A lot of what Triarchy publishes relates to the ecology of organisations. This is nothing to do with changing lightbulbs; it's more about the nexus/plexus in which the organisation nestles. (Maybe we can even imagine an organisational equivalent of Miller's Rosy Crucifixion Trilogy. We started with the Organistional Shadow Side Audit but perhaps need to ask the JIC to sex it up a bit.)
Their ensuing definition of a good measure includes the requirement that it should be:
Good measures are multi-layered. They don’t just give us insight into what’s going on at an individual level, but at a relational and structural level too. Good measures, in other words, capture context as well as behavior. Here, we draw on the work of Urie Bronfenbrenner who is pretty famous (in geeky academic circles) for his model of ecological development. That model says that our behaviors are not only shaped by our immediate environments (e.g. our homes, our schools, & our workplaces) but by the interactions between our environments, as well as by the broader social, cultural, and economic context. That means if we want to solve something that is going on at home, we may need to look outside of the home, to the workplace, and to the relationship between the workplace and the small business regulations government recently put into place. Yup, it’s complicated. And while we can’t always measure everything (nor would it be cost effective to do so), we can at least widen the viewfinder.
A lot of it comes down to metaphors. Bronfenbrenner uses the Russian Doll metaphor to describe an approach to ecological development and ecological thinking. Gregory Bateson did too, though his preferred metaphor is of the woodman cutting down a tree: the tree has an impact on the woodman and his axe as surely as the axe does on the tree.
Others, like Carl Sagan, talk about the little blue dot - looking from the Milky Way back down onto the Earth with the overview afforded by cameras in space. Still others, like Suprapto Suryodarmo, remind us that ecology means 'home talking' and invite us to consider the world from lying on the ground looking up and out - from underview. Others remind us that ecoology relates to niche, to a feeling sense of place and, in terms of performance, to the site specific.
Psychogeography highlighted the interrelationship of individual and urban environment.
Mythogeography takes a broader, more layered approach. For some, all this 'Systems Thinking' is outdated. Russ Ackoff later preferred the term 'Design Thinking' but meant more or less the same thing. Others prefer the term 'Complexity', while others remind us that the plic and plex in Complicate, Plexus and Complexity refer to folding, meshing, braiding - folding over and over like the brain or the universe to permit extraordinary leaps and connections.
Towards the Third Modernity: How Ordinary People are Transforming the World ~ Alain de Vulpian
The Rosy Crucifixion Trilogy ~ Henry Miller
The Organisation Shadow-Side Audit ~ Bill Tate
InWithFor ~ Sarah Sculman and Chris Vanstone
Systems Thinking in the Public Sector: the failure of the reform regime... and a manifesto for a better way ~ John Seddon
The Ecology of Human Development ~ Urie Bronfenbrenner
Steps to an Ecology of Mind ~ Gregory Bateson
The Pale Blue Dot - Carl Sagan
Nine Ways of Seeing a Body ~ Sandra Reeve
Mythogeography: A Guide to Walking Sideways - Phil Smith
Adventures in Complexity: For Organisations Near the Edge of Chaos ~ Lesley Kuhn
Systems Thinking for Curious Managers: With 40 new Management f-LAWS ~ Russell L. Ackoff