Going from closed to open: how may we help to make it bearable?
Mackinder Centre, London School of Economics
Last modified: June 3, 2007
As open systems-thinking encourages us to appreciate shape and form in what at first appears to be a whole mess of actors, roles, relationships, responsibilities, rules, regulations, responses, resources, etc, we need to be able to support a full, open and imaginative examination of generative structures responsible for creating possible futures. So we need to move from the comfort of probability, evaluation, closed-ness of eyes, mind and action-repertoire into the realms of possibility, feasibility, open-ness of eyes, mind and action-adaptation space. This is a difficult and potentially unbearable journey but if we are encouraging leaders to move into open adaptive systems-thinking then they will require the support of a staged appreciation to help cope with sparseness and un-knowables. There are two clear phases of (1) sunesis and (2) phronesis; but the judgements resulting from the phronesis will not be in terms of real world actions but in terms of adaptive actions and extending understanding through sunesis.