Complexity in Human Systems

Dave Snowden

As complexity theory has started to get traction I’ve had three concerns. Firstly to prevent confusion with much of systems thinking, especially cybernetics (which by the way has huge value). Thirdly to prevent complexity becoming a single guru movement or movements.

Systems thinking & complexity

Dave Snowden

The idea of systems and thinking systematically, about the properties of the whole being different from the parts and the dependency on interaction between system elements has been around for a long time. But general systems theory traces back to the start of the twentieth century.

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Scaling in complex systems

Dave Snowden

Naturally I have done a lot more thinking since then but the fundamentals remain: you don’t scale a complex system by aggregation or imitation but be decomposition to an optimal level of granularity followed by recombination (possible exadaptive recombination).

Fidelity in complex systems consultancy

Dave Snowden

Returning yesterday from my first TedX in Cyprus I was chatting with Sonja Blignaut about some upcoming activities and differences between approaches to sense-making and complexity. In a complex system we: start journeys with a general sense of direction but without precise targets.

Reflections on Complexity, Chaos and COVID-19

Dave Snowden

It is in this context that we pulled together some of the leading thinkers in the field of complexity to explore where we are from different perspectives. The post Reflections on Complexity, Chaos and COVID-19 appeared first on Cognitive Edge.

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.

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. So is the world of highly complex systems , especially those systems whose components and interrelationships are themselves quite complex, as is the case with systems biology and evolution. .

system views

Harold Jarche

The ingenuity of the average worker is sufficient to outwit any system of controls devised by management.” ” @euvieivanova — “If you want to get better at something, you have to stress the system to increase its capacity.

System 176

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

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Software-intensive systems are generally quite flexible, - able to evolve and adapt to changing product and market requirements. However, their very flexibility makes it difficult to adequately anticipate and test all the interactions between the various components of the system.

System 224

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.

System 153

Human-AI Decision Systems

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

I recently read The Human Strategy , a very interesting article on Human-AI decision systems by MIT Media Lab professor Sandy Pentland. Perhaps the most critical function of any organization or society is its decision systems,” wrote Pentland. “In

System 152

systems thinking and training

Harold Jarche

The pilot training system outside North America and Europe played a significant role it seems. The automation of aircraft systems results in safer flights — most of the time. Just checking-the-box continues to be all too prevalent in training systems. Boeing 737 MAX.

System 228

Understanding complexity

Harold Jarche

As I have suggested, it was the most-regulated in the financial system that were in fact the most disaster-prone: big banks on both sides of the Atlantic, not hedge funds. Human systems are complex. The best approaches in complex situations are, well, complex.

7 principles of intervention in complex systems

Dave Snowden

Now one of the basic Cynefin mantras is that of safe-fail interventions, and lots of them, if the problem is complex. It is important to realise that a lot of conflict happens in the complex arena. I may buy this T-Shirt as its a great slogan.

Decision Making in Our Increasingly Complex Organizations

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

As machine predictions become inexpensive and commonplace, the human judgement that leverages and complements prediction will become more valuable, especially given the increasing complexity of the decisions our institutions are called upon to make. “It’s

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 networks of trust

Harold Jarche

Only global networks of trust can work on this complex problem. The world is too complex for elites and hierarchies. Everyone should take the advice of Donella Meadows — “ We can’t control systems or figure them out. What is innovation? —

Complexity, design and aesthetics

Dave Snowden

Last year we looked at complexity in generation, in 2018 we are both expanding the number (from one to three) and focusing in particular areas. The post Complexity, design and aesthetics appeared first on Cognitive Edge.

Cognitive Systems and Big-Data-driven Applications

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

In the first week of October I participated in a Cognitive Systems Colloquium hosted by IBM at its Thomas J. These systems will learn and interact to provide expert assistance to scientists, engineers, lawyers, and other professionals in a fraction of the time it now takes.” .

System 273

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.

complexity and social learning

Harold Jarche

As we transition from a market to a network economy, complexity will increase due to our hyper-connectedness. Managing in complex adaptive systems means influencing possibilities rather than striving for predictability (good or best practices).

systems thinking

Harold Jarche

Leyla Acaroglu has an excellent post on Tools for Systems Thinkers: The 6 Fundamental Concepts of Systems Thinking. “In Causality : In complex systems we can determine the relationship between cause and effect only in retrospect.

System 153

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. Chaotic systems are highly sensitive to initial starting conditions, but are also deterministic at agent level, and the agents are discrete.

Complex Organizational Systems

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The study of complex systems has been a common arc in my career. It started with physics at the University of Chicago in the 1960s, where I was studying complex natural systems - atomic and molecular physics in particular. Later on, when I joined IBM Research and became a computer scientist, my main research interests were centered on large computer systems, including mainframes, supercomputers and distributed systems.

Human-AI Decision Systems

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

I recently read The Human Strategy , a very interesting article on Human-AI decision systems by MIT Media Lab professor Sandy Pentland. Perhaps the most critical function of any organization or society is its decision systems,” wrote Pentland. “In 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.

System 100

Organize for Complexity

Harold Jarche

” Well I think Niels has answered much of that question himself, in his recent book Organize for Complexity. We call this “disciplined practice” Fads like business analytics, knowledge management, and big data will never make organizations fit for complexity.

Networks, Information, and Complex Adaptive Systems

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

The first part is designed to be very broad, as a "view of the universe as a self-organizing information system that can, in some sense, be seen to have knowledge and to change through co-adaptation of its parts." Let''s look at what is included in this sentence: It''s a ''view of the universe'' that is self-organizing that is an information system that can be seen to. The key turn in this sentence occurs in the next phrase, the one depicting the universe as an information system.

culture is complex

Harold Jarche

I listened to John Seely Brown several years ago where he explained there is only one way to understand a complex adaptive system (namely one with people in it): you have to marinate in it. Culture is complex. Communities Complexity

Complex Sociotechnical Systems: the Case for a New Field of Study

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Digital technologies are enabling us to develop systems with huge numbers of interconnected components and sophisticated software that infuses them with seemingly unlimited capabilities. We are increasingly able to pull all these capabilities together and develop sociotechnical systems, which combine the powerful, inexpensive and ubiquitous digital technologies with the people and organizations they are transforming. Sussman calls this evaluative complexity.

System 168

The Complex Nature of Cloud-based Innovation

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Cloud Computing Complex Systems Economic Issues Education and Talent Innovation Management and Leadership Services Innovation Smart Systems Society and Culture Technology and Strategy

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?

Complexity thinking

Harold Jarche

Now I know its a lot more complex than that, and also that some of the greats before popularisation are probably turning in their graves, or their emeritus chairs when they see what has happened. complexity

Intervening in a complex domain

Dave Snowden

A good conversation in Moscow this morning with David Anderson around and about the issue of managing a complex system and as is the way with discussion a half formed idea or two coalesced. But that is the whole point of complexity thinking.

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 network of strategic accelerators complements the formal systems; it does not replace them.

social learning for complex work

Harold Jarche

Is it in our organizational filing systems and intranets, or rather on the Web or in our professional social networks? It’s a question of complexity. There’s a lot of stuff to know and do, but people can eventually master the system. Complexity SocialLearning

The Firm as a Large, Complex, Extended Family

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

My contribution to economics has been to urge the inclusion…of features of the economic system so obvious that…they have tended to be overlooked.” “Attention to the overlooked helped Mr Coase transform both law and economics,” the article added. .

Managing Complex, Disruptive Innovations - Some Lessons Learned

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

But given the complexity of the changes involved, they would likely take place as a series of incremental, evolutionary steps, not as a rip-and-replace transformation. Complex Systems Economic Issues Innovation Management and Leadership Technology and Strategy

Managing in Complexity

Harold Jarche

As our markets and technologies get more complex, we need new models to get work done. Simple systems are easily knowable, whereas complicated systems, while not simple, are still knowable through analysis. Complex problems cannot be solved alone.

change the system, not the leader

Harold Jarche

Changing leaders will not change the system from which they emerged. Leadership today is more of an architectural task, or one of setting up the right systems. Intrinsic, not extrinsic, motivation is necessary for complex and creative work.

System 285

No cookie cutters for complexity

Harold Jarche

The trouble is that would not allow large teams of recently graduated MBA’s to reuse recipes and documents from over codified knowledge management systems. Some of this is due to their own difficulties in facing complexity and not having the time or energy to dig into these concepts.

Navigating Complexity

Dave Snowden

The subject was Navigating Complexity , its a title I've used before and its much better than managing complexity or heaven help be reducing complexity both of which have been suggested and rejected in the past. Best wishes for 2011.

A learning system to meet the needs of a complex knowledge era

George Siemens

I gave a talk on the type(s) of learning system(s) that are needed to address complex knowledge needs. We gain an understanding of needed learning systems, I argue, by evaluating the attributes of information in digital networks and through focusing on the nature of knowledge needs in complex settings I had the opportunity to stop by edX last. A video the talk is available here.

Absorbing complexity with PKM

Harold Jarche

We both use social technologies to reach out into the complexity and try to make sense of it. Managing and sharing information, especially through conversations, are fundamental processes for sense-making in the complex domain. Have you ever heard of the Law of Requisite Variety ?

PKM 242