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5.8 Reviewing some implications for systems practice

The following anecdote exemplifies one of the main reasons why I think juggling the B ball is important for systems practice. The story relates to two practitioners who were able to connect with the history of organizational complexity ideas. It describes the process they chose to take in response to a highly specific organizational-development tender document couched in traditional ways:

Our first decision was to
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5.7 Being ethical

As outlined in Table 2, ethics within systemic practice are perceived as operating on multiple levels. Like the systems concept of hierarchy, what we perceive to be good at one level might be bad at another. Because an epistemological position must be chosen, rather than taken as a given, the choice involves taking responsibility. The choices made have ethical implications. Within systematic practice ethics and values are g
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5.5 Distinctions about systems practice

A tension has existed throughout the history of Western thought around whether to focus on parts or the whole. The practice that springs from this history carries the same tension. This tension has been particularly visible within science and philosophy for a long time and it gives rise to different approaches.

Emphasizing the parts has been called mechanistic, reductionist or atomistic. An emphasis on the whole has been called holistic, organismic or ecological. As Fritjof Capra (1996)
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4 Systems practice – unpacking the juggler metaphor

Systems practice, modelled in Figure 6, is a particular form of the general model of practice in Figure 3. An effective systems practitioner, Ps, is able to use systems approaches in managing complexity. I am not overly concerned with other approaches to practice, and will not be making any extravagant claims that a systems approach is better tha
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3.2 Making sense of the metaphor

The metaphor of the juggler keeping the four balls in the air is a powerful way for me to think about what I do when I try to be effective in my practice. It matches with my experience: it takes concentration and skill to do it well. But metaphors conceal features of experience, as well as calling them to attention. The juggler metaphor conceals that the four elements of effective practice often seem to be related. I cannot juggle them as if they were independent of each other. I can imagine
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2.2 Taking responsibility for your own learning

Not much of this unit conforms to the traditional pattern I mentioned earlier – the theory-example-exercise pattern. In particular, you will find you are expected to discover much of it for yourself. Why is this? This is a legitimate question and deserves a full answer. One year, a student at a residential summer school complained I had not taught him properly. I was, he told me, an expert and so why did I not demonstrate how to tackle the problem he was working on and pass my expertise on
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2.1 The nature of systems thinking and systems practice

There are no simple definitions for either systems thinking or systems practice. It's difficult to find definitions that capture all the perspectives that the ideas carry for people who think of themselves as systems thinkers and systems practitioners. Most systems practitioners seem to experience the same kind of difficulty in explaining what they do or what it means to be systemic in their thinking. Through experience I've developed some criteria by which I characterize systems thinking, bu
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5.1.1 SMART objectives

When the objectives are identified, trying to ensure that each objective is SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timebound) is good practice or at least to have considered the extent to which these conditions could be met. As in all planning, this process is continuous and as new information becomes available and as the project progresses, changes will need to be made to aspects of the objectives and to the sequences of tasks that contribut
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Animals at the extremes
This unit brings together a collection of units from the OpenLearn site that would be of interest to anyone wishing to study Darwin’s theory of evolution and natural selection and how his work has gone on to influence other work around this theory.
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5 Conclusion

The idea of the double whammy brings together the two driving forces behind changes in industrial structure, with which this unit opened and now closes. The use of a new technology causes a decline in the costs of production, which in turn encourages a rapid take-up by consumers of products embodying the new technology. This unit has explored the factors affecting consumer demand. While the price of the product was found to be of crucial importance, socio-economic influences such as culture a
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Interactive Atlas of the Larynx by Ahmet Sinav, M.D.
This site is a copyrighted site. A physician by the name of Ahmed Sinav, M.D. originally authored it. It appears he is no longer in the employ of Columbia University in the City of New York. The information provided herein is general information to the College of Physicians and Surgeons Department of Otolaryngology. The site is wonderfully crafted and accurate. It features point-click interactive labeling which would serve as a solid tool for education in classroom undergraduate anatomy phy
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Plate Tectonics: An Introduction
In the early 1900s, most geologists thought that Earth's appearance, including the arrangement of the continents, had changed little since its formation. This video segment adapted from Discovering Women describes the impact the theory of plate tectonics has had on our understanding of Earth's geological history, as we have become aware of our planet's ever-changing nature. Closed captioning included.  Run time 02:21.
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Plate Tectonics:  The Scientist Behind the Theory
Some of the most influential theories began as seemingly implausible notions. This is not to say that the scientific community embraces every new idea that comes along. Alfred Wegener, the scientist who first proposed the theory of continental drift, learned that the hard way. This video segment adapted from A Science Odyssey chronicles the unveiling of Wegener's theory and shows how compelling evidence is sometimes dismissed when it supports new or incomplete theories.  Closed captioning inclu
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Video: Health care reform in the community
Dr. Bill Paul, Metro Nashville’s director of public health, discusses “health care reform in the community” with the Healthcare Delivery Systems course taught by Sharon Shields, professor of the practice of health promotion and education. Media Contact: Ann Marie Deer Owens, (615) 322-NEWS annmarie.owens@vanderbilt.edu
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This course is designed to challenge and encourage you, as veterinary students, to explore the relationships between population health and public health, animal health and human health, and clinical and population-based health practice. If we are successful, the process of exploration will continue throughout your graduate school education and training so that when you graduate, you will be better equipped to define your role as a veterinarian, and that of the veterinary profession, in public he
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