Just a quick update on what is happening for me this month…
First, a new article published! Briefly, the article shows how to use Integrative Propositional Analysis (IPA) to more objectively choose between policy proposals. This is, of course, based on their complexity (number of concepts within the policy) and systemicity (the extent to which the concepts of the policy exist in systemic interrelationship). This provides a very useful tool for the voting public (just about a year late for the election – sorry about that – but there will be more elections). Importantly, this approach provides a “David’s sling” – a new voice for the disenfranchised that adds a new dimension to policy conversations. Check it out at E:CO: https://emergentpublications.com/ECO/issue_contents.aspx?Volume=15&Issue=3.
Also, I ran a 1/2 day workshop at the Organization Development Network (ODNET) conference in San Jose. To me, this was a great learning experience helping to shift IPA away from its more theoretical roots and grow it as a more practical application.
We had a small and highly engaged group. Key learnings included how to use Integrative Propositional Analysis (IPA) to objectively evaluate the structure of theories and policies, how those structures can be used to predict the usefulness of the theories and policies, and how well-structured policies can be used to enhance efficacy within and between organizations. I had planned to conduct an exercise where participants would analyze the policy of the ODNET. Fortunately, nothing goes as planned.
One participant (Jim) told us he had developed a new model for understanding organizational change (including: incidences, responses, constructed meaning, and more) based on his Fielding experience and decades of consulting work. Jim’s sense was that many change efforts were targeting the wrong part of the process – and that is why so many change efforts were not successful. He would be presenting that model later in the conference, and asked if we could analyze his model instead of the ODNET policy as planned.
The group agreed, Jim presented his model, and we looked at his model through the IPA lens. As a result, based on the structure of the model, the group agreed that Jim indeed had found a good “leverage point” for improving organizational change efforts. Also, there were parts of the model that could benefit from improved structure and improved clarity. A valuable experience for all.
Over the past several years, I have developed the IPA approach through philosophical examination and empirical studies. Now, I’m at the point where IPA can be used in organizational interventions to improve organizational policies. It can also be used by consultants to develop more effective methods of engagement. Working with Jim’s model in this setting provided me with important learnings about how to more effectively use IPA with clients (instead of in my own little mind where everything works (more or less) smoothly).
Great work by all participants – and a really fun conference. Fantastic support by the AV staff and the conference organizers!
Start getting ready for 2014:
ISSS – 2014 – save the date!
EMCSR – 2014
System Dynamics Conference – 2014
Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics – 2014
On the lighter side: