Ben Ramalingam of ALNAP was kind enough to get in touch with a link to a working paper he co-authored: “Exploring the science of complexity – ideas and implications for development and humanitarian efforts“. I confess that so far I have only skimmed it but it seems really worth a read if you have any interest in developing your ability to take part in creating change. The context is international aid, but as with Jake Chapman’s paper on UK governmental policy making the diligent application of control freakery and recipe driven programmes shines through like a stream of bat’s piss, as Monty Python would say.

Here’s a few lines from the executive summary: “Four changes seem to be [of] particular importance: the openness to new ideas, the restraint to accept the limitations of the approach, the honesty and humbleness to accept the limitations of aid efforts and to accept mistakes, and the courage to face up to the implications of these ideas.” A pretty good description of the challenges facing those of us who think we have something to bring to the change party in the commercial world also – especially when contrasted with what’s on offer here or here.

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