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. Figure 1 – Fully Connected Network.

complexity rules

Harold Jarche

We live and work in a complex system. Simple, traditional linear models do not work in complex systems. ” — How Netflix Finds Innovation on the Edge 2020. ” — Aeon: Complex Systems Science 2020. Complexity

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complex networks of trust

Harold Jarche

What is innovation? — History tells us that innovation is an outcome of a massive collective effort — not just from a narrow group of young white men in California.” — Mariana Mazzucato. Networks of trust are what create value for society. Democracy Innovation

The Social Network Is the Computer

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Our increasingly complex social interactions have been the critical factor in the exponential increase of human cranial capacity over the past few million years. “But today something is different. The Social Network Is the Computer. It simply said The Social Network Is the Computer.

Scale and Complex Systemic Innovation

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The column addresses a fundamental question that those studying innovation have been wrestling with for years: “Are big companies the best catalysts of innovation, or are small ones better?” The column is based on a recent study - Scale and Innovation in Today’s Economy - by Michael Mandel , chief economic strategist of the Progressive Policy Institute. As a result, there are reasons to believe that scale may be a plus for innovation in today’s economy, not a minus.”

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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. We can do this between ourselves by connecting and engaging with a diverse network of knowledgeable people using the internet. Complexity

May the Network Force Be With You

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

As we know, The Force is a source of power for those who, like the Jedi , feel its flow. “The network force is similar,” wrote Silicon Valley network expert and entrepreneur James Currier in Your Life is Driven by Network Effects. “You don’t always see it, but it is exerting itself on you.

Build trust, embrace networks, manage complexity

Harold Jarche

Hierarchies, simple branching networks, are obsolete. 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. Most organizations still deal with complexity through reorganization. A connected enterprise starts by building a foundation of trust, embracing networks, and then managing complexity. Networks. Networks are in a state of perpetual Beta.

The Current State of Open Innovation

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

In January, UC Berkeley professor Henry Chesbrough published Open Innovation Results : Going Beyond the Hype and Getting Down to Business, his fourth book on innovation in the last two decades. He’s credited with coining the term open innovation in his 2003 book of the same title.

Social networks drive Innovation

Harold Jarche

Tweet I’m always looking for simple ways to explain how networks change business and how social media help to increase openness, driving transparency and increasing innovation. complexity WirearchyDoes this graphic stand on its own, or is there more explanation required?

Are Innovation and R&D Yielding Decreasing Returns?

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Given the pace of technological change, we tend to think of our age as the most innovative ever. These innovations, first developed in the late 19th and early 20th century, have long been transforming the lives of billions. Innovation may be hitting a wall of diminishing returns. In a 2009 paper, The Burden of Knowledge and the ‘Death of the Renaissance Man’: Is Innovation Getting Harder? Innovators can compensate for this increasing knowledge burden in two key ways.

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

network literacies

Harold Jarche

Distributed governance was part of the conversation at RESET18 in Helsinki last month, where I discussed networks, communities of practice, knowledge-sharing, and sense-making, in the context of the Finnish civil service. I concluded that a network society needs networked models for organizing and for learning. Governments and their departments need to transition to the network form. Each network form will be different, so there are few best practices to follow.

Innovation and National Security in the 21st Century

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The Task Force noted that leadership in innovation, research and technology since World War II has made the US the most secure and economically prosperous nation on earth. A major new wave of innovation is characterized by speed, disruption, and scale.

Innovation through network learning

Harold Jarche

Tweet Innovation. Tim says that innovation is the process of idea management , which makes sense to me. Andrew Hargadon expands on this: In short, innovation is about connecting, not inventing. No idea will make a difference without building around it the networks that will support it as it grows, and the network partners with which it will ultimately flourish. Innovation is not so much about having ideas as it is about connecting and nurturing ideas.

Disruptive Innovation Revisited

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Disruptive innovation was first introduced by Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen in a 1995 Harvard Business Review (HBR) paper co-written with Joseph Bower. The concept was further elaborated and popularized in Christensen’s 1997 bestseller The Innovator's Dilemma , and in the articles and books he’s written or co-authored since then. 20 years after its introduction, Christensen has revisited his original concept in What is Disruptive Innovation? ,

Blockchain - the Networked Ecosystem is the Business

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The essence of blockchain, notes the report , is that the unit of competition is the networked ecosystem , no longer a single enterprise. “As blockchain adoption continues to gather momentum, organizations must approach their blockchain strategies with the same rigor and commitment as any other new and transformative strategies. In search of value - From “The Network is the Computer” to “The Ecosystem is the Business”.

The Blockchain and Open Innovation

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Transformational innovations don’t always play out as originally envisioned. Lest we forget, the Internet started out as a DARPA sponsored project aimed at developing a robust, fault-tolerant computer network. ARPANET was launched in 1969, and by the mid-1980s, it had grown and evolved into NSFNET , a network widely used in the academic and research communities. It’s too early to know if the blockchain will become another major transformational innovation.

bias thwarts innovation

Harold Jarche

My recent blog post on our future is networked and feminine has had more online attention than any other post I have written in the past two years. The network era workplace requires collaboration and cooperation because complex problems cannot be solved alone. Tacit knowledge flows in networks through social learning. In order to develop the necessary emergent practices to deal with complexity we therefore need to cultivate the diversity and autonomy of each worker.

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. Peter Hinnsen, in The Network Always Wins , describes the antidote to VUCA as VACINE. Innovation. Network. 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 ?

hold space for complex problems

Harold Jarche

Globalisation (think continued bubbles and crashes, a regional underclass, the world becoming urban, frugal innovation). 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.

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?

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. The majority of the [ HBR Paywall ] article is focussed on a ‘new’ concept Kotter calls ‘Strategic Accelerators’ In effect, he is talking about using Communities of Practice/collaborative networks to tap into the power and agility of the informal capabilities of an organisation.

Managing in Complexity

Harold Jarche

As our markets and technologies get more complex, we need new models to get work done. For instance, we know that creative work can yield more innovation, yet our workplaces usually stifle creativity. 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. Complex problems cannot be solved alone.

innovation in perpetual beta

Harold Jarche

The perpetual beta working model tries to show how work and learning are related as we negotiate various types of networks to get new ideas, test them out, and innovate how we work. Our social networks can help us increase our awareness of new ideas. Then in our workplaces we take action on the new knowledge we have developed from our looser-knit networks. Individual creativity is what we hope to gain from our social networks.

The “Recombinant” Nature of Digital Innovations

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Customer self-service is an excellent example of recombinant innovations , which UC Davis professor Andrew Hargadon defines as innovations that “rather than chasing whole new ideas, [are] focused on recombining old ideas in new ways.” The basic premise behind these kinds of innovations is the search for breakthrough ideas that might lead to the creation of new products, markets and industries based on novel combinations of existing technologies .

Are Innovation and R&D Yielding Decreasing Returns?

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Given the pace of technological change, we tend to think of our age as the most innovative ever. These innovations, first developed in the late 19th and early 20th century, have long been transforming the lives of billions. Innovation may be hitting a wall of diminishing returns. In a 2009 paper, The Burden of Knowledge and the ‘Death of the Renaissance Man’: Is Innovation Getting Harder? Innovators can compensate for this increasing knowledge burden in two key ways.

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. Complex problems require require different thinking. Ability to innovate faster.

Some Puzzling Questions about Innovation in the Digital Economy

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

This semester I am teaching the innovation half of a course on Entrepreneurship and Innovation at NYU’s new Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP). Teaching forces you to take a fresh look at the subjects you are covering, so I find myself revisiting questions I’ve long been thinking about: What is the essence of innovation in the digital economy and how does it differ from the industrial age innovation of the past two hundred years?

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. They are centers of creativity and innovation.

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Innovation Hubs in the Global Digital Economy

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Disruptive innovations, - like the power looms allegedly smashed by protesting Luddites, - have been displacing human labor for the past two centuries. These periods of creative destruction , - when new technology-based innovations led to painful transitions in once-dominant companies and jobs, - eventually worked themselves out. Over time, these same disruptive innovations rejuvenated the economy, and led to the creation of new industries and jobs.

innovation means learning at work

Harold Jarche

“So it is important to understand that there is no one-size-fits-all philosophy in terms of successful innovation. Innovation is continuous. Successful innovators and entrepreneurs all embrace change and the risks that they pose. In fact, innovation is the poster child of the mantra that there are no rules. Only by trying out new things, by failing, by discovering what works and what doesn’t, do you gain answers to the innovation question.” – Shaun Coffey.

Open Services Innovation

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Earlier this year, UC Berkeley professor Henry Chesbrough published a new book, Open Services Innovation: Rethinking Your Business to Grow and Compete in a New Era. This is his third book on open innovation in the last eight years, having published Open Innovation: The New Imperative for Creating and Profiting from Technology in 2003, and Open Business Models: How to Thrive in the New Innovation Landscape in 2006. t from your innovation activities.

The Internet, Blockchain, and the Evolution of Foundational Innovations

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The concept of disruptive technologies, as defined by Clayton Christensen 20 years ago, has become widely accepted as a way of thinking about innovation-driven growth, but it’s been often misunderstood and misapplied. A disruptive innovation is one that successfully challenges a traditional product or business model with a lower cost solution, typically developed by a small company with few resources. Internet-based platforms have given rise to ecosystems and network effects.

the innovation imperative

Harold Jarche

“It turns out that to develop a ‘cumulative culture’ – technology that constantly ratchets up in complexity and diversity – a species needs to be able to share information very accurately. If not, we will cease to progress, because innovation is a network activity. Monopolies are not innovative. If we are to encourage innovation, we have to work hard at engaging with diverse groups of people. Sharing is the innovation imperative.

Innovation in open online courses

George Siemens

This is a short overview of the innovations that we want to explore during the course. The innovations build heavily on community and network approaches that I and others (Stephen Downes, David Wiley, Alan Levine, Jim Groom, Dave Cormier) have used in previous open courses. Each learner is able to challenge herself by selecting assignments with various gradients of complexity.

Course 209

Revolutionary, Ordinary Innovation

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

While the Square technology is very cool indeed, Davidoff’s key point is the ordinary nature of the innovation in question. The deal not only has the potential to change the way people pay for coffee and everything else, it also shows how small innovation applied to everyday tasks may be the next new thing for venture capital. Call it the rise of the ordinary innovators. Square shows how these venture capital networks can be used to transform the ordinary.

Re-wiring for the Complex Workplace

Harold Jarche

Complexity is the new normal. Almost every person is connected to worldwide communication networks. In the network era, learning and working are tightly interconnected. Social bonds keep us together and connections between people drive innovation. To ensure reliable operations and risk mitigation, the core competencies of decision-making and innovation are centralized, creating a structural knowledge-sharing bottleneck. Re-wiring for complexity.

networked unmanagement

Harold Jarche

What are fundamental changes necessary to shift the dominant organizational model toward stronger networks and temporary, mutually negotiated hierarchies? They have been provided with a lot of advice around business models from local government and industry, but they have not seen any models that reflect the reality of the network era: post-job, global, digital, mobile, complex, creative, agile, self-managing, etc. Jarche’s Principles of Networked Unmanagement*.

diverse networks, strong relationships

Harold Jarche

Sharing complex knowledge requires trusted professional relationships. strong interpersonal relationships that allowed discussion, questions, and feedback were an essential aspect of the transfer of complex knowledge” – Hinds & Pfeffer (2003). Being engaged with a diverse network of people who share their knowledge makes for more effective workers. Understanding how to do this becomes a key business skill in the network era. “We

networked social capital

Harold Jarche

These data required a subject matter network to make sense of them. ex_cid=story-facebook” at the end of the referenced URL] Everyone is tracking you online, even the ‘good guys’ Anyone in a position of organizational leadership in this connected world should be focused on making their networks smarter. The smarter their networks, the better decisions they will be able to make. More of our challenges are going to big and complex.

PKM and innovation

Harold Jarche

In the FastCoDesign article, How do you create a culture of innovation? the authors note four skills that most successful innovators exhibit: Questioning: Asking probing questions that impose or remove constraints. Networking: Interacting with people from different backgrounds who provide access to new ways of thinking. The Seek-Sense-Share framework aligns with these innovation skills. Sharing through our networks helps to develop better feedback loops.

PKM 207

The Management of Disruptive Innovations

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The management of disruptive innovations is very different when looking at relatively simple or self-contained technologies, products or services versus highly complex platforms and infrastructures. A lot of the hype you often hear when new innovations come about is the result of people not properly understanding the different dynamics that apply to simple versus highly complex innovations.