T847 as a part of my learning trajectory

Pre-amble – I have had this blog written for a while but kept it to a limited audience whilst I thought about it more and waited for my result.  I now have my result – a very welcome Distinction – but even with that great news, looking back at it all my thoughts about the experience remain.  So here they are….


At the end of TU812, I said that I was going on to ‘do’ T847 as part of my ongoing trajectory as a systems practitioner.  It’s ‘done’ now, the project is in so I have found myself thinking about whether or not the experience helped me develop my systems thinking in practice.

The question is – how did my T847 experience contribute as a ‘subsystem’ of a learning system intended to develop my mastery in systems thinking in practice? 

I am thinking about it in terms of Ison’s design turn – the module was designed as a system to… (that is what the module aims covered) but I am now looking at it in terms of how it was enacted and experienced…Of course, I can only reflect on that from the perspective of my own experience. Continue reading

Types of situation, types of partnership, types of thinking

Okay, after all my talk of ‘deductive’ analysis – the first thing I have ‘learned’ from my data – that emerged out of it, was something that I didn’t think to look for at all!!  Now it has, I feel the need to get it down on paper – and of course immediately, I have connected it up with some literature I have read.

As the main ‘helping agenda’ of the work I am doing involves appreciating partnership practices, the ‘Discovery’ interviews ask people to talk about a time when they had a great experience of partnership working.  We emphasised that this had to be an experience that they thought was great at the time – regardless of whether it was an ‘official’ success story.  People could answer from anytime in their history – not necessarily recently.

So I found myself noticing a bit of a pattern in the type of situations people were ‘engaging’ with when they had their ‘great experience’. Continue reading

Sensitising concepts

It feels as if Arwen and I are having a concept tennis match at the moment.  I write a blog gathering together disparate reading, which prompts Arwen to read, she summarises her reading in a blog, which them prompts further reading by myself, which I summarise in comment or a blog.  And so it goes back and forth, but the concepts are getting better, more useful to what we want.  And Arwen has now found what I currently think of as the ‘holy grail’ – the concept of a sensitising concept! Continue reading

My Research as an ‘event’ in a longer stream of inquiry

My last post set me off on a stream of thought in relation to what I am doing in my research – is it inductive? is it deductive? is it emic? is it etic?  I’ve started to realise that it is best to think of these pairs in terms of dualities, rather than dualisms. Through the research, there is an interplay.  But also I realised that my Research Project (with a big R and big P) does not stand alone – it is located in a wider stream of inquiry and it’s location in time impacts on what it is and how I relate to it. Continue reading

Is this research good?

Need to get to grips with some of those words that are being flung around – validity, reliability, generalisability, authenticity, rigour, replicability, triangulation.  At the moment they seem a bit of a blur of contested concepts – it’s about time I pursue an inquiry to get to grips with these concepts, the debates around them and more importantly – their relevance to MY particular research project. Continue reading

What do I have to experience to claim that someone is a systems thinker?

I am really clear now about my research project and what it is about.

In short – just in case you have not been following the last couple of months of blogs – I would like to analyse samples of the ‘talk’ of people in leadership roles to see whether or not they are systems thinkers.  But there’s the rub……. Continue reading