Complexity in Aid Workshop series: Strategy in a complex world

Date: January 14, 2009, all day (9-5)
Venue: CAFOD offices in London (Stockwell).

The world is becoming increasingly inter-related, complex and fast-changing and yet many organisations continue to use traditional methods for strategy development, organisation change and leadership – even when they have questionable success. Why is this? What has to happen for strategists and policy makers to give up on behaving as if the world is predictable, measurable controllable? And what should be done instead?

In this latest workshop of the emerging community on “Complexity in Aid” we will review the paradox of complexity and see what it means for organisational and strategic approaches; we will consider how to get people engaged in these ideas and what complexity thinking implies for practice.

The workshop will be led by Dr Jean Boulton. Jean has a PhD in physics and designed and led the teaching on complexity for several years at Cranfield School of Management; she now teaches complexity on the MSc in Responsible Business Practice at Bath School of Management and works
with organisations in the areas of strategy and organisation change; she is currently co-authoring a book, ‘Embracing Complexity’, with Professor Peter Allen, to be published by Oxford University Press in 2009. See

There will be plenty of opportunity during the workshop for discussion and consideration of how these ideas challenge current methods of strategic planning and implementation; we will look at the balance between the formal and informal, the espoused and the actual.
With this is mind, you might like to consider the following questions:
*       How is strategy developed in your organisation? To what extent does it shape practice? How do you know?
*       What ways, formal or informal, global or local, really impact on what actually is done by your organisation? What, in practice, has most influence on the  direction the organisation travels?

Places are limited. If you would like to attend please email


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