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This mind map gives an overview of Common Purpose.

edited February 2014 in Common Purpose

 This map gives an overview of Common Purpose and some of its tentacles, if you go to the link,  you can click on each item and get background information.


This mind map gives an overview of Common Purpose.


  • Nice find.

    But i have to ask... What's a Trojan Mouse? cheeky

  • Here is a simple definition for Trojan Mice from the website Trojan Tactics:

    These are small, well focused changes, which are introduced on an ongoing basis in an inconspicuous way. They are small enough to be understood and owned by all concerned but their effects can be far-reaching. Collectively a few trojanmice will change more than one Trojan horse ever could.

    Trojan Tactics is the sister company to the original Trojan Mice. From Trojan Mice here is a more detailed description:




    This site is about my passion - trojanmice - which is a concept dedicated to helping organisations understand the concept of complex adaptive systems and their application to organisational form. And more importantly how they can use this understanding to improve their bottom line benefits however they measure them. I have recently retired but am leaving this site active as a resource to anyone who might find it valuable.

    The Home Page describes what is on the site, gives an introduction to the concept and explains what trojanmice are. It also provides links to two important articles, the first describes what complex adaptive systems are and the second describing their relevance to organizations.

    The About Us Page gives a brief history of our involvement in complexity theory and gives you a flavour of where we are coming from. The page also describes what services we offer and how we can help you.

    The Articles Page contains a number of articles, some written by me, which give a number of very different insights into the concepts of complexity at work in organisations.

    The Slides Page contains copies of the slides I most frequently use in my presentations and workshops.

    What's New does exactly what it says on the button, it describes what's new and gives links straight to that item.

    The Other Resources Page lists a number of web sites which have relevance to complexity in organisations. It also lists my favourite books, and gives contact details for people referred to on this site, and has sections on Stories, Newsletters, Conversation Cafes and some examples of Complexity in Practice.

    The Contact Us page describes how to get in touch and it also asks you to give us a bit of information about yourself so we can better prepare ourselves to help you.

    The Complexity Club is the part of the site that I hope will be the most used. Anyone who is interested in complexity and organizations can join the club free of charge. It will be a place where we can exchange information, resources and ideas.


    A picture of trojan, a wooden model which was given to me by the Executive Board of Humberside TEC when I left. It was beautifully made by Laurence Hunter.





    Trojan Mice is one of many concepts which arise from the study of complexity theory and its application to the way organisations function.

    Traditionally organisations are structured on the old scientific approach of simple cause and effect and the belief that we can break everything down into small units and build them up again. But science has moved on and scientists have now developed a model which has turned many of the old assumptions on their heads, for example how small changes can have a huge impact, and large changes often have little impact. These models also show that by breaking something down into its parts the essence of the whole is lost. These new models are called complex adaptive systems and many organisations are exploring what this new understanding of our world means for them.

    Many people in organisations are frustrated that no matter how hard we try and control our workforce and their actions, that no matter how many rules, procedures and structures we impose, and no matter how many plans we draw up, things still do not happen as we intend. But if we are able to view our organisations as complex evolving systems we can see them for what they really are - vibrant communities and we can set about releasing a powerful force - the imagination and ingenuity of our people which is our true competitive advantage.

    The concept of complex evolving systems is not some new management fad, which requires a big change programme and expensive consultants, but it is a way of enabling you to take a fresh look at your organisation. And when you see things differently you can start to act differently and you will be able to consider

    *        Reducing time to market by turning the organisation inside out

    *        The value of emergence & pattern spotting

    *        Communicating through story telling

    *        Developing your state of being

    *        Managing by trust

    *        Incremental change agents

    And much, much more.

    For a fuller description of complex adaptive systems and their relevance to organisations click here. These concepts apply to all organisations whether they are businesses - large and small, public bodies or voluntary organisations. So if you are a large multinational or a small village school trojanmice has something for you, as you will see when you explore my site.

    We live and work in a time of extraordinary change. We need to ride that change and make it work for us rather than forever battling to keep up. The concept of complex adaptive systems enables us to harness this change and to make us more competitive in our chosen workplace. It does not require us to do anything but it does enable us to see things differently and this prompts us to act differently.

    Inspired, intrigued or just interested then contact




    Much change is of the 'Trojan horse' variety. At the top of the organisation a decision is taken to introduce a strategic change programme and consultants or an internal team are commissioned to plan it down to the very last detail. The planned changes are then presented at a grand event (the Trojan Horse) amid much loud music, bright lights and dry ice. More often than not, however, a few weeks later the organisation will have settled back into its usual ways and rejected much of the change. This is usually because the change was too great to be properly understood and owned by the workforce.

    trojanmice, on the other hand, are small, well focused changes, which are introduced on an ongoing basis in an inconspicuous way. They are small enough to be understood and owned by all concerned but their effects can be far-reaching. Collectively a few trojanmice will change more than one Trojan horse ever could.

    There is an art to spotting a Trojan mouse - you need to develop a critically trained eye. Seeing things differently, and seeing different things, is a powerful experience. And once you do, you can set your trojanmice free to create the results your business needs.



    Peter Fryer


    I am an avid student of learning organizations, complexity and chaos theory, and complex adaptive systems. In particular their implications for organisations of all kinds, and I have established an independent consultancy to share my experience and understanding with other organisations. Such organisations include Pfizer, The Industrial Society, DfES, and Glasgow Caledonian University as well as a wide range of smaller entities.

    Being the Chief Executive of Humberside Training and Enterprise Council, until TECs were abolished in 2001, I was able to practice what I preached by taking out the traditional business processes such as, plans, hierarchy charts, budgets, managers, rules, job descriptions etc. I introduced in their place, fuzzy policies, paperless 360 appraisals, self managed teams, serious thinking sessions and much, much more - all based on the principles of self responsibility, trust and giving oceans of support.

    I have been working with the London School of Economics (LSE) for several years now, initially as a participant in a project, which looked at the relationship between complex adaptive systems and organisational form and attempted to provide a new language to make the concepts available to all. More recently I am an advisor to a new EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) funded LSE project, which is working with Shell, British Telecom and Rolls Royce to investigate how complexity theory can help them with their mergers, restructuring, and spin out operations.

    Over the years I have given a wide range of presentations on the subject of complexity in the workplace based on my experiences as one of the few people who has actually led an organisation using complexity theory. Examples include presentations to businesses on behalf of the Industrial Society and the Institute of Management, to public bodies on behalf of the Local Government Management Board and to academics on behalf of the LSE and Warwick University to name but a few. Drawing on the skills I gained in my seven years as a management trainer I make my presentations entertaining, informative and thought provoking. A particularly memorable occasion for me was when I performed a two-hour version of one of my presentations at the Edinburgh Fringe in 1997.

    Always very keen to help others to benefit from complexity I have worked with a wide variety of organisations delivering workshops and consultancy in complexity to first help them view their organisation differently and then enabling them to implement any required actions arising from this new view.

    Since leaving Humberside TEC I am now working as an independent consultant indulging my passion for the subject of complexity and have established my own company trojanmice. As well as enabling organisations to introduce the principles of complexity I also act as an intermediary by translating the academic theory into business application.

    I have written a number of articles on complexity, as well as also giving after-dinner speeches on the topic. I am currently working on the preparations for a book exploring my approach to complexity.


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