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. The grey links show the reporting relationships.

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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

As reported I had to leave the Lake District early and while I will get out and about on the Wiltshire Downs it is not the same thing. PENDING CONTENT. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pictures.

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. It was rejected on the basis that scale was perceived in terms of size and number of reports.

Agency: privilege & complexity

Dave Snowden

The cartoon speaks for itself and has wider application than leadership, it can be used to look at the wider issue of change and the problems that have been created by the dominance of an engineering, cybernetics induced over the last few decades. In part that is the question of privilege, in part a failure to really on board the implications of complexity (and I speak here as some who has sinned and may well still be in a state of sin in this regard).

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.

Fidelity in complex systems consultancy

Dave Snowden

It been a week since my tirade against the abrogation of leadership by falling back to the crutch of a mega-consultancy report. 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.

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?

Change 200

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.

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.

Change 165

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

In addition, cloud can help business users become more agile and keep up with the fast pace of technological and market changes. A somewhat similar point was made in a 2013 report by the McKinsey Global Institute , Ten IT-enabled business trends for the decade ahead , which listed cloud as one of its top trends and succinctly described its key value as realizing anything as a service. 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 155

Workshop report

Dave Snowden

I was also charged to give people some experience of complex facilitation techniques, so I explained what I was doing as I went along. Each group then identified two complex and two complicated issues, broke into four (Complexity A & B, Complicated A & B) and the groups were recombined. Now the whole idea here is to prevent premature convergence by changing the membership of the groups and the tasks on a regular basis.

Report 100

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. 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.

System 164

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.

Changing the landscape of health

Dave Snowden

It is worth a quick refresh on two of the key principles of complexity (or rather cognitive complexity as we need to look at human complex systems in a very different way from those in termites nests). To manage a complex system we need to changes the dispositions of populations and small level social interactions. People are fundamentally influenced by the micro narratives of their day to day lives, rather than grand narratives of change and admonishment.

Change 174

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 192

Nothing Has Changed. Everything Has Changed.

Charles Jennings

We know that the results of learning and development activities can only be determined by changes in behaviour (after all, at its heart that’s what ‘real learning’ is) and behaviour change needs to be measured in terms of what individuals, teams and organisations can do and are doing, that they couldn’t do previously, or what they’re doing better than before. But we need wider fundamental changes if we’re to do so at speed and scale. So, what are these fundamental changes?

Change 183

The Complex Relationship Between Science and the Public

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

But, despite broadly similar views about the place of science in the country, there were large differences between the general public and scientist across a number of important issues , including genetically modified foods, vaccine safety and climate change. Two years ago, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences launched The Public Face of Science , an initiative whose objective is to better understand the complex relationship between scientists and the public in America.

Organizations and Complexity

Harold Jarche

Tweet I’ve discussed this table before, but I’d like to put it all the links together to highlight what we need to do with our organizations and structures to deal with complexity. Complexity. How we can support emergent practices in the increasingly complex enterprise: COMPLEXITY. Patti Anklam , in discussing value networks and complexity states: Understanding of complexity provides a practical guide to managing context.

Bread, Freedom, Social Justice: A report from Egypt

David Weinberger

The cry of the masses reflected a street awareness of the complexity of development as human dignity and active citizenry — an enlightenment that the ruling elite lacked. Right after, SCAF dictatorially issued a constitutional declaration with 63 articles including the amendments with some editorial changes. Here is an email Nagla Rizk sent to the Berkman mailing list. I’m posting it with her permission.

Report 210

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 171

7 principles of intervention in complex systems

Dave Snowden

Not to simply report what we had found, but to allow to explore the data and come up with a series of interventions that would hold out the possibility of achieving change, or through failure would allow learning to take place. Now one of the basic Cynefin mantras is that of safe-fail interventions, and lots of them, if the problem is complex. It is important to realise that a lot of conflict happens in the complex arena. I may buy this T-Shirt as its a great slogan.

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.

Change 155

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 200

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.

The Complex Relationship Between Science and the Public

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

But, despite broadly similar views about the place of science in the country, there were large differences between the general public and scientist across a number of important issues , including genetically modified foods, vaccine safety and climate change. Two years ago, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences launched The Public Face of Science , an initiative whose objective is to better understand the complex relationship between scientists and the public in America.

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. But, technology and market environments have drastically changed in the intervening years. Advances in technology, science and engineering are badly needed to help address the increasingly complex problems we’re now trying to solve. research leadership ultimately depends,” writes the MIT report. “In

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 193

Looking back at the Acorn Study; Part 8.1: And then COVID happened

Dave Snowden

In between those two dates, something changed. Perhaps, if we are lucky, it has been enough to change us. This and next week’s blog post will look at the direction of some of these changes. Anthro-complexity Blogs Cynefin Centre Climate Change programme Series

Study 130

Looking back at the Acorn Study; Part 1: Introduction 

Dave Snowden

This has been a year of experimentation in many things, including the report format. More often than not, this report is not considered a final offering but a sense-making artefact to feed into more collective processes and interpretation on the ground.

Study 130

Next Generation Evaluation: Embracing Complexity, Connectivity, and Change

Beth Kanter

Game-changing approaches: What are the most promising methods and examples of how social sector players are practicing evaluation in light of these new trends? Three game-changing approaches will be discussed in detail: Developmental Evaluation , Shared Measurement , and Big Data. These approaches have the potential to change how we view evaluation in a significant way.

Growing Up in a Complex World

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The primary challenge emerging out of the CEO conversations was complexity - the fact that CEOs now operate in a world that is substantially more volatile, uncertain and complex. They feel that incremental changes are no longer sufficient because the world is operating in fundamentally different ways. Owing perhaps to the challenges of today’s economic environment, students revealed distinctive viewpoints on the issues of complexity, information and decision-making.

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. Organizational structures and cultural attitudes are not keeping up with changing realities. But, it all started to change over the past 20 - 25 years.

Data 196

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. The IT function of 2015 will bear little resemblance to its current state,” concludes one such report. But, for the most part, today’s IT infrastructures are not up to the task without undergoing major change. Cloud computing is a highly complex initiative - at the technical, business and organizational levels. In June of 2008 I participated in a conference on cloud computing.

Capacity, Change, and Performance

George Siemens

Capacity, Change, and Performance (.pdf pdf here ) is a lengthy report (166 pages) from 2008. The report is focused on development agencies, but many of the concepts tackled apply well to corporations and education. The report is worth more of an analysis/critique than I have time for now, but I’d to draw attention to the chart on page 19-20 (of the pdf) addressing major distinctions between planning in traditional systems versus planning in complex adaptive systems.

Change 130

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.

[shorenstein][liveblog] Phillip Martin on reporting poverty, and Boston’s racist image

David Weinberger

He is a Boston-based investigative reporter who (says Alex Jones) “tries to explain the city to itself.” It’s now considered to be one of the most dangerous in the area, which masks the complexity of the place. A labor reporter (Steve Orr [?]) He was reporting on the UAW and plants closing across Detroit. The coverage by this reporter did jibe with what Phillip saw happening and what his cousin Cyrus said about his experience working in an auto plant.

Report 131

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.