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. I always have mixed feelings when I finish a Christmas blog series.

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.

Insiders

Sign Up for our Newsletter

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

complexity rules

Harold Jarche

We live and work in a complex system. Simple, traditional linear models do not work in complex systems. Complexity is not complicated, nor linear — “In complex systems, the last thing that happened is almost never informative about what’s coming next.”

At the Complexity turn …

Dave Snowden

What I might deem the Complexity Turn which lies in a new synthesis of science and the humanities is at that point. For them, complexity is something to be untangled, harnessed, made simple. Within that complexity science is one, but not the only science we use.

Anthro-complexity & aesthetics

Dave Snowden

That was the first time I used the term anthro-complexity in writing and I stated that it was the front runner to name a field. Previously I had used social and cognitive complexity but the former had been used elsewhere and the latter was not complete enough.

Root ’cause’ & complexity

Dave Snowden

The first is the assertion that because complex systems have no linear material causality that all forms of root cause analysis should be abandoned. The only thing we know for certain about a complex system is that whatever we do will have unintended consequences.

Reflections on Complexity, Chaos and COVID-19

Dave Snowden

It is in this context that we pulled together some of the leading thinkers in the field of complexity to explore where we are from different perspectives. The post Reflections on Complexity, Chaos and COVID-19 appeared first on Cognitive Edge.

Complexity in Human Systems

Dave Snowden

As complexity theory has started to get traction I’ve had three concerns. Secondly to distinguish work on complexity in human systems from that based on non-human systems (although again there is much of value). Thirdly to prevent complexity becoming a single guru movement or movements. The post Complexity in Human Systems appeared first on Cognitive Edge.

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

Twelvetide 20:08 Anthro-complexity

Dave Snowden

PENDING CONTENT. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pictures. 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.

Complex thinking

Clark Quinn

An interesting article I came across brings up an interesting issue: how do we do complex thinking? The article says that our brains are limited in thinking about complex situations. We can do complex thinking, with the right tools. The post Complex thinking appeared first on Learnlets. Are some people just better at it? The short answer appears to be ‘no’ Instead, a couple of tools play a role, and I think it’s an interesting excursion.

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.

How the elephant got his trunk: what evolution can teach us about complexity

Dave Snowden

In the Cynefin framework, evolution appears most prominently in exaptive practice, associated with the complex domain. Exaptation in that context is defined as radical repurposing and it is key to how innovation often happens in complexity.

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.

complex networks of trust

Harold Jarche

Only global networks of trust can work on this complex problem. The world is too complex for elites and hierarchies. What is innovation? — it is not so much about having ideas as it is about connecting and nurturing ideas.

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.

self-managing for complexity

Harold Jarche

How can they most effectively learn the skills required in the complex domain? 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? If we want to help people deal with complex problems and environments then they need to learn and practice in these. Complexity

Agency: privilege & complexity

Dave Snowden

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). In today’s post I want to start the examination of who/what should and who/what can have agency in creating change in the complex fractal systems which comprise our various organisations, polities and increasing poleis that comprise our world.

Complex knowledge

Harold Jarche

Last week I spent several hours each day, for four consecutive days, trying to share complex knowledge. I was reminded once again of how much time it takes to share complex (implicit) knowledge. To really share complex knowledge takes a willingness to listen as well as the time and space to do so. complexity Learning Wirearchy I had my understanding of communities of practice, personal knowledge management, leadership, and innovation that I wanted to share.

Complexity, design and aesthetics

Dave Snowden

Last year we looked at complexity in generation, in 2018 we are both expanding the number (from one to three) and focusing in particular areas. The first this year is coming up shortly in Whistler and will focus on creating a complex systems approach to how we handle design and innovation in large organisations, the role of aesthetics and creativity in human systems. The post Complexity, design and aesthetics appeared first on Cognitive Edge.

culture is complex

Harold Jarche

I listened to John Seely Brown several years ago where he explained there is only one way to understand a complex adaptive system (namely one with people in it): you have to marinate in it. Culture is complex. Communities ComplexityI am in a rural village in France enjoying my last day here before heading home. This week was spent mostly in Paris, running a workshop and meeting with a few people.

How the elephant got his trunk: what evolution can teach us about complexity

Dave Snowden

Anthro complexity. In the Cynefin framework , evolution appears most prominently in exaptive practice, associated with the complex domain. Exaptation in that context is defined as radical repurposing and it is key to how innovation often happens in complexity.

mastering complexity

Harold Jarche

“Our most successful clients have cross-flowing knowledge networks to handle the complexity/variety of their marketplace.” “The One Year Club – organizations that buy tools to embrace a new way of working without understanding fit, and finding it really complex. Organizations realize 9 to 18 months in that their tools don’t fit and what they are trying to do is really complex & they need help.

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. Now complexity is uncomfortable to any organisation (which in fact means more or less all organisations) as it challenges several key assumptions.

complexity and social learning

Harold Jarche

As we transition from a market to a network economy, complexity will increase due to our hyper-connectedness. Managing in complex adaptive systems means influencing possibilities rather than striving for predictability (good or best practices). Read more » Complexity SocialLearningNo one has the definitive answer any more but we can use the intelligence of our networks to make sense together.

Organize for Complexity

Harold Jarche

” Well I think Niels has answered much of that question himself, in his recent book Organize for Complexity. We call this “disciplined practice” Fads like business analytics, knowledge management, and big data will never make organizations fit for complexity. So what does Organize for Complexity cover? Complex markets require decentralization, combined with market-like coordination. Books complexity ConnectedEnterprise Wirearchy

Decision Making in Our Increasingly Complex Organizations

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

As machine predictions become inexpensive and commonplace, the human judgement that leverages and complements prediction will become more valuable, especially given the increasing complexity of the decisions our institutions are called upon to make. “It’s But, explains McKinsey, our growing organizational complexity has clouded decision making accountability. Complex Systems Economic Issues Management and Leadership Society and Culture Technology and Strategy

complexity in the workplace

Harold Jarche

In my post on complexity and learning, I said that work in networks requires different skills than in hierarchies. Read more » Complexity ConnectedEnterprise SocialLearningCoordination is making sure things get done effectively and efficiently. Most organizations do this well. Collaboration is working together for a common objective, usually directed through someone in authority. This is still the focus of most.

Meet Xyleme [Video]: Solving Complex Content Management Challenges at Scale

Xyleme

Xyleme’s content management solutions alleviate the resulting maintenance burden, making it easy for organizations to personalize, reuse and maintain even the most complex content libraries. When personalizing and localizing content at scale, a single document can multiply exponentially.

improvise for complexity

Harold Jarche

The five principles are: Assume complexity and only control process choices, not the outcome. ComplexityThe premise of A Useful Idea is that improvisation acting principles can help with the creation of something new, and perhaps innovative. Nourish ‘ensemble’ to let go of safety and dive in with openness [ improv activities help]. Design skillful rehearsals & adaptive performances [ perpetual beta ]. Tap into source [ half-baked ideas ].

hold space for complex problems

Harold Jarche

Every one of the major challenges facing us is complex. But our organizations are not designed for complexity. Our education institutions do not teach an understanding of complexity. Our workplace training does not factor in complexity. While not all of our problems are complex, the simpler issues are being dealt with. We need to take what Clay Shirky calls the cognitive surplus , and use it to wrestle with complex problems. Complexity Democracy

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. All of these are valid and in the complex domain model we can of course move in both directions. Now one of the big problems is that most people, even when they understand complexity, start in the centre.

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. Underneath this of course we have some principles, namely that you cannot determine the outcome in a complex system.

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. 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. So what is applying complexity thinking to public policy really all about?

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. ComplexityHave you heard the term VUCA ? Volatility. Uncertainty. Ambiguity. Peter Hinnsen, in The Network Always Wins , describes the antidote to VUCA as VACINE. Velocity. Agility.

Complexity thinking

Harold Jarche

So in summary systems thinking is about closing the gap to an ideal future state using and focusing on individuals while complexity thinking is about understanding the present, and evolving through collective action to a future state which could not be fully anticipated but which is sustainable and resilient. complexity

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. Complexity, driven by global networked communications, is the main factor. complexity InternetTime SocialBusiness

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

Complex Systems and the “Rashomon Effect”

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

But part of my fascination with the subject is that I often ask myself similar questions when thinking about the equally mysterious world of highly complex emergent systems, that is, systems where the whole can at times be quite different from the sum of their parts. The reasons meteorologists give forecasts based on probabilities is because, given how complex weather systems are, they in fact don’t have access to all relevant information.

simple structures for complex problems

Harold Jarche

It is a suite of capabilities that foster an organizational culture that is constantly learning in order to understand and engage the complex environment in which it lives. The human brain is the best interface for complexity. Complexity needs simple, adaptive structures. Complexity ConnectedEnterprise DemocracyWhat is the optimal digital transformation technology for a networked organization?

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. A society’s potential to function well at a given stage, and to evolve to a higher level of complexity, depends on its ability to integrate these inherently contradictory forms into a well-functioning whole. complexity Wirearchy

social learning for complex work

Harold Jarche

It’s a question of complexity. Complex systems and learning how to work with them cannot be controlled. If you are working in a complex system, you will never be able to know everything. For instance, the environment and communities are complex systems that cannot be controlled, only influenced. This requires cooperation and collaboration between people to understand the complexity. Complexity SocialLearning“Carnegie Mellon’s Robert E.