OR55 day one

With the original plenary speaker in hospital,Geoff Royston and Phil Jones shared the opening session on the general theme of behavioural O.R.

Geoff talked about the Johari window of hidden OR, to articulate the science of better.  Breaking our work into four cells, decision physics, human behaviour, problem structuring, system design, he said that people outside O.R. do not recognise our skills in problem structuring, and we underestimate our skill in system design.  Numbers 1 & 2 are recognised by others, 3&4 under-recognised.  1&3 are recognised by us, 2&4 under recognised.

The key words he chose for O.R. are science, improvement, systems.  Our science is - like engineering and medicine - an improvement science.   We improve systems which matter in the real world to real people.     He used four words to describe our work, in a cycle:  discovery, design, decision, delivery.

Focussing on tools does not get to the heart of our focus on system improvement.  Back to "our Johari   window".  We need to get behind this to look at the Why? as well.   This should affect how we teach O.R.  And it leads to a merging of that window into a fabric of a multidisciplinary topic.

Phil spoke about putting the Science of behavioural change into our discipline.  Some studies in conventional O.R. lead into the need for change in organisation.  He also used the Johari window, saying that work on human behaviour is in the hidden, under-appreciated section of the window.  His take on the O.R. Process in behaviour was:  Appreciation, analysis, assessment, action; the four "a"s of our discipline

 He drew on Zacharias' work on behavioural modelling challenges - such as making unwarranted assumptions about behaviour; people adapt.  He concluded that we need to work together as an inter-disciplinary team.

I went to hear about community O.R. .. a session about ideas for a special interest group within the O.R. society. Huw Evans led the workshop.
Community O.R. Differs in several ways from two other (related) areas - pro-bono and third sector work. But all three depend on involvement with people, and this links to the topic of behavioural research.  We set up graffiti boards about values, options and outcomes for such a special interest group.

After lunch - a buffet - we talked about a methodology for the classification of O.R. Terms.

Paul Randall spoke about community O.R.  One project in Namibia, was about whether to mine sepiolite or not.  Another was about a community project "build together", characterised as a problem were that a lot of money was put in and not many houses were built.  He reflected on what he called "The moral compass" about work in the third sector in Africa.  Talking about third sector work in the UK he drew attention to the range of data sources and easy it is to overlook some of them

Oh dear, I kept notes of the next session here and there were connection problems, so I will send this blog off and start again z


Popular Posts