Tobias Mayer: Navigating Complexity - 42 Acres

Tobias Mayer: Navigating Complexity

Fri 6th September 2019 —
9.30 TO 17.00

as per listing

“For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.” — H.L. Mencken

The Nature of Work

A lot has been written about the nature of work, with particular focus on what we know today as knowledge work. The kind of work we undertake is generally divided into four or five categories, ranging from simple through complex to chaotic, with advice offered as to how each different type of work should be managed. The Stacey matrix and the Cynefin framework are two approaches that may be familiar. While such models are helpful, it is possible they over-complicate matters. Perhaps there are only two types of work: mechanical and organic.

From this simple binary split the Navigating Complexity workshop will unfold, starting with the proposition that knowledge work—indeed any kind of creative work—dwells in the organic realm. It is in understanding the nature of organic systems that we can better approach the kinds of technological and organisational problems we face in today’s workplace.

Workshop Outcomes

Navigating Complexity does not attempt to provide another model, framework or diagram. If such an outcome occurs it will be through the work of the participants, and not imposed. A more important and useful outcome will be a different way of thinking about systems. Stepping back from all the jargon and imposed solutions will allow the participants to more gracefully explore the space, from their own shared experience and perspective, departing, I hope, a little lighter, a little more hopeful than when they entered.

Who is it for?

This workshop is designed for anyone concerned with structural change, whether in a team, a department or across an entire organisation. We identify certain types of role with such work, e.g. coaches, change agents, and perhaps managers and executives. But meaningful, deep-rooted change sometimes must come from the grass roots of an organisation, and therefore any worker, in any role will benefit from this work—providing they seek a better working life.


The September workshop is a pilot, an experiment. The price is being kept low to encourage people to participate. If the workshop proves viable, future implementations will be costed at the same rates as other workshops I offer.

** 42 ACRES is currently unable to offer disabled access and apologise for any inconvenience caused **

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