One leg, two leg, three leg, more?

In Orwell’s classic Animal Farm the characters often oscillate between their evaluative assessments on the merits of two or four legs. The value was socially constructed, however in practice there are real tangible benefits socially and otherwise to having two legs, which serves as an apt metaphor for understanding the role of scaling in social …

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The Developmental Evaluation and Design Imperative

Developmental evaluation is an approach to evaluating programs that takes account of complexity and changing conditions, supports innovation, and serves as a vehicle for adaptation for leaders seeking feedback on how to adapt to these evolving forces. It is not simply about improving programs, but developing them. From a technical point of view, this means …

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Thinking Developmentally About Social Issues

Thinking developmentally means attenuating oneself to nuance, punctuated learning, ongoing feedback, and inconsistent behaviour. I don’t blame people for wanting to impose a simple cause-and-effect narrative on the world, but doing so doesn’t mean its useful. As I’ve argued elsewhere, unless we consider changing our thinking we may continue to spend time devising ways to do what systems thinker and management leader Russell Ackoff called “the wrong things, righter”.

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