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Managing Complexity: A Systems Approach

Introduction

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When you meet with a situation you experience as complex you need to think about yourself in relation to the process of formulating a system of interest. Only with this awareness, can you increase your range of purposeful actions in the situation which are ethically defensible. To do so is the hallmark of systemic thinking and practice compared to systematic thinking and practice. The metaphor of the systems practitioner as a juggler of four balls is introduced as a device to explore skill development for effective systems practice – the balls are ‘being’, ‘engaging’, ‘contextualising’ and ‘managing’.

To start, you will be invited to think carefully about yourself in relation to the unit itself – as an introduction to thinking about yourself in relation to any system you devise. This unit introduces the metaphor of the systems practitioner as a juggler of four balls: ‘being’, ‘engaging’, ‘contextualising’ and ‘managing’. This provides a device to explore skill development for effective systems practice.

This unit is from our archive and is an adapted extract from Managing complexity: a systems approach (T306) which is no longer taught by The Open University. If you want to study formally with us, you may wish to explore other courses we offer in this subject area [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

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