Practitioner Complexity Frameworks and Context Assessment

In collaboration with members of the Dynamical Systems Theory Innovation Lab, AC4 is undertaking a project to develop tools that bridge the gap between dynamical systems theory, and dynamical systems practice. While a related AC4 project, the Leadership Complexity Competencies Project, aims to develop and instill in leaders the skills in thinking about complex problems and taking complex action, this project aims to develop frameworks, assessment tools, and measures that allow change leaders to 1) identify the complex networks of interaction associated with a target problem, 2) narrow the range of possible action strategies to influence positive change in the system, and 3) conduct monitoring and evaluation activities to assess the impact of interventions.

Component 1: Organization-level conflict framework and assessment package

This project aims to provide a comprehensive framework for practitioners and organization leaders to comprehensively assess the systemic influences on conflict processes within the organization. Going beyond traditional preventative conflict management approaches, the aim of this work is to provide a framework assessing conflict processes, from a complexity science perspective, that will inform systemic interventions for disrupting destructive conflict dynamics, preventing emerging destructive dynamics, and harnessing the positive aspects of constructive conflict processes. A draft assessment package has been created, and arrangements are currently underway to evaluate the efficacy of the framework in a live organization environment.

Component 2: Practitioner DST fieldbook

This second component will extend the ambitions of Component 1 by creating a framework for assessing systemic conflict dynamics in communities. This will be packaged in the form of a “fieldbook” for practitioners working in these systems. This phase of the project is currently in the conceptual phase, with substantial development scheduled to begin January 2015.



If you are interested in learning more about this project, please feel free to contact the program coordinator, Nick Redding.

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