For the Good of the Hive

“The health of a honey bee is based on the health of the hive, not the individual bee. Collective action is necessary for growth and expansion. Humans are the same way, although we rarely act like it. Many of the issues we face today are not divided by borders. In fact, bee health or pollination issues are more likely to be solved by transcending them.” Matthew Willey When Melissa Stephenson, a Plexus Catalyst  shared information about the New Hampshire Honey Bee Initiative, a community wide project she is leading with artist Kin Schilling, it seemed like the perfect topic for

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Artists and Systems, a Relationship – #plexusdrawn

Artists. Hearing the word artist conjures a myriad of ideas, assumptions and perspectives about artists. Each of us has our own understanding of what an artist is and does based on our experiences, education and feelings. Part of why people have many perspectives on what artists do, how they do it and ultimately who they are is because artists have the capacity to hold tension (opposing views) since they are taught to see differing perspectives in a non-judgemental way – a skill absent from most other fields. There are many types of artists and many types of art. Imagine bringing

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The Art of “Revealing” Complex Systems – #plexusdrawn

A New Language for Understanding and Working in Complex Systems Emerges As practitioners of complexity visualization and thinking, we simply look at complex environments differently. What we do is make the invisible visual — we help reveal through imagery the unique properties of Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS),  the parts, the whole and the greater whole, so our clients can see where they fit into their systems. Plexus Catalysts and Visual Facilitators Barb Siegel and Amanda Lyons are creating a catalog of visual prompts and tools for conversations around applying complexity science to human systems. We draw out what it feels like

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Nursing, Complexity and the Science of Compassion 

Ten years ago Plexus Institute published a groundbreaking book on the highly complex profession of nursing, On the Edge: Nursing in the Age of Complexity. This book presented the first comprehensive examination of topical nursing issues from a Complexity Science perspective. Complexity Science scholars and nurse leaders explored key Complexity Science principles and the profound implications they hold for clinical practice, leadership, nursing theory development, research, policy making, and understanding human physiology. The pace of change in the practice of nursing, emerging new roles, as well as heightened emphasis on patient safety, healthcare quality and cost management shine the spotlight on

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Introducing #plexusdrawn

Hello there! It’s Barb and Amanda. Great to be here. We’re excited to be blogging together with Plexus as we’ve both been a big part of the revitalized Plexus Network. The connections we’ve made at Plexus events and through the Plexus network have been incredible on so many levels. Forget simply being colleagues, we’ve become great friends with many folks through the network and find the high level of work that this crew does (applying complexity science to our world) awe-inspiring. Our guess is that if you know how complexity changes the conversation, you therefore know what it’s like to

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DRAW OUT COMPLEXITY, the Curious Art of Visual Communication and Facilitation

Visualizing and drawing can help us think and communicate, especially when it comes to complexity. Amanda Lyons, is a visual practitioner. “I was excited to find complexity as I could see the amazing impact visuals can have in complex situations. Whether trying to understand something deeply myself or communicate it with others, visuals are my vehicle of choice.” Amanda is a Plexus Catalyst, and her work brings an important new perspective to how we engage with complexity. Visuals allow Amanda to see juxtapositions and hold oppositions in ways that allow her to understand and see more. According to Amanda, “Drawing

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Where Will Your Story Lead Plexus?

Gathering and sharing stories is a human behavior both ancient and universal.  Our stories express our understanding even of the most complex situations; reflect our core values; and articulate our intentions for future action. Story telling is also one of the most enduring tools available to every person and every organization regardless of specific social, economic or cultural contexts. In the HBR article, The Irrestible Power of Storytelling as a Strategic Business Tool, author Harrison Monarth understands that “stories” add measurable value when integrated into wide ranging initiatives including research, employee and customer engagement programs, change management strategies and marketing. “Strategic

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Managing in a Complex Environment: Applying Complexity Theory and Outcome Management to Global Problems

From Marc Narkus-Kramer a Plexus Catalyst and Plexus Institute board member.  My interest in Plexus began when I was working at the MITRE Corporation and experienced the power of complexity thinking and practice that Plexus introduced to a project.  I recently retired from MITRE and decided to explore how to build a process for organizational understanding and implementation of an integrated method of using complexity as a guiding principle for outcome management. I recognize how projects and conversations that include both complexity practices and applications of outcome management tools have been successful in addressing problems in an identified “system” (for

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