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Introducing complexity to public sector: the Greek experience

By Stefanos Michiotis  ·  September 26, 2010  · 

Hi, I am Stefanos Michiotis. I live nearby Athens, Greece and work as an independent trainer and consultant. For the next two weeks I‘ll try to share with you my experience from using the Cynefin model and other complex methods in training. But first, let me tell you my personal narrative about the wider context and some dominant patterns of the Greek public administration, as viewed from my own perspective.

Back in 2005, when all started, the re-engineering approach was the new fad in Greece. Best practice was being worshiped like...

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Chronology