The argument that modern organisations have to deal with complexity on a daily basis is fast becoming one of the least controversial statements any analyst, policy maker or practitioner can make. But what this actually means in practice is up for debate. Some suggest that there is little or no rigour in statements such as ‘the world […]

In the 1970s, systems thinker Russell Ackoff argued that some of the greatest problems happen when messy problems are dealt with as if they were simple puzzles. The true extent of interconnectedness and interdependence of the world we live in is ignored or downplayed until a crisis – i.e. when it is already too late. Time […]

In the few weeks following the Haiti earthquake, much of our work at ALNAP has focused on getting key operational lessons from previous earthquakes into the hands and minds of operational agency staff, and briefing media representatives on a variety of issues related to the relief and recovery work.  As the initial signs of some kind […]