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.

self-managing for complexity

Harold Jarche

“What processes will be effective in helping people to unlearn the disposition or stance that made them successful in the ordered domains of Cynefin? How can they most effectively learn the skills required in the complex domain? Complexity

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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. He also elaborates on 16 attributes of effective ways to address complex problems.

Leadership by Example

Harold Jarche

Here are two examples. Now that process takes about six weeks. He was enormously frightened but did make the kill correctly, appropriately through the process of ‘modelling’ Now Mary modelled how to dress for years. Leadership by example becomes the key.

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

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.

A Competent Competency Process

Clark Quinn

In the process of looking at ways to improve the design of courses, the starting point is good objectives. SO drilling in the exact meanings of words is valuable, as an example. As Van Merriënboer’s 4 Component Instructional Design talks about, we need to separate out the knowledge from the complex problems we apply it to. We then need good processes, so I’ve talked to a couple of educational institutions doing competencies, to see what could be learned.

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.

Exception handling is complex work

Harold Jarche

Complex, new problems need tacit knowledge to solve them. As exceptions get addressed, some or all of the solution can get automated, and so the process evolves. For example, just adding finished reports to a knowledge base does not help others understand how that report was developed.

Scale and Complex Systemic Innovation

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

They excel at creative destruction , the term that economist Joseph Schumpeter popularized almost seventy years ago to describe the process of transformation that accompanies disruptive innovation. By investing in new products or processes, the company can sell them to their already large customer base and reap greater rewards faster. This kind of complex systemic innovation leverages lots of known ideas and makes them work together to help address important problems.

Job-Killing Processes

Martijn Linssen

I’ve been wrestling with a thought lately – if organizations are complex systems, and complex systems are continuously self-organizing, then why do we believe formal processes make these complex systems more efficient? Complexity Decision Science Governance Strateg

Re-wiring for the Complex Workplace

Harold Jarche

Complexity is the new normal. Over time, even more processes and departments are put in place. For example, the company’s vision will be established at the board level, but individual workers will be far removed from it. Re-wiring for complexity.

Future of work is complex, implicit and intangible

Harold Jarche

With the increasing complexity that networks bring, implicit knowledge-sharing becomes more important as well, but this is often ignored by both training and knowledge management programs. The future of work is complex, implicit, and intangible. complexity Work

Design Principles for Complex, Unpredictable, People Oriented Systems

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

An IBM Global CEO Study conducted in 2010 concluded that complexity was the primary challenge emerging out of its conversations with 1,500 CEOs and senior government officials. CEOs told us they operate in a world that is substantially more volatile, uncertain and complex. Over the past several years, we have seen a rising emphasis on design, creativity and holistic thinking in business to help us deal with an increasingly volatile, unpredictable complex world.

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Innovation is not a repeatable process

Harold Jarche

Can innovation be promoted through better processes? I have not been able to find any regular correllation between well adopted innovation processes and actual innovation outcomes, and I’ve been looking pretty hard. I want every knowledge worker to discover his or her own processes.

Social Learning, Complexity and the Enterprise

Harold Jarche

Our relationship with knowledge is changing as our work becomes more intangible and complex. For example, the role of online community manager, a fast-growing field today, barely existed five years ago. We are seeing increasing examples of this on the edges of the modern enterprise.

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.

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

The complex motivations for self-harm

Mind Hacks

The reality is that motivations for self-harming are complex. Part of the article gives examples of various forms of symbolic ‘magical thinking’ It’s a bit wordy but it illustrates some of the psychological complexity of self-harm. Transanimation of processes.

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. The problem I have is the word solution is that it implies a prior known problem and if you look at every example I have seen in design thinking presentations they make claims about providing imaginative solutions to defined problems. Co-evolution is a fragmented dynamic, shifting process.

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.

Complexity in Government

Dave Snowden

To see a whole government start to shift towards complexity theory as a new paradigm of government is mist encouraging. My argument was that we in a phase shift period, between the paradigm of systems dynamics (process, scenario planning, learning organisation) and complexity theory (fragmented sense-making, use of human sensor networks, the inter-connectivity of social computing etc.). Process control works for ordered aspects of systems, but only for order.

Corporate Survival: Lessons from Biology

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Let’s take a closer look at the nature of complex adaptive systems. Why are these systems so complex? I found the most satisfying answer to this seemingly Socratic question in an excellent 2002 paper - Complexity and Robustness - by professors Jean Carlson and John Doyle.

Human-AI Decision Systems

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

In modern societies, decision systems provide a leader the ability to make informed and timely decisions, supported by a complex enterprise of distributed information and communication systems that provide situational awareness.

AI and the Productivity Paradox

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Their deployment time-lags are longer because attaining their full benefits requires a number of complementary co-inventions and investments, including additional technologies, applications, processes, business models, and regulatory policies.

A Novel Approach for Measuring the True Impact of the Digital Economy

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

While suitable when economies were dominated by the production of physical goods, GDP doesn’t adequately capture the growing share and variety of services and the development of increasingly complex solutions in our 21st century digital economy.

Is Blockchain Ready to “Cross the Chasm”? Lessons from the Internet

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

These survey results are not surprising for a technology as new and complex as blockchain. Traditionally, intermediaries have taken on the role of trust keepers, adding costs, delays and complexity to the processing of transactions.

Minds and Machines

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The machines would handle routine processes, record keeping, and quantitative tasks, leaving more time for people to exercise their judgement, intuition, creativity, and interactions with each other.

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Artificial Intelligence is Ready for Business; Are Businesses Ready for AI?

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

A successful program requires firms to address many elements of a digital and analytics transformation: identify the business case, set up the right data ecosystem, build or buy appropriate AI tools, and adapt workflow processes, capabilities, and culture.”. AI is now seemingly everywhere.

Global Trends and Business Strategy

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Major trends involve competing complex forces interacting with each other, making it even more difficult to ascertain where things are heading. It also is creating fresh opportunities to improve performance through supply-chain, product, process, and service improvements.

The Datafication of Business and Society

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

In contrast to digitalisation, which enabled productivity improvements and efficiency gains on already existing processes, datafication promises to completely redefine nearly every aspect of our existence as humans on this planet.

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Digital Identity - the Key to Privacy and Security in the Digital World

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

From time immemorial, our identity systems have been based on face-to-face interactions and on physical documents and processes. But, it’s a highly complex and interesting subject. Let’s illustrate how an identity system works using passports as an example.

Design Thinking and the Workplace Experience

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

To help overcome the stiff resistance often encountered by disruptive innovations, - both within one’s own organization and in the marketplace, - the article proposed that design thinking should be applied to their actual introduction, - a process it calls intervention design.

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Job-Killing Processes

Martijn Linssen

I’ve been wrestling with a thought lately – if organizations are complex systems, and complex systems are continuously self-organizing, then why do we believe formal processes make these complex systems more efficient? Complexity Decision Science Governance Strateg

Thriving in networks that are smarter and faster than you are

Harold Jarche

As they grew to their current size, control processes were put in place to create efficiencies. These organizations are now facing increasingly complex business environments that require continuous learning while working. Providing good tools and teaching by example is a start.

Open Innovation 2.0

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Examples abound of companies that failed to commercialize the inventions developed in their labs. Consequently, their R&D personnel had to go out to the marketplace and learn first hand about the increasingly complex problems that required their ideas, inventions and products.

The Connected Workplace

Harold Jarche

Our increasing interconnectedness is illuminating the complexity of our work environments. Complicated work, for which standardized processes can be developed, usually gets outsourced to the lowest cost of labor. Communities complexity Leadership Learning PKM SocialLearning Wirearchy

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The Rise of the T-Shaped Organization

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

As described by IDEO CEO Tim Brown : “The vertical stroke of the T is a depth of skill that allows them to contribute to the creative process. It requires detailed analysis of technologies, quality, processes, competitors, customer satisfaction and market segments.

Technological Unemployment and the Future of Work

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Most jobs involve a number of tasks or processes. High skill, high wage : These jobs generally require the kinds of expert problem solving and complex communications skills typically seen in managerial, professional and technical occupations.

Knowledge Management for Decision Memories

Harold Jarche

This is Big Knowledge Management , leveraging the power of enterprise software platforms to store decision, process, and event memories. Process and event memories, like project outputs, are relatively easy to capture and codify. complexity PKM Work