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A guide to complexity and organizations

Harold Jarche

Via Jay Cross is this amazing synthesis – Organize for Complexity – of how complexity affects our work and the ways in which we can change our organizational structures to account for complexity, instead or adding more complication.

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. Innovation. ComplexityHave you heard the term VUCA ?

Organizing for diversity and complexity

Harold Jarche

It comes down to the fact that what we know and do inside our organizations is insufficient to address external complexity or to be innovative. How do you maintain the integrity of the organization while embracing the chaos beyond? Communities complexity

The Complex Nature of Cloud-based Innovation

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

I find it helpful to look at cloud along two key dimensions: as a technology to improve IT productivity, and as a platform for enabling business innovation. Only one company in six viewed cloud as a way of fostering business innovation.

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. In our work teams we can focus on incremental innovation, to get better at what we already do.

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.

The post-hierarchical organization

Harold Jarche

The way we manage our organizations is largely ineffective for the complex challenges we face, whether driven by the environment, demographics, economics, or politics. But hierarchies are rather useless to create, innovate, or change. Complex problems cannot be solved alone.

Complex knowledge

Harold Jarche

Last week I spent several hours each day, for four consecutive days, trying to share complex knowledge. I had my understanding of communities of practice, personal knowledge management, leadership, and innovation that I wanted to share. complexity Learning Wirearchy

self-organization is the future

Harold Jarche

If we as a society think it is important that citizens are engaged, people are passionate about their work, and that we all contribute to making a better world, then we need to enable self-organization. Like democracy, self-organized teams are hard work.

Networked individuals trump organizations

Harold Jarche

As hyperlinks subvert hierarchy , so does work fragmentation subvert organizations. In knowledge-based work the primary unit of value creation has shifted from the organization to the individual. This in turn fosters a diversity of ideas, and promotes innovative thinking.

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. This is counter-productive in dealing with complexity and working in perpetual Beta.

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. The only way to change a hierarchical organization is to create a new hierarchy. Complexity. Hierarchies.

The Rise of the T-Shaped Organization

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The concept of T-shaped skills was first introduced over 20 years ago, but its importance, - to both individuals and organizations, - has continued to rise. The growing demand for T-shaped skills points to the rise of the T-shaped organization.

No cookie cutters for complexity

Harold Jarche

The organization(s) [clients] will in my opinion get better advice rooted in critical thinking and experience and focused on results, as opposed to maintaining an expensive dependency on canned rhetoric that may not be based in much experience. How is my organization different from these?

Making sense of complexity and innovation

Harold Jarche

Friday’s Finds: Gall’s Law: A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. A complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be patched up to make it work. Innovation is continuous.

Social Business – Rethinking Innovation, Organization and Leadership

Luis Suarez

How do we make them stand out and help them lead us in such a complex, global and diverse environment? Well, here is one potential answer to them all: Social Business – Rethinking Innovation, Organization and Leadership.

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. Innovation and Learning. Innovation

Re-wiring for the Complex Workplace

Harold Jarche

Complexity is the new normal. Social bonds keep us together and connections between people drive innovation. Our complicated industrial organizations are quite good at keeping their structural problems hidden. Re-wiring for complexity. complexity Learning Wirearchy

Managing Complex, Disruptive Innovations - Some Lessons Learned

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Over the past twenty years I have been involved in a number of initiatives dealing with disruptive innovations. You don’t really know how quickly the new innovations will be adopted in the marketplace. The dot-com era was famous for its many innovations, but also for its hype.

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. More specifically, they needed to learn how to approach problems from many perspectives and to combine various approaches to find innovative solutions.”.

System 109

Creating More Intelligent Organizations

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

organize these collaborations and enhance them with innovative IT-based. If so, is it possible to create more intelligent organizations? Another CCI project is aiming to answer these questions by trying to understand the intrinsic nature of intelligent organizations.

The Internet, Blockchain, and the Evolution of Foundational Innovations

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

They govern interactions among nations, organizations, communities, and individuals. Individuals, organizations, machines, and algorithms would freely transact and interact with one another with little friction.”.

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. Our relationship with knowledge is changing as our work becomes more intangible and complex. Organizations should focus on results.

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. Complexity Democracy

Preparing Students for an Increasingly Complex Business World

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Are engineering and management schools adequately preparing students for our fast-changing, highly complex business world? Companies generally want MBA graduates with good social skills who are good at leadership, communications, and innovation.

The Blockchain and Open Innovation

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Transformational innovations don’t always play out as originally envisioned. Similarly, Linux has been successfully overseen by the Linux Foundation , whose antecedent organizations were established in 2000. Once in the marketplace, they seem to acquire a life of their own.

The Firm as a Large, Complex, Extended Family

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

A recent Economist article, One of the Giants , summed up Professor Coase life’s work in his own words: “I have made no innovations in high theory. A firms is best viewed as a kind-of rather large and highly complex family. Many of the same emotions apply to organizations.

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. .

How organizations can thrive in the network era

Harold Jarche

I recently covered the BetaCodex Guide to Organizing for Complexity. The challenge of moving from a hierarchical to a network structure is a complete shift in how we have thought about organizations. complexity Innovation

Market-facing Innovation Labs

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

But, they are being reincarnated in our 21st century information economy as market-facing innovation labs, with significantly different and broader scopes than those of the original industrial economy research labs. Since we did not have a good understanding of what it was that they actually did, let alone what their problems were, we could not tell them how our innovative ideas could be of help to them in their work.

White House: Innovation in Higher Education

George Siemens

The invitation was somewhat cryptic, but basically stated that the focus on the meeting was on quality and innovation. This invite was then followed a week later with a link to a post by Ted Mitchell, Undersecretary of Education, on Innovation and Quality in Higher Education , to help prepare for the conversation. The event organizers made it clear that no media or social media was allowed during the event in order to have an open brainstorming session.

The 2016 MIT Inclusive Innovation Awards

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Several months ago, MIT’s Initiative on the Digital Economy launched its first annual Inclusive Innovation Competition (IIC). In addition, four additional $25,000 Judges Choice Awards were given to organizations deemed by the judges to be uniquely inventive.

Innovation as a Journey into the Future

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

I recently read an excellent innovation report, - Strategic Orientations for Innovation: Chile in the 2025 Horizon. He was a Senator then, a position he held from March of 2002 until his appointment to president of the Innovation Council.

Disruptive Innovations and Large Companies

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The subject of my seminar was Managing Technology-based Disruptive Innovations. Given my long career at IBM, as well as my more recent involvement with Citi, it is not surprising that I am particularly interested in entrepreneurship and innovation in large companies. Its lead article defined the term as: “somebody who offers an innovative solution to a (frequently unrecognised) problem. Startups are generally organized around one central innovation.

The MIT Inclusive Innovation Competition

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

As i ts website explains: “While digital technologies are rapidly transforming both business practices and societies and are integral to the innovation-driven economies of the future, they are also the core driver of the great economic paradox of our time.

Innovation is about making connections

Harold Jarche

The network era workplace requires collaboration and cooperation because complex problems cannot be solved alone. It is also the lubricant for an agile organization, where initiative, creativity and passion are encouraged. Life is complex and even chaotic on this fuzzy edge.

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. The Seek-Sense-Share framework aligns with these innovation skills.

PKM 56

Reflections on the Nature of Human Organizations

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

For most of history, the vast majority of people lived in farms and villages, and worked in relatively small organizations. . We learned that in many cases, our human organizations are more efficient the larger they are. Furthermore, larger organizations are typically accompanied by an increase in human interactions which improve their overall creativity and potential for innovation. Cities are centers of economic activity, innovation and creativity.

The new shape of organizations?

Clark Quinn

As I read more about how to create organizations that are resilient and adaptable, there’s an interesting emergent characteristic. While I haven’t had a chance to think about it at scale, like how it would manifest in a large organization, it certainly bears some strengths. Innovation, which tends to get stifled in a hierarchical structure, can flourish in this more flexible structure.

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. This is how we create a culture of innovation.