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For some, Christmas is a time for renewing relationships and deepening those we allow to flourish. 

Christians have some rather special relationships to consider, and we can use value networks to help illuminate these. This blog focuses on the Trinity - a key model we have of God.

Some history: in the 2nd century AD, the first major Christian theologian, Tertullian, a Carthaginian who thought and wrote in Latin, coined the term Trinitas. He had some pretty deep disagreements with an important school of thought at the time - Monarchianism. Usefully for us, they had developed a model of, or approach to understanding, "God" as "modalist." This saw the names of Father, Son and Holy Spirit  as corresponding merely to different aspects or modes of the same divine being, playing transitory parts in succession, like an actor on the Classical stage donning a theatrical mask to denote a tragic or comic role or "Persona."  (MacCulloch, D. A History of Christianity. London, 2009).

Fast forward to the theologians of the 19th and 20th centuries and we discover a real attempt to interpret classical trinitarian doctine, to get beneath its surface grammar and penetrate its deepest intention. It is now affirmed that God is Triune, the reality of shared love and life rather than in terms of domineering power. (Migliore, Daniel.L Faith seeking understanding - an introduction to Christian Theology, 2nd edn. USA. 2004).

So, turn to our diagram below. We can still with theological credibility depict three "role plays" shown in our circles with a direct connection to ourselves as a person. But the mix of God as three roles (to our limited understanding, of the mystery of God) is not sequential but a dynamic mix or dance of interplays between aspects of God and each person who allows it. The contributions to our lives can be identified and assessed.

There has to be some "mechanism" for this transfer, and we can utilise the discoveries and theories from physics and other sciences to glimpse how this may occur. This is represented as an inner cloud.

Infusing this, though, is the activity of the "Maker," represented as an overarching outer cloud.


What questions does this depiction evoke? 

I am grateful for:

  • conversations with our home group members, Margot, Cathy, Jaysie, Sandy, Stafford, Simon who have patiently endured my contributions and for their prayers
  • guidance from Rvd. Phillip Johnson, vicar of All Saints' Weston for illuminating further the mysteries of the Trinity and his inspired leadership.


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The introduction of Lean methods has had mixed success and is properly considered a life long journey for problem solving, innovation and heightening morale. But reality can be very different if only linked to management and production practices such as six sigma and value stream analysis. These are often conducted within a top down, command and control structure with the intention of driving out variation, - and with a focus that is predominantly on incremental creativity in order to lower risk.

Indeed, leaders in the “Lean movement” have indicated a wish to remove the word “Lean” from their vocabulary. Lean remains a transaction view of the world, where the only deliverables that have value are those that go directly to the end customer. Anything else is treated like an event, not a value transaction between participants working together.

Further, the background situation in the United Kingdom is now less predictable than at any time for decades, and for the foreseeable future, so should we be more tolerant of emergent solutions co-created informally, yet within auditable, trusting environments?


Is a subtle change now needed in approach in order more fully to:

  • recognise and absorb both incremental and radical, even disruptive, variation in customer requirements, supplier capabilities and a host of other factors in a businesses’ supply chain and entire ecosystem 
  • pinpoint remedial action for change,  growth and success based on both a Lean transactional view AND a relationship perspective in which both formal and informal contributions can be assessed, as needed, in ANY or EVERY exchange?

Usefully, to that end, a different perspective, value networks and analysis, on how organisations really work, complete with supporting simple tools for analysis and engagement, is available. It is recommended to fill the gap between:

  • the formal hierarchy required for control of the formal processes and
  • management guided, self-organising informal networks of co-creative peer to peer collaboration, characterised by:  
    • participants behaving with integrity, guided by ethical principles
    • leading to trusting relationships and exchange of intangible deliverables
    • that can be converted to tangible deliverables of higher perceived value.

Read the white paper here

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