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The significant loose ends of systemic leadership? A personal story of complexity, systems thinking, OR, innovation and the scope for public policy learning

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The significant loose ends of systemic leadership? A personal story of complexity, systems thinking, OR, innovation and the scope for public policy learningCatherine Hobbs03/10/201801.0

Title:
The significant loose ends of systemic leadership? A personal story of complexity, systems thinking, OR, innovation and the scope for public policy learning

Author:
Catherine Hobbs

Mini Abstract:
I recently completed a Systems Science PhD at the University of Hull that explored the subject of leadership to address complexity in local governance networks. As my research encompassed a variety of approaches drawn from complexity, systems thinking and OR, my presentation is about some loose ends I’ve picked up along the way. I’ve identified seven loose ends which could signify an opportunity to help build capacity to lead networks of people to learn together systemically in pursuit of an aim to design ‘services to the public’ collaboratively and tailored to the locality, rather than the design of silo-based public services – a crucial distinction. This fundamental transition needs to be orchestrated. The loose ends include: - research hats, are they different? - systems thinking: an empty phrase - supply/demand dysfunction: a continuing frustration - the making of the 21st Century public servant - rooting innovation - an OECD viewpoint and - the contemporary value of soft science. Could this be a timely opportunity to help foster a sophisticated form of adaptive, learning leadership in local governance? Research which fosters reticulist skills would let a good way evolve between academia and practice. Building human capacity to develop a working practice of systemic leadership demands that facilitative complexity, systems thinking and operational research approaches could join forces to address this crucial arena of public policy.