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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. The grey links show the reporting relationships.

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%

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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.” .

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.

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.

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.” .

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 has been ushering a whole new class of smart connected products.

Change 157

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.

Leadership in a Changing World

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

What are the critical competencies needed to lead in our fast-changing business environment? Its findings were recently published in The CEO Report: Embracing the Paradoxes of Leadership and the Power of Doubt. 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?

Change 153

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. In matrix management people have more than one reporting line and often work across business units. The only way to change a hierarchical organization is to create a new hierarchy. Most organizations still deal with complexity through reorganization. Our thinking needs to continuously change as well.

Scale and Complex Systemic Innovation

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Conventional wisdom these days says that small is better when it comes to innovation and putting new ideas into practice,” writes Mandel at the beginning of the report. 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.

System 160

Change in Education and What Needs to be Done

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

Published as Change in Education and What Needs to be Done , 15 pages, 2020, Maysan Center for Future Studies. In recent months we as a global community have experienced a hard lesson about the nature of change. Either way, what we do today will change what happens tomorrow.

Automation and the Changing Demand for Workforce Skills

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

In the intervening three years, the study has published a number of report on the subject. 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. McKinsey’s December, 2017 report analyzed whether there will be enough work in the future.

Skills 189

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.

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?

System 161

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.

Change 146

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.

Change 193

Game-Changing Basic Research: Benefits and Challenges

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Innovation Deficit , - a report on both the long term benefits of basic research and the impact on those benefits of declining federal investments. Over time, the innovations moved from the research labs to product development, and from there to the marketplace. But, technology and market environments have drastically changed in the intervening years. research leadership ultimately depends,” writes the MIT report. “In

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.

Data Science and the Changing Nature of Research and Innovation

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The study examined the current state of US research and innovation; looked at the role of its key players: academia, industry, and government; and proposed a set of recommendations to better address the highly complex challenges we face in the 21st century information economy. Establishing productive collaborations between academia and industry has been difficult. Organizational structures and cultural attitudes are not keeping up with changing realities.

Data 188

Climate Change, Waste & Festivals: a collective fight needing a common understanding

Dave Snowden

it also has the potential to mobilise momentum and drive change through the sharing of stories about what people are doing to make the world a better place. Building small, incremental change has always been the complexity mantra. When thinking about change and transformation, we were particularly interested in the idea of apathy, simplicity and the importance of time, e.g. are people thinking ahead or are there “more important things to do”?

Change 179

The Complex Transition to the Age of the Cloud

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

a sea change - a deep and permanent shift in how computing power is generated and consumed. But, after discussing a number of its benefits to business, - individual productivity, group collaboration, information insights and application development, - McAfee points out that the shift to cloud computing has been slow. The IT function of 2015 will bear little resemblance to its current state,” concludes one such report.

Cloud and “Game Changing” Business Innovation

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Earlier this year, IBM’s Institute for Business Value published a very good report - The Power of Cloud: Driving Business Model Innovation. According to the report “cloud empowers six potentially game changing business enablers”: . market adaptability - rapid prototyping and innovation to quickly respond to rapidly changing market conditions; . e-books is another widely used, game changing cloud application that is already transforming the book publishing industry.

Leveraging Commercial Best Practices to Maximize Government Productivity

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

On October 6, the Technology CEO Council released its report One Trillion Reasons: How Commercial Best Practices to Maximize Productivity Can Save Taxpayer Money and Enhance Government Services. The report identifes a set of recommendations aimed at reducing US government spending by one trillion dollars over the next decade. Both operate in increasingly fast-changing environments, which are subject to more frequent, serious and unpredictable problems.

The Post-Pandemic Future of Work: An Optimistic Outlook

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The Economist was considerably more optimistic in a special report on The Future of Work in its April 10 issue, which included several articles on the subject. “A But things can change,” said an Economist article from January, 2014.

Issues 269

The Transformation of Logistics in the Retail Industry

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The MIT-wide task force released its findings and recommendations in a November, 2020 report, - Building Better Jobs in an Age of Intelligent Machines. distribution networks were built to deliver products in bulk to retail stores,” wrote the authors.

The True Value of a Good Education: Adaptability to a Changing Environment

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

In his 1945 seminal report, Science The Endless Frontier , presidential science advisor Vannevar Bush laid out the blueprint for R&D in post-war America: “New knowledge can be obtained only through basic scientific research” conducted in universities and research labs, which is then applied to develop new products by the private sector and new and improved weapons by the defense sector.

The Leader's Guide to Radical Management: 84% vote for change in.

Steve Denning

Management was originally invented,” management theorist Gary Hamel has noted, “to solve two problems: the first—getting semiskilled employees to perform repetitive activities competently, diligently, and efficiently; the second—coordinating those efforts in ways that enabled complex goods and services to be produced in large quantities. 84% vote for change I reported on Tuesday the shocking statistic that 84% of workers in the US plan to change jobs in 2011.

Change 141

The Urgent Need for Wide-Scale Upskilling

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

After working across MIT for over two and a half years, the task force released its final report in November, 2020. Similar conclusions were reached by Upskilling for Share Prosperity , a report published in January, 2021 by the World Economic Forum (WEF) in collaboration with PwC.

Skills 227

Business or Pleasure? - why not both: The product-to-service.

Martijn Linssen

why not both Home About Contact Saturday, 21 August 2010 The product-to-service financial ratio Yesterday I saw a tweet by Frank Scavo : Chatting with a vendor about implementation cost to software license cost ratios. Back to the topic : there is a clear, direct and fairly linear relation between the initial cost of a product, and the additional cost(s) involved servicing it. In big IT companies, there isnt much enthusiasm to be found for selling Open Source products.

The Impact on Government of the Structural Changes in 21st Century Economies

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Most everyone agrees that economies and societies around the world are going through structural changes of a historical nature , driven by a number of powerful forces including digital technologies and globalization. Over the past two decades, companies, especially large, global companies, have been going through major transformations to help them adapt to these structural changes. there are pragmatic grounds now for politicians of all sorts to make the state more productive.

Change 133

The Increasing Economic Value of Digital Capital

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

According to a 2019 research report , the overall value of the S&P 500 in 1975 was $715 billion, of which 17% was intangible. It introduces a set of methods for quantifying the value of digital capital investments, as well as their impact on a company’s long term productivity and growth.

Building Better Jobs in an Age of Intelligent Machines

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

On November 18, the MIT Task Force on the Work of the Future released its final report , The Work of the Future: Building Better Jobs in an Age of Intelligent Machines. An interim report was released in September, 2019. The Task Force comprehensive report covers a lot of ground.

Data 208

How Covid Is Reordering the Global Economy

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The covid-19 pandemic will accelerate change in the world economy,” says The Economist. Let me discuss the three key areas where The Economist expects long-lasting changes: globalization, digitization and inequality.

Issues 232

What Might the World Be Like in 2040?

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Every four years, the NIC develops a Global Trends report that examines the key trends and uncertainties that will shape the global environment during the next two decades. Five key themes appear throughout the report, underpinning their gloomy assessment: Shared global challenges.

Trends 140

AI Is Mostly About Business Value, Not Technology

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

But it’s much harder to quantify the more complex benefits of AI, such as better insights and decision making. In 2018, PwC released a report on the long-term economic value of AI.

The State of AI Adoption - High Performers Show the Way

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

A common theme throughout the report was that the same players who were leaders in the earlier waves of digitization and analytics were the early leaders in the AI wave. Overall, 63% report revenue increases in the business unit where the AI use case is deployed.

The Pace of Creative Destruction is Accelerating

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Shrinking company lifespans in the S&P 500 is a useful indicator of marketplace turbulence, driven to a large extent by technology disruptions and business model changes. Change is often difficult for such companies. Watch out for changing customer behaviors.

The Current State of Cloud Computing

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

A few months later, The Economist published a special report on cloud computing with several articles on the subject. Computing has constantly changed shape and location - mainly as a result of new technology, but often also because of shifts in demand.

Data 167

Leveraging Cloud Computing to Enhance the Nation’s Cybersecurity

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Cloud computing drives innovation and productivity across the economy, just as the electric grid did a century ago - yet it is more capable and dynamic.” As someone who’s long been following and writing about cloud computing , I found the report quite instructive.

The Collapse of Complex Business Models ? Clay Shirky

Clay Shirky

The Times’ Paywall and Newsletter Economics » The Collapse of Complex Business Models. In 1988, Joseph Tainter wrote a chilling book called The Collapse of Complex Societies. Every one of those groups had rich traditions, complex social structures, advanced technology, but despite their sophistication, they collapsed, impoverishing and scattering their citizens and leaving little but future archeological sites as evidence of previous greatness. Clay Shirky.

Why Business Transformation Efforts Often Fail

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

It was thus important to analyze what distinguished successful corporate changes. “The most general lesson to be learned from the more successful cases is that the change process goes through a series of phases that, in total, usually require a considerable length of time.

New Directions for Government in the Digital Age

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Companies - especially large, global corporations - have leveraged digital innovations to improve their productivity and competitiveness and adapt better to these powerful technology and market changes.