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

But the old Latin question is apposite here: quis custodiet ipsos custodes? 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.

Trending Sources

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. This may sound scary but it’s the only way to manage in a complex environment.

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. Complex problems cannot be solved alone. complexity Wirearchy Work

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). The post Agency: privilege & complexity appeared first on Cognitive Edge.

Complex Systems and the “Rashomon Effect”

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

In the column, professor Frenkel discusses a very deep and important question: Is there such a thing as a true reality, or “is our belief in a definite, objective, observer-independent reality an illusion?”

No cookie cutters for complexity

Harold Jarche

As social learning, collaboration, and even complexity become mainstream concepts, the array of products and services around them are becoming commoditized. Some of this is due to their own difficulties in facing complexity and not having the time or energy to dig into these concepts.

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?” There is little question that small, entrepreneurial start-ups are almost always the ones that bring to market highly disruptive innovations. This kind of complex systemic innovation leverages lots of known ideas and makes them work together to help address important problems.

improvise for complexity

Harold Jarche

The five principles are: Assume complexity and only control process choices, not the outcome. 2) Avoid asking questions. In business that means being conscious of how continually asking questions makes other people do all the work. Complexity

Re-wiring for the Complex Workplace

Harold Jarche

Complexity is the new normal. Today’s complicated organizations are now facing increasingly complex business environments that require agility in simultaneously learning and working. Re-wiring for complexity. complexity Learning Wirearchy

The Firm as a Large, Complex, Extended Family

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

A second article in the same September, 2013 Economist issue, The man who showed why firms exist , said: “The job of clever people is to ask difficult questions. A firms is best viewed as a kind-of rather large and highly complex family.

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

The Power of Networks in a Complex (Business) World

Luis Suarez

We are our relations “ To then finish off with a short note on the impact of social technologies in today’s complex, more interconnected world than ever: . The task today is to understand what both social business and complexity mean.

the problem is to know what questions to ask

Harold Jarche

We are the experts : Formal learning and explicit knowledge are not enough to navigate and make sense of the complexities of an interconnected world. The problem is to know what questions to ask.”. The question is: how do we shape our structures for tomorrow?

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? Happily think beyond black-and- white to the gray areas, and ask expansive, unexpected questions that lead to better solutions.” .

Social Learning, Complexity and the Enterprise

Harold Jarche

It is a world where the capability to find information and turn it into knowledge at the point-of-need provides the key competitive advantage, where knowing the right people to ask the right questions of is more likely to lead to success than any amount of internally-held knowledge and skill.

Big Data, Complex Systems and Quantum Mechanics

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

In thinking about this question over the last few years, I started to notice that a number of subtle, non-intuitive concepts that I learned many years ago as a physics student seem to apply to the world of big data and information-based predictions in highly complex systems. The concept of wave-particle duality explains that reality depends on what question you are asking and what experiment you perform to answer the question.

Strategy Made Simple - The 3 Core Strategy Questions

John Hagel

In increasingly turbulent and complex times, we understandably fall prey to a dangerous temptation – both as institutions and individuals. The option is to focus more than ever on three core strategy questions that can help provide us with focus and stability even as the turbulence increases around us – and help us to prioritize where we need to respond and where we don’t. This is a relatively new, but increasingly important, strategic question

Some Puzzling Questions about Innovation in the Digital Economy

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

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.

in an increasingly complex world

Harold Jarche

Robert Warwick - Following a comprehensive literature review, heavily influenced by complexity sciences, we came up with seven essential criteria that are important to consider in an increasingly complex world, these were: Go out of your way to make new connections. complexity

Five Key Questions

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

I was asked to provide some initial recommendations for that initiative, in the form of responses to five questions. What makes systems like Ontario's and Finland's worth emulating is the fact that they produce highly competent graduates, capable of excellence not only on standardized international tests but also of flourishing in a complex technologically advanced environment.

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.

How Can We Ensure that Our Complex AI Systems Do What We Want Them to Do?

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Things are even tougher with people-centric sociotechnical systems, which not only have to deal with potential software problems, but with the even more complex issues involved in human behaviors and interactions. What is it that makes these systems so intrinsically complex?

Managing Complex, Disruptive Innovations - Some Lessons Learned

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

You cannot answer lots of the questions people will have, both inside and outside the organization. . The answers to these questions and the ensuing actions you take are likely to be critical to the future of the business.

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. complexity Friday''s Finds Innovation

The Collapse of Complex Business Models ? Clay Shirky

Clay Shirky

The Times’ Paywall and Newsletter Economics » The Collapse of Complex Business Models. From the Q&A after, it was clear that for them, the question wasn’t whether the internet was going to alter their business, but about the mode and tempo of that alteration. That kind of question comes up a lot. In 1988, Joseph Tainter wrote a chilling book called The Collapse of Complex Societies. At this point, any additional complexity is pure cost.

Diversity, complexity, chaos and working smarter

Harold Jarche

Complexity, chaos and enterprise-architecture ~ by @tetradian – via @DavidGurteen [explores the under-represented Chaotic domain of Dave Snowden's Cynefin framework]. question “How do we get adoption for social software?”

Strategy and Execution in an Increasingly Complex World

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Its title asks the question: “ Strategy or Execution: Which Is More Important? ,” to which it adds the tagline: “Many business leaders think they’d rather have great execution than superior strategies, but you can’t have the first without the second” . Twenty-thirty years ago, the business world was arguably less complex, slower moving and more predictable. These shifts are unyielding and contribute to the sense of a world growing more uncertain, volatile and complex.” .

The Complex Transition to the Age of the Cloud

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

But, while many of us feel that cloud is even bigger and more profound than we thought back in 2008, lots of questions remain on its intrinsic nature and its value to the business. . Cloud computing is a highly complex initiative - at the technical, business and organizational levels. And, one of the key lessons we all hopefully learned from the dot-com era is that complex, global initiatives take time. In June of 2008 I participated in a conference on cloud computing.

A dark and complex past

Mind Hacks

The case raises a number of difficult questions. But perhaps more important is the question of whether Reichel-Dolmatof can ever redeem himself. It may have been a question he asked himself many times.

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. Mind-Body cartesian dualism, Newtonian Physics and many other assumptions underpin the dominant ways of thinking in western society (and elsewhere) and as commonly understood design thinking does not avoid the trap; namely asking the wrong questions.

Why diverse viewpoints are critical in dealing with complexity

Ross Dawson

The September issue of Harvard Business Review focused on complexity, with several excellent articles. Mauboussin , the chief investment strategist at Legg Mason Capital Management, whose investment approach is fundamentally based on understanding complexity. His answer to the last question in the interview was very interesting: What are some of the rules of thumb for getting yourself into the right mind-set to deal with complexity?

Networks, Information, and Complex Adaptive Systems

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

Networks'' and ''Complex adaptive systems'' are two very different things. I''ve talked about the question of interpretations on numerous occasions - my most complete discussions can be found here and here Under the heading "A believable theory? Actually, yes it is. Jon Dron offers a longish paragraph in two parts. In the first part, he outlines a view of my theory he thinks is OK, while in the second part he expands on the ''But.''

Complexity and Design in Warfare

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The workshop explored how design-oriented approaches can help us better understand and deal with the very complex problems we are increasingly encountering in all aspects of business, economies, government, public policy, military operations and society in general. Over the past few meetings the Forum has focused on various topics related to complex systems, - how to best understand and manage them in the present, as well as predict and shape their future directions.

Why progress matters: 6 questions for Harvard's Teresa Amabile.

Dan Pink

Why progress matters: 6 questions for Harvard’s Teresa Amabile Here’s a tip for rounding out your summer reading. I asked Amabile if she’d answer some questions for Pink Blog readers about her book and her insights. Dan Pink. Contact. Follow Dan on Twitter. About Dan.

Embracing complexity at work

Harold Jarche

Training is of little use in developing the necessary emergent practices for dealing with complex problems in our work environment. Complex work requires creativity and is where the value of the post-industrial organization lies. Remember, almost all of this complexity is man-made.

Questioning Pedagogy

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

Thus learning (and pedagogy) as I see it is more about the development or creations of capacities (such as the capacity to learn, capacity to reason, capacity to communicate, etc) where these capacities are (again) not 'subjects' but rather complex developments of neural structures - more like 'mental muscles' than anything else. I was given a reminder of the promises I made regarding my talk next week, which has to do with the pedagogical underpinning for personal learning.

Lean & Complexity event

Dave Snowden

Also any questions, ideas or whatever are more than welcome. I'm looking forward to my keynote at the Lean Software & Systems conference in Long Beach California from May 3rd to 6th this year. I also have a whole day workshop on the application of CAS to Lean concepts which will pick up on AGILE and SCRUM. This is a community that has made considerable use of the Cynefin framework over recent years so it is going to goof to interact with some of that work.

Protect your head – the world is complex

Mind Hacks

The British Medical Journal has a fascinating editorial on the behavioural complexities behind the question of whether cycling helmets prevent head injuries.