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.

Robocalypse Now? Technology, Productivity and Employment

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

His presentation was based on a paper co-written with Utrecht University economist Anna Salomons. “Is productivity growth inimical to employment?,” At the same time, technological change increased the demand for other types of labor that were complementary to the capital goods embodied in the new technologies. But things can change,” said a 2014 Economist article. What’s the impact of productivity growth on employment at the industry level?

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The Productivity Puzzle

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Economic growth has two main components, productivity growth and the growth of the labor force. I ncreasing productivity is thus more crucial than ever to promote economic growth. But, in the US and other advanced economies, productivity growth has significantly slowed down over the past few decades. From 1987 to 2004 US labor productivity grew at a 2.1% Since 2011, the productivity rate has further declined to 0.6%. . US labor productivity grew at only 1.5%

AI and the Productivity Paradox

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

But, at the same time, productivity growth has significantly declined over the past decade, and income has continued to stagnate for the majority of Americans. This puzzling contradiction is addressed in Artificial Intelligences and the Modern Productivity Paradox , a working paper recently published by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). Economists have proposed competing explanations for declining productivity growth and so far have failed to reach a consensus.” .

AI Technologies Are Fundamentally Changing How Work Gets Done

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

To the contrary, automating the more routine parts of a job will often increase the productivity and quality of workers by complementing their skills with technologies and tools, thus enabling them to focus on those aspect of the job that most need their attention.

The Productivity Paradox: Digital Abundance and Scarce Genius

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Despite the relentless advances of digital technologies, productivity growth has been declining over the past decade. Some contend, - most prominently Northwestern University economist Robert Gordon , - that over the past few decades there’s been a fundamental decline in innovation and productivity. Demographic change , namely, the declining population and labor force growth around the world, is another potential cause for slow economic growth.

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.

AI and the Productivity Paradox

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

But, at the same time, productivity growth has significantly declined over the past decade, and income has continued to stagnate for the majority of Americans. This puzzling contradiction is addressed in Artificial Intelligences and the Modern Productivity Paradox , a working paper recently published by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). Economists have proposed competing explanations for declining productivity growth and so far have failed to reach a consensus.” .

Cloud, Services and the Transformation of Production

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Is it a return to centralized computing , driven by the rising complexities, management costs and energy inefficiencies of distributed systems? It will undoubtedly transform the information technology (IT) industry, but it will also profoundly change the way people work and companies operate. What do we mean by the production of services ? In the industrial economy, production was mostly applied to physical goods, while services were primarily labor-based.

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.

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. It also seemed more suitable for product design that service creation. Most of the examples I see at conferences are also products so that may be generic to the approach it needs something concrete to deal with.

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

The Complex Nature of Cloud-based Innovation

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

I find it helpful to look at cloud along two key dimensions: as a technology to improve IT productivity, and as a platform for enabling business innovation. In addition, cloud can help business users become more agile and keep up with the fast pace of technological and market changes. Incremental investments in productivity don’t drive growth. By now, most will agree that cloud computing is a major transformational force in the world of IT.

Serving Experience As The Product

Adaptive Path

The experience is the product. Whether we talk about greeting cards, mobile apps, or vacation get-aways, the experience is the product. Directly affecting the experience seems impossible because between you and it are IT systems, operations and processes, departments, and product architectures. Many of the products we spend the most on and spend the most time with are platforms for services.) And in a service-based economy, the experience is the product customers buy.

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. IoT promises to bring many benefits, including a whole new generation of innovative products. IoT has been ushering a whole new class of smart connected products. Boosting the productivity of industrial agriculture and cattle-farming is another highly promising IoT area.

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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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Scale and Complex Systemic Innovation

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

They are highly motivated to bring to market new products which offer significantly improved designs and/or lower costs, and thus gain competitive advantage and market share from the established leaders in their segment of the market. By investing in new products or processes, the company can sell them to their already large customer base and reap greater rewards faster. But, it is not enough to be large for a company to succeed at complex systemic innovation.

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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.

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. Sustaining innovations are different, because you are essentially improving existing products and services while continuing to sell to and support a similar client base. How will your industry change over time? Change in a series of evolutionary steps.

Looking back at the Acorn Study; Part 7: Hope, loss, and sacrifice

Dave Snowden

In 2018, Jem Bendell, a sustainability leadership professor, wrote a paper that took the possibility of near-term societal collapse due to climate change extremely seriously (you can read the whole thing here ). And as always, don’t forget our ongoing climate change MassSense.

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Services, Production and Clouds

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

This is profoundly changing the nature of business and just about all other institutions in society, as they increasingly turn to IT-based services to add value to their offerings. So, like many others, I have discussed services and their attributes in contrast to what they are not - physical products that are generally manufactured in factories. As these examples illustrate, the historical distinction between product and services is now blurring.

IT, Productivity and Organizational Capital

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

But, to achieve long term economic growth, as well as gains in our standard of living , the US must also focus on innovation and productivity growth. US labor productivity - “the amount of goods and services that a laborer produces in a given amount of time” - grew at only 1.5% This period of slow productivity coincided with the rapid growth in the use of computers in business, giving rise to the Solow. As the US recovers from the financial.

The Science of Complex Systems

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

When I look back over my long, relatively eclectic career, complex systems have been a common theme in all the activities I’ve been involved in. It started in the 1960s, when I was an undergraduate and graduate student at the University of Chicago majoring in physics, - the study of complex natural systems. The research for my thesis was focused on the highly complex world of atoms and molecules. How do these characteristics change with body size?

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Creating an architecture for change

Dave Snowden

Yesterday’s post was partly inspired by my reading David Chandler’s 2014 book Resilience: The Governance of Complexity. That said the essence of his argument is what I started to say over sixteen years ago, namely that top down intervention to achieve a desired future state is not only undesirable it is a priori problematic at least, counter productive at worst. Those systems were a product of local interaction over time, not the imposition of a pre-determined model.

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A complex look at task assignments

Clark Quinn

And I’ll be the first to acknowledge that it’s complex, as the diagram represents, but let me tease it apart for you and see if it makes sense. While another task might use another artefact, so the guides and rubrics will change, the working together guide can gradually first get to higher and higher levels (e.g. If it’s a complex artefact (such as a product design, not just a presentation), there could be several revisions.

Preparing Students for an Increasingly Complex Business World

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Are engineering and management schools adequately preparing students for our fast-changing, highly complex business world? In its first phase, the study conducted face-to-face, in-depth conversations with 75 senior executives across companies in a broad range of industries, including automobile, banking consulting, consumer products and technology. Change can be very difficult for many people, as they are being asked to move into unchartered territory.

Automation and the Changing Demand for Workforce Skills

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The first report , published in November, 2015, explored whether we can look forward to vast improvements in productivity and quality of life, or whether automation will mostly threaten jobs, disrupt organizations, and strain the social fabric. Let me now discuss the more recent report published earlier this year, which examined the changes in skills required of human workers over the next 10-15 years. Let me summarize how skills are changing in each of the 5 categories.

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Embracing Disruptive Change - Why Is it So Difficult?

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

One of the topics discussed was how companies generally deal with major technology and market changes, - like those that have been taking place all around us for the past few decades. Transformative change comes naturally to young companies, as it generally does to young people. But, based on my personal experiences, adapting to such disruptive changes is much more difficult for successful, well established companies.

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Strategy and Execution in an Increasingly Complex World

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Twenty-thirty years ago, the business world was arguably less complex, slower moving and more predictable. Strategic planning involved looking out several years into the future, - generally three to five years, longer for technologies and products requiring extensive R&D. But, in today’s fast changing and unpredictable business environments, these time cycles are increasingly overlapping. Firms are exploring the right balance between product and service revenue.

Learning in Complexity

Harold Jarche

” @webestime – “Simple rules lead to complex behavior. ” @CharlesJennings – “in a complex world, continuous learning is the only option available to us” – Globalization, Complexity & Change. The challenges of jobs that deal with high levels of complexity and tacit interactions are best addressed through the development of core skills and capabilities, not through trying to teach sets of processes or facts.

UX Week 2014 Keynote Josh Clark on the Future of Digital Product Design

Adaptive Path

In this interview, Josh and I talk about the current trends in digital product design, and where those trends might be heading. One way that I sometimes put it is that every product tells a story: about itself, about the person who uses it, and about the world that the product and the user inhabit. How have you seen the stories that you’re telling through your design work change over time? Josh: The more complex, the more surprises.

How Can We Ensure that Our Complex AI Systems Do What We Want Them to Do?

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Software-intensive systems are generally quite flexible, - able to evolve and adapt to changing product and market requirements. Things are even tougher with people-centric sociotechnical systems, which not only have to deal with potential software problems, but with the even more complex issues involved in human behaviors and interactions. What is it that makes these systems so intrinsically complex? What purpose does this complexity serve?

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Nordic leadership in times of extreme change

Harold Jarche

We can learn from the past and the authors of Return of the Vikings: Nordic Leadership in Times of Extreme Change , provide us with a compass to see our way into an unknown future. The Vikings dealt with great complexity in their navigation of the seas, both previously known and unknown, and in their interactions with the people they encountered on their travels. The book is about leadership in times of extreme change. Return of the Vikings.

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Social Learning, Complexity and the Enterprise

Harold Jarche

Organizations, in order to function, need to encourage social exchanges and social learning due to faster rates of business and technological changes. Social experience is adaptive by nature and a social learning mindset enables better feedback on environmental changes back to the organization. The Internet has fundamentally changed how we communicate on a scale as large as the printing press or the advent of written language. The little stuff is changing too fast.

Human Capital and the Changing Nature of Work

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

But on balance, such fears appear to be unfounded, noted the World Bank in a comprehensive recent report on The Changing Nature of Work. That’s a mistake, because neglecting investments in human capital can dramatically weaken a country’s competitiveness in a rapidly changing world, one in which economies need ever-increasing amounts of talent to sustain growth.” . How is the Nature of Work Changing? People have long feared that machines are coming for our jobs.

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Looking back at the Acorn Study; Part 4.2: Individual, collective, other

Dave Snowden

Again, reminding ourselves of what the overall pattern around potential looks like (to the right) we can confirm that an emphasis on individual responsibility does partially translate to a greater emphasis on positive capacity to create change.

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Measuring the Forces of Long Term Change

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Intel co-founder Gordon Moore described what became known as Moore’s Law in a 1965 paper where he observed that the number of components in integrated circuits had doubled every year since their invention in 1958, and predicted that the trend would continue for at least ten years, a prediction he subsequently changed to a doubling every two years. The Foundation index has been growing at a ten percent CGR since 1993, and is the primary driver of all the other changes.

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Networks and complexity

Harold Jarche

A cultural change is required in the way we organize our work because of two related factors: Networks & Complexity. The cynefin model shows that emergent practices are needed in order to manage in complex environments and novel practices are necessary for chaotic ones. We are facing more complexity and chaos in our work because of our interconnectedness. Tweet. Jane Hart alerted me to this cartoon, which is already being spread throughout the Net.

Mobile Changes Everything?

Clark Quinn

They’re also really bad at doing rote things, particularly complex ones. So why is this game-changing? It’s a channel for capability to reach across limitations of chronology and geography, and make us more productive.

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Change or die

Jay Cross's Informal Learning

This is a total phase change. There are some companies that haven’t changed their core philosophies and management practices in 100 years and they never will. There are others that are hiring new kinds of leaders, and they are changing in a big way. We are in a rapidly changing, mind-blowing overly complex world out there today. A company that doesn’t involve its customers in its product planning is missing the boat. Change Informal Learning

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On the Complex Evolution toward Mobile Digital Payments

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

In addition, by reaching out to financial institutions, merchants, application developers and others, Apple is helping bring together the different players in the payments ecosystem, something that’s absolutely essential to succeed in such a complex undertaking. Our existing payment system is quite complicated, somewhat expensive and difficult to change, but it actually works quite well, handling just about all transactions within a few seconds.

Changing the world of work

Harold Jarche

Change Agents Worldwide has just released its first ebook featuring 21 views on the future of work. We believe change is coming fast to the enterprise. How to Ensure the Failure of Your Change Initiative: Engage with your legal team and allow them to make the policies for use of the new capability as restrictive as possible. Setting out to “change the world of work” is an ambitious goal.

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