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.

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.

Trending Sources

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 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. A complex world is not random nor is it arbitrary, we can manage or direct interactions to allow direction.

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.

System 109

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.

System 124

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.

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.

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 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.

Data 126

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.

Design 102

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.

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

What’s the Value of Blockchain?

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Such real-world use cases are particularly important when introducing a new, complex set of technologies in the marketplace. IGF provides over $40 billion of financing to the IT channel annually and processes over 35,000 returned IT assets per week around the world.

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.

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

PKM 142

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.

The Future of the Globally Integrated Enterprise

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Global competition forced companies to become more agile and efficient by unbundling functions and re-engineering processes. . From 1990 to 2010, for example, 1.2 Complex Systems Economic Issues Management and Leadership Political Issues Society and Culture Technology and Strategy

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

Intervention Design: Overcoming Stiff Resistance to a New, Disruptive Innovation

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

With four articles on the subject, HBR ’s overriding message is that design is no longer just for physical products, being increasingly applied to customer experiences, innovation, business strategy, and complex problem solving. .

Network Era Skills

Harold Jarche

For example, just adding finished reports to a knowledge base does not help others understand how that report was developed. While collaboration is important, it is not enough for the complex workplace. complexity ConnectedEnterprise Leadership

Skills 142

It is time to simplify

Harold Jarche

Over time, to enable growth and efficiencies, more processes have been put in place. To compensate for its complicated processes, the enterprise attempts to shift to another paradigm, and tries to become a learning organization, putting significant effort into training.

intangible value

Harold Jarche

Only through the power of value networks can we address our complex issues – together – and create a more hopeful future.” – Verna Allee. “A Examples might be offering to provide political support to someone. Complexity NetworkedLearning

The Growing Importance of Storytelling in the Business World

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Over the years I’ve learned that when trying to explain a complex new concept or product, it’s important to engage in a kind-of conversation with your intended audience, where you talk about what's in your mind, your questions, your doubts, what you know and what you don't know.