Category Archives: systemic insight

Chris Corrigan: in our most creative moments, we feel invited into working together

I had the great pleasure to talk to Chris Corrigan for another episode of the Systemic Insight Podcast (Episode 9). Chris is a facilitator and an expert in complexity-sensitive facilitation techniques. He has been using similar methods and frameworks as Mesopartner, such as for example the Cynefin framework, developed by Prof. Dave Snowden. Chris describes himself as a process artist, a teacher and a facilitator of social technologies for face to face conversation in the service of emergence. His business is supporting invitation: the invitation to collaborate, to organise, to find one another and make a difference in our communities, organisations and lives.

Chris and I talked about the difference between being an expert that brings solutions and a facilitator that creates the conditions for emergence. We discussed the importance of invitation and respecting human dignity in collaborative processes and in dialogue. During the discussion, Chris described the Cynefin framework and how he uses it in his practice. Chris presented Cynefin as an incredibly useful generative framework and shared how we can use it to make sense of action.

Chris and I also discussed the current COVID-19 pandemic, how complexity concepts suddenly become very important and useful, and we explored quite deeply the relationship between leadership, moral and ethics, complexity and decision making.

Finally, we talked about the concept of dialogue and dialogic approaches and how they are fundamentally part of how we humans make sense of the world around us, interact and collaborate, and explore different options on how to act.

As the episode is 1.5h long and not everybody might be able to put aside enough time to listen to it, below some extracts of the podcast, partly verbatim quotes by Chris, partly paraphrased by me. Hopefully this is enough of a teaser so you will still go and listen to the full episode, its well worth it!

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Building a knowledge repository on economic change – systemic insight

I spent the last week with my business partner Shawn Cunningham in South Africa to discuss our continuous research work on systemic change, market development and innovation promotion. It was a week packed with a lot of thinking, discussion and occasional flicking through some of our favourite textbooks. Not much we enjoy more!
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Systemic Insight – a new offer for programmes and organisations facing complex challenges

Systemic InsightSince I have become an associate with Mesopartner in 2012, I have engaged in intense discussions with the partners around how to translate insights from complexity sciences and other quite diverse fields of research such as cognitive sciences, behavioural economics or new institutional economy into better ways in which we can support our clients who face complex challenges. The results of these discussions is Systemic Insight, a platform, approach and product focusing on supporting economic development programmes.

Recently, we added a page with concrete service offerings for programmes and development organisations to Systemic Insight. They include capacity building on making better decisions under conditions of uncertainty, translating results of analysis into action when facing complex challenges, supporting programmes that are stuck, and building up monitoring and learning frameworks for adaptive programme management. This also includes the use of SenseMaker®, a an approach for doing narrative research combined with a piece of software that we have started using more and more frequently.

Shawn, my main co-conspirator around Systemic Insight, and I also wrote an article that was recently published in the IDS Bulletin. You can find a brief description of the content, the abstract, and a link to the article page on the Systemic Insight Blog. The title of the article is Explore, Scale Up, Move Out: Three Phases to Managing Change under Conditions of Uncertainty and the main message is that economic development is about introducing options into local economies, not bringing solutions from the outside.

In the near future, I will focus my (re-invigorated) blogging activity on Systemic Insight. I have done some really interesting work recently and I am keen of sharing some ideas and insights with our readers. Shawn and I also want to share some of the principles and heuristics that guide our work. So please head over to Systemic Insight and subscribe to the blog! I am looking forward to your comments!

Systemic Insight and complexity: looking forward

This post was first posted on Mesopartner’s Systemic Insight page. 

This week, the five partners of Mesopartner and Marcus are meeting in South Africa for the annual partner meeting. The meeting is an important event for Mesopartner where knowledge and learning is exchanged, new ideas and theories are shared, the Summer Academy is planned, and many other strategic issues are discussed. Continue reading