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.

understanding systems

Harold Jarche

“We build our computer (systems) the way we build our cities: over time, without a plan, on top of ruins.” Every fortnight I curate some of the observations and insights that were shared on social media. I call these Friday’s Finds.

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a triple operating system

Harold Jarche

There are advocates for a dual operating system to deal with the complexity of the networked era: one that is hierarchical and another that is networked. This trinity is not three separate operating systems.

implementing a triple operating system

Harold Jarche

A triple operating system aligns work and learning and has a network perspective. My perspective is that people in organizations cannot take appropriate action unless they have systems in place to consider alternatives, and are aware of the complex environments in which they operate.

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.

Learning and Performance Support Systems

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

This post is to introduce you to our Learning and Performance Support Systems program, a new $19 million 5-year initiative at the National Research Council that I will be leading.

How Large Systems Change

George Siemens

Proclamations of systemic change, particularly in higher education, are more hype than reality. In spite of growing enrolments and expansion of higher education systems worldwide, a small number of folks, generally untethered from reality, are proclaiming higher education as a system in demise. Why, as the knowledge economy expands, would we expect to see knowledge producing systems decline? I recently delivered a talk at UniSA on the topic of how large systems change.

Design Principles for Complex, Unpredictable, People Oriented Systems

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

But, they do not work so well when dealing with highly complex systems with fast changing, interacting components, where it is much less clear what is going on in the present, let alone how things will evolve into the future. What do we mean by applying design principles to complex, unpredictable, people oriented systems and problems? But the mechanisms to increase robustness will in turn make the system considerably more complex.

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Online Systems for Behavior Change

Tony Karrer

But we want to push for more, so ultimately this post is asking for help, please comment or tweet (add @tonykarrer) on : What online systems have you seen that ultimately drive behavior change? What do these systems do that leads to behavior change?

Grand Unified Theory of Service Design, Systems Design, and Organization Design

Adaptive Path

Jeff Sussna is an internationally-recognized systems thinker and IT expert, combining engineering expertise with an ability to bridge business, creative, and technical perspectives. The other thing is, I think a lot about the relationship between designing and operating systems and designing and operating organizations. This is where organizational design and system design really become inseparable. And our systems get better and better as we go.

First structure the work system

Harold Jarche

While some action and coordination in the workplace can be automated with performance support systems, collaboration and cooperation are still intensely human and require continuous learning. Working Together. Complexity (Cynefin). Social (TIMN). Practices. Group Work. Chaotic. Tribal. Novel.

The Intersection of Systems and Network Leadership

Beth Kanter

Found when researching systems thinking. Rebecca Arno was doing some research on systems thinking, found this excellent, very friendly visual that defines systems thinking as: Looks at the big picture. Find the keys to a system.

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. .

Networks and Systems

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

It''s worth parsing this into individual points, because this is (I guess) connectivism from Dron''s perspective: all of which adopt a systems view all of which recognize the distributed nature of knowledge all of which embrace the role of mediating artefacts all of which recognize that more is different all of which adopt a systems perspective all of which describe or proscribe ways to engage in this new ecology. It''s interesting that he makes the point about ''systems'' twice.

Clothing is a privacy system

Doc Searls

Some clothing we need. That’s the kind that keeps us warm, or shielded from sunlight, or from getting our feet burned or cut up. Some clothing we wear because we like the way it makes us look, or how it gives us a way to conform with social conventions, or to flaut the same.

Social systems

Harold Jarche

“A System is a set of variables sufficiently isolated to stay constant long enough for us to discuss it. ~ JeanHouston – “It is as if a worldwide nervous system is in the works.

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.” .

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. My main research interests were centered on large computer systems, including mainframes, supercomputers and distributed systems.

Identity systems, failing to communicate

Doc Searls

When I was a kid, my mother taught in the same school system, and had access to my text scores. What’s f *d up about identity is that every site and service has its own identity system. Every system has its own namespaces, and getting different systems’ namespaces to work together is very very hard.

Social systems need diversity

Harold Jarche

Is it so difficult to see that our education system is badly broken? Tweet Here are some of the observations and insights that were shared via Twitter this past week. ffunch – “What we call “thinking” is mostly an illusion and a pretense. We really don’t.

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.

Our education system stumbles into the future

Harold Jarche

According to a local professor, the New Brunswick education system is too centralized , but it’s not just education. First we might look at the underlying premises of the current system. In addition, the education system is in for some new competition.

Managing Multiple Learning Managment Systems - The High Cost of Choice

Xyleme

Did you know that today there are approximately 500 Learning Management System vendors in the market? Post Type: Blog post. 1 Did you also know that no one vendor, or small group of vendors, have significant market share?

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Systems Thinking, Safety and Risk Management

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Several participants cited the sharp rise in volume and speed of high-frequency trading over the past decade as an example of a current practice that is potentially increasing volatility and systemic risk in financial markets. Toward the end of the roundtable, the moderator asked us to reflect on the kinds of controls needed to make financial systems more stable and less prone to another major crisis. Financial systems are an example of such complex engineering systems.

Creating emergent, adaptive systems in organizations

Ross Dawson

In my book Living Networks I included a small section on Creating adaptive systems in Chapter 6 on Network Presence. Eli Lilly’s Research and Development group has implemented an internal collaboration system designed by CompanyWay, a start-up that applies to collaboration the principles of how swarms of insects can demonstrate organized behavior. The system allows a broad range of participants to propose ideas, add comments, and assess the value of each others’ ideas and comments.

A Neural, Digital System for the Economy

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Dr. Arthur is external professor at the Santa Fe Institute and visiting researcher at PARC’s Intelligent Systems Lab. This second, digital economy is essentially acting as the neural system for the overall economy. A major portion of every complex biological organism, including us humans, is the autonomic nervous system. The need for sophisticated control functions to help manage complex systems applies not just to complex biological systems, but to man-made ones as well.

Only open systems are effective for knowledge sharing

Harold Jarche

Only an open system can ensure this, which is why I highlighted the knowledge sharing paradox. When it comes to knowledge, and learning, only open systems are effective. All closed systems will fail over time, especially if discovery and innovation are happening outside that system.

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.

What does a disrupted education system look like?

George Siemens

A group of us (Clark Quinn, Jay Cross, Stephen Downes, Grainne Conole, Martin Weller, and numerous others) are in New Dehli this week at the EDGEx conference. The event is being streamed live. Some great resources on Indian education can be accessed here (bottom tab on left-side menu).

7 principles of intervention in complex systems

Dave Snowden

One can only really understand a complex system by interacting with it (the probe of probe-sense-respond ) and while people get that, getting them to take on board the full implications is another matter. I may buy this T-Shirt as its a great slogan.

Why it matters that networks in organizations and social systems are shifting to power-law distributions

Ross Dawson

’ * There are many factors, such as positive feedback loops and self-organisation , that are shifting systems towards power-law distributions. However these types of networks are also evident in biological systems such as cells and brains. *

The Internet is an energy management system

Euen Semple

"My friends, family and acquaintances are all on Facebook, where they add up to a bustling community I enjoy being part of. More than any particular feature that Mark Zuckerberg and company have cooked up, it’s the people in my life that make Facebook, well, Facebook. Over on Google+, I find some worthwhile material to peruse, but in far smaller quantities. The smattering of people I encounter hardly replicates my real-world social connections.

Deal with the system as a whole please

Dave Snowden

11: You can't reduce or aggregate a complex system and trying is wrong a priori. Now the real problem with all of this is that aggregation and reduction is fine if you have a highly constrained system. Now all of this is true a priori in a complex adaptive system.

Continuing Education and Learning Management Systems

Tony Karrer

One of our colleagues came to me with a particular challenge, and I'm not sure I have a good answer, nor do I know specifically how to go about finding an answer. I'm hoping that readers can weigh in on both aspects: (1) specific thoughts or suggestions on LMS products that might fit and (2) how do you get answers to questions like this?

Real Profitability Part II: classical System Integrators

Martijn Linssen

Still, the quest continues, and this post contains the same calculations for the classical system integrators: Accenture, Capgemini, Logica and Atos Origin. For now, I think youll just feel bad for the poor system integrators - or at least their employees? Business or Pleasure? -

I’m Not Scared of Email; I Developed a System called DADDIO

Dan Pontefract

You may use Outlook or Lotus or whatever messaging system or application is provided to you to send and answer these types of emails. Now, about my system of managing all types of electronic messages; I call it DADDIO. One of my favourite people on the planet is Luis Suarez.

Learning Content Management Systems (LCMS) for Managing Course Assets

Tony Karrer

In fact, because content management is now so ubiquitous in almost all social networking systems (including Microsoft SharePoint), many companies are finding ways to leverage these tools to help aid content development. In LCMS – Not Just a Technology: It’s a Strategy , Bryan Chapman really nails a key issue going into all of this discussion: you need to think about your overall strategy and then make sure your systems support that strategy.

Changing thinking, changing systems

Harold Jarche

“The challenge of the coming century is to change the value system of society. Virtually all Germany’s car workers are members, and though they have the right to strike, they “hardly use it, because there is an elaborate system of conflict resolution that regularly is used to come to some sort of compromise that is acceptable to all parties,” according to Horst Mund, an IG Metall executive.

The Ambient Acoustic Spaghetti Western Awarenessing Connectivity System

Adaptive Path

The Ambient Acoustic Spaghetti Western Awarenessing Connectivity System. Last week we moved our San Francisco studio to a new location, smack dab on the San Francisco Bay with sweeping views of the Bay Bridge and Yerba Buena Island on one side, and Telegraph Hill and Coit Tower on the other.

The Ambient Acoustic Spaghetti Western Awarenessing Connectivity System

Adaptive Path

The Ambient Acoustic Spaghetti Western Awarenessing Connectivity System. Last week we moved our San Francisco studio to a new location, smack dab on the San Francisco Bay with sweeping views of the Bay Bridge and Yerba Buena Island on one side, and Telegraph Hill and Coit Tower on the other.