Complex facilitation

Dave Snowden

My priority today was to get a body of material from various documents and slide sets into the entry for Complex Facilitation. Now some people get complex facilitation but a lot don’t. Methods are designed to change interactions, not to change people.

Networks and Complexity (1)

Dave Snowden

Complex human systems, such as organizations, communities or economies, go hand-in-hand with networks. Networks can reveal various structures and various layers in complex systems – the connections (links) between the components are key.


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complexity rules

Harold Jarche

We live and work in a complex system. Simple, traditional linear models do not work in complex systems. Campbell’s Law is a real thing – people change their behavior to meet targets. ” — Aeon: Complex Systems Science 2020. Complexity

Twelvetide 20:08 Anthro-complexity

Dave Snowden

It was one of those days that did not promise well but as I ascended Cnicht (known a the Matterhorn of North Wales from its profile from Croesor) everything changed I I captured a range of shots of which the banner picture is one. PENDING CONTENT. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

learning with complexity

Harold Jarche

Two technologies — machine learning , and the internet — are changing our understanding of the world by showing that we really cannot understand large scale complexity. “We don’t use these technologies because they are huge, connected, and complex. Sensemaking is becoming a critical skill in our complex world. Working in complexity requires constant sensemaking, connecting outside the organization with the work being done inside. Complexity

Systems thinking & complexity

Dave Snowden

The pioneering work of Prigogine and others which gives us complexity theory happens in the middle of that century. It was a characteristic of that period of development that the complexity of system would be resolved by engineering design, often bottom up, or definition of specific outcomes. I didn’t know it at the time but that was the key Cynefin distinction between complex and complicated. The post Systems thinking & complexity appeared first on Cognitive Edge.

Scaling in complex systems

Dave Snowden

Naturally I have done a lot more thinking since then but the fundamentals remain: you don’t scale a complex system by aggregation or imitation but be decomposition to an optimal level of granularity followed by recombination (possible exadaptive recombination). Complexity is about how things connect far more than what the things are. The post Scaling in complex systems appeared first on Cognitive Edge.

Understanding complexity

Harold Jarche

Thinking of complex adaptive systems as merely complicated entities that can be regulated like machines can lead to disaster, as Niall Ferguson shows in his recent book. Human systems are complex. Today’s large, complicated organizations are now facing complex business environments that require agility in simultaneously learning and working. A schematic history of human civilization reflects a growing complexity of the collective behavior of human organizations.

AI Technologies Are Fundamentally Changing How Work Gets Done

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The expanded scope will change the value employers place on tasks, and the types of skills most in demand.”. The data set generated by these methods provides much more detail about the changes in tasks within jobs and in skill requirements than traditional survey data.

changing structures

Harold Jarche

“For the first time since the industrial revolution, organizations are changing at a fundamental level. The change is very much a work in progress in most organizations. Changed role of leaders —. Complexity ConnectedEnterpriseBut we now have many examples of organizations that are fully functioning in an entirely new way — that is, new ideas about how the organization is designed, about how work gets done, how people relate to each other.”

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self-managing for complexity

Harold Jarche

How can they most effectively learn the skills required in the complex domain? How do leaders start creating environments that support this transition – if we simply focus on training people, but the environment remains the same, nothing will change. How can we prepare people to work in complex, and not highly ordered, work environments in which most problems are exceptions from which some emergent solutions can be continuously developed, learned, and shared? Complexity

What is the locus of change?

Dave Snowden

This is the first in what will be an occasional series of posts in which I want to examine, in the context of change the role of the individual, that individual’s identity as part of society and the affordances provided thereof. The post What is the locus of change?

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Complex or Chaotic?

Dave Snowden

The distinction between complexity and chaos theory can be problematic depending on who you are talking with, or what you are reading. There are also some mildly worrying differences emerging between its use in the social and natural sciences; an especial concern as complexity provides the basis for a realist and pragmatic account of social systems and a truly trans-disciplinary approach to human understanding.

Fidelity in complex systems consultancy

Dave Snowden

Returning yesterday from my first TedX in Cyprus I was chatting with Sonja Blignaut about some upcoming activities and differences between approaches to sense-making and complexity. So its a hard problem, if not the Hard Problem , and it is especially so when you are working in a paradigm shifting area such as complexity theory. Changing paradigms can be deeply unsettling and, like all pioneers, if you are doing your job well then the chance of arrows in the back is high.

Intervening in a complex domain

Dave Snowden

A good conversation in Moscow this morning with David Anderson around and about the issue of managing a complex system and as is the way with discussion a half formed idea or two coalesced. I've been teaching how to intervene in a complex system for years, developing and then using the ABIDE perspective question for example. Then we have three basic questions: (i) what can I change? (ii) ii) Of those things that I can change, where can I monitor the impact of that change?

hold space for complex problems

Harold Jarche

Too often, we are our jobs, and when that changes, on a large scale, society will change. The changing nature of work will have ramifications across society. Structural changes in jobs and the education needed to do work are already being felt. But we need to first prepare people – individuals, families, communities – to be adaptable in dealing with technological and demographic changes, in a globalized, resource-challenged world.

Complex domain: April 2013

Dave Snowden

I've been using the complex domain model for some time now since I first published it. One of my main aims was to move away from a simple categorisation of methods which is the all too frequent use of Cynefin into a more nuanced and varied understanding of complexity. There is a lot more to do here, but it's going in the right direction, Its gone through some minor changes but I don;t intend to repeat the descriptions of the dimensions here - read up on the link.

Complexity and Public Administration

Dave Snowden

Some 10 years ago now when I first became interested in how complexity science might be used in public administration there was a body of thinking but relatively few practical examples of applications. That has changed. This has brought attention to approaches informed by complexity science for working with intractable problems as well as a way to square the circle of making localization workable and relevant. This blog is being posted on behalf of Thomas Townsend.

Complexity and change

Harold Jarche

Complexity. If it seems to too complex for L&D to take on the “responsibility&# for enabling learning across the organisation, then bear in mind that this role will probably be assumed by others, e.g. Bus Ops, IT or Internal Communications departments as their own interests widen. Classroom instruction is complex but do we treat it as such? Changing Practice. Evidence that change does not come from within, in this ASTD article via @JaneBozarth.

adapting to constant change

Harold Jarche

The future of [human] work is perpetual beta : adapting to constant change while still getting things done. The human work of tomorrow will not be based on competencies best-suited for machines, because creative work that is continuously changing cannot be replicated by machines or code. New methods and practices — often ‘just good enough’ — can be developed, used, modified, and eventually discarded as the nature of the work changes. Complexity WorkPerpetual Beta.

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Coherence in complexity

Harold Jarche

Anecdote reports that John Kotter, leadership guru , is accepting that methods like his 8-step process for leading change may not be effective in the face of complexity. In my last post I wrote that in an increasingly complex workplace, many of the old models are no longer useful, referring more specifically to workplace learning. The same is happening to our models for management and “change management”, as if we could manage change in the first place.

immunize for complexity

Harold Jarche

It comes from the 1990’s but is still in use to describe the complex and chaotic world of business, politics, and technology. Complexity. Velocity and agility can be improved at the organizational level with frameworks, such as Niels Pflaeging’s Organize for Complexity approach. Enabling experimentation and engaging with networks (Connectivity Networks, Alignment Networks, & Productivity Networks) ensures an understanding of the changing VUCA world.

Networks thrive in complexity

Harold Jarche

In complex environments, weak hierarchies and strong networks are the best organizing principle. One good example of complexity that we can try to fathom is nature itself. It has not been a clean progression from one organizing mode to the next but rather each new form built upon and changed the previous mode. Each form also seems to be triggered by major societal changes in communications. complexity Wirearchy

Managing in Complexity

Harold Jarche

As our markets and technologies get more complex, we need new models to get work done. However, complex systems are not fully knowable, though they can be partially understood through interaction with them. If companies want to remain competitive in the global market, they need to focus on complex and creative work. Much of complex work is in exception-handling and when exceptions are the rule, rigid rules must become the exception. complexity Wirearchy Work

Design thinking & complexity pt 1

Dave Snowden

I started talking about the differences that complexity theory makes to design thinking some time ago - In Malmo at the XP conference as I remember it - and have now introduced that material in modified form onto day four of our accreditation programme. Now I know one experience should not inform me, hence the reading and conversations but none of that really changes my judgement on this.

No cookie cutters for complexity

Harold Jarche

Five years later, Dave Snowden makes a similar observation, sparked by a KPMG marketing brochure on “cutting through complexity” Dave concludes: If a consultancy firm really wants to help their clients they they should support them in living with complexity, riding its potential, avoiding reductionist approaches, engaging customer and staff in a sensing network. Making a value proposition around behaviour and culture change is therefore very difficult. complexit

Big Data, Complex Systems and Quantum Mechanics

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

In thinking about this question over the last few years, I started to notice that a number of subtle, non-intuitive concepts that I learned many years ago as a physics student seem to apply to the world of big data and information-based predictions in highly complex systems. The very act of observing an object will change the object being observed. Complex Systems Economic Issues Education and Talent Innovation Management and Leadership Society and Culture Technology and Strategy

The rapidly changing workplace

Harold Jarche

8) So what have I learned that will help us change our own experience of work? That knowledge is becoming more abstract, conceptual, distributed and complex. 9) We know what social and thinking skills are needed for complex contexts – we know how to hone these skills through practice. Customized, unique and creative work is required to deal with complex contexts, the large grey space on the Stacey Matrix diagram above. complexity Informal Learning Work

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Design thinking & complexity pt 2

Dave Snowden

For the moment I want to look at some of the implications for design thinking, reinterpreted through a complexity lens; shifting from a linear process to a non-linear dynamic. Malafouris uses linear B tablets (my opening illustration) to show how material objects change human cognition in a non-linear (although he does not use that phrase manner). In a very important sense, then, from the perspective of material engagement, cognition has no location.

The Complex Nature of Cloud-based Innovation

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

In addition, cloud can help business users become more agile and keep up with the fast pace of technological and market changes. is that services are very like to remain central to the new economy, not least because we are at or near a tipping point: innovations now underway seem likely to change dramatically the way we live and to generate many services (though few can be predicted in detail at present).”.

Leadership in a Changing World

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

What are the critical competencies needed to lead in our fast-changing business environment? The key challenge confronting CEOs, - and senior executives in general, - is the relentless pace of change. But, w hile speed is the major dimension of change, it’s not the only one. Is the change evolutionary or revolutionary in nature? While ignoring major changes is bad, acting before understanding its implications could be worse.

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Build trust, embrace networks, manage complexity

Harold Jarche

But hierarchies are rather useless to create, innovate, or change. We have known for quite a while that hierarchies are ineffective when things get complex. The only way to change a hierarchical organization is to create a new hierarchy. Most organizations still deal with complexity through reorganization. A connected enterprise starts by building a foundation of trust, embracing networks, and then managing complexity. Complexity. Hierarchies.

“Complicated” vs. “Complex”

Martijn Linssen

The background: A gentleman who makes a living “reducing complexity” for IT systems keeps running into some of us on Twitter who study complexity. The ask: There is a group of complexity aficionados that criticize my use of the word “complexity.” ” In general, these are folks who are influenced by the Cynefin framework that considers complexity and complicated to be different attributes of a system. The Emergence of Complexity.

Scale and Complex Systemic Innovation

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

But managing the kind of disruptive innovations that change the rules of the game requires a different management style based on identifying a brand new idea, moving quickly to establish an early market presence, and continuous market experimentation to refine the offerings and establish the company’s strategy. This kind of complex systemic innovation leverages lots of known ideas and makes them work together to help address important problems.

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Managing Complex, Disruptive Innovations - Some Lessons Learned

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

One of the major challenges in managing disruptive innovations is that even if you are sure that change is inevitable and you must therefore embrace the new ideas and technologies, you really don’t know what lies ahead. So, when it’s become clear that major changes are inevitable, whether you like it or not, it is important to get on the learning curve, and seriously consider your strategy options. How will your industry change over time?

The Internet of Things is Changing the World

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

“How the world will change as computers spread into everyday objects,” is the title of the lead article in a comprehensive review of the Internet of Things (IoT) in a r ecent issue of The Economist. We’ve long thought of products as physical entities built with a combination of mechanical and electrical components, - e.g., appliances, cars, agricultural machines, industrial equipment, - some quite simple and some highly complex.

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Gird for complexity

Jay Cross

This changes everything. Complexity has been on my mind a lot lately. What’s left is complexity: the unpredictable, volatile, surprise-time, non-linear, quantum, interconnected challenges of WTF. Will complex work become the norm by 2020? Yet learning to navigate complex environments is totally different than learning to follow procedures and solve bounded problems. To master complexity, you need, in the words of John Seely Brown, “marinate in it.”

Re-wiring for the Complex Workplace

Harold Jarche

Complexity is the new normal. Connected knowledge workers need more than directives; they need ongoing, real-time, constantly-changing, collaborative, support. Today’s complicated organizations are now facing increasingly complex business environments that require agility in simultaneously learning and working. Re-wiring for complexity. Organizations need to understand complexity instead of adding more complication. complexity Learning Wirearchy

Change, urgency, and new opportunities: talking about climate change during a pandemic

Dave Snowden

I have been thinking a lot about climate change during the COVID-19 times (and so have many many many others ). The change seems immediate and considerable. The second theme has been the clear impression that citizens, governments, businesses, and pretty much any agent you can name are prepared to make radical changes in the face of radical and immediate threats. Now, none of these things is new, and just like with climate change people have been shouting them for ages.

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Looking back at the Acorn Study; Part 2: A background to the patterns

Dave Snowden

In this post, we will look at this high-level overview for the responses people gave to the question of recalling an action they have seen taken that will have an impact on climate change. What changes do people think individuals should make?

Leadership for Complexity

Clark Quinn

The other meme from the retreat event last weekend was the notion of leadership for complexity. We talked through how things are moving from complicated to complex (and how important it is to recognize the difference), and that organizations need to receive the wake-up call and start moving forward. The issue really is to recognize the need to seize new directions, and then execute the change.

Complex is the new normal

Harold Jarche

Change becomes chaotic when employees see and hear two or more different change methods and messages “, writes Jay Deragon in managing on the edge of chaos. Jay has an image that shows that ordered organizations need to empower their employees to deal with more complexity, while those in chaos need to gain alignment in order to get out of chaos. However, it requires more than just discarding some of our traditional ways of dealing with change. complexit

Leadership in Complexity

Harold Jarche

Tweet In organizing for diversity and complexity , I discussed structural changes that are needed in our institutions. Kevin Wheeler has a great slide presentation on leadership in complexity that looks at what is required in a diverse and complex work world. Dealing with Complexity. In the future of leadership development , Kevin describes some new core leadership skill sets (Slides 17-21): Dealing with Ambiguity. Dealing with Interdependencies.