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.

System 267

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 155

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).

System 216

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 161

Fidelity in complex systems consultancy

Dave Snowden

In a complex system we: start journeys with a general sense of direction but without precise targets. The post Fidelity in complex systems consultancy appeared first on Cognitive Edge.

System 200

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. Focus on the Why of Work — Current compensation systems ignore the data on human motivation.

System 204

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 207

Learning Management Systems (LMS) - Never Ending Conversation

Tony Karrer

Meanwhile Ben Betts says what a lot of us feel: No Business Should Want a Learning Management System. Two articles are trending right next to each other on eLearning Learning this week: Over the past few years, I've been involved in many LMS Selection Processes.

System 141

Two separate systems?

Clark Quinn

Kotter (the change management guru ), has begun to advocate for a dual-operating system approach, where companies jointly support an operational hierarchy and an innovation network that are coupled.

System 171

Feminist Belief System Discounted by Another Woman

Nine Shift

Another female author is chipping away at the feminist false and harmful belief system. Claire Shipman, co-author of a book on helping girls risk more and gain confidence, tip toes into science, gets a few things wrong, but nevertheless chips away at the false feminist belief system on gender. This book acknowledges the science of the brain and takes on specifically learning in girls and boys.

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.

System 170

Systems? Day 2

Dave Snowden

I put up the input/out model I developed (and published with Peter Stanbridge) that splits computational from cognitive complexity and positions both against process management and "systems thinking".

System 130

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.

System 151

Never Under-Estimate the Immune System

John Hagel

Every large and successful institution has an immune system – a collection of individuals who are prepared to mobilize at the slightest sign of any “outside” ideas or people in order to ensure that these foreign bodies are neutralized and that the existing institution survives intact and can continue on course. In more stable times, institutional immune systems are very effective at keeping institutions focused and on course, resistant to the distractions that might lead to their downfall.

System 100

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.

System 161

The System

Euen Semple

A painless conversation with a pleasant salesman turned into another bureaucratic nightmare when "the system" decided that the wrong boxes had been ticked in the wrong way and started sending me paperwork reflecting charges 3 TIMES what I was expecting. It''s not them, it''s "the system". They are constrained by the system and have minimal ability to intervene.

System 100

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?

System 184

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.

System 119

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.

System 137

What is a Learning Content Management System (LCMS)?


There’s a lot of confusion surrounding Learning Content Management Systems. When most people hear the phrase “Learning Content Management System,” they usually think “Oh, an LMS.” What is a Learning Content Management System?

Systems? Day 1

Dave Snowden

An odd sort of day today, the first of two in a small session discussing system thinking, complexity and the like with people from very different traditions. I'm never fully sure what labels to apply here although I sometimes designate it as systems thinking v complexity but I no that isn't the best way, neither is restricting systems thinking to systems dynamics.

System 100

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.

System 203

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 179

The Future of Learning Management Systems: Development, Innovation and Change

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

But there isn’t a systemic way to evaluate what works. The challenge is, how can systems support this, esp. the learning management system. They used to be known as course management systems. And they create an expectation that ‘my system should be as easy to use’.

System 178

Big Data: Running out of Metric System…

Andy McAfee

It turns out that in the era of big data, we’re about to run out of metric system: Yotta- , signifying 10^24, is the only metrix prefix left on the list. I recently came across two very different pieces of evidence showing how big a deal big data is.

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 146

The MIT Systems Thinking Conference

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

I recently participated in MIT’s 2010 Systems Thinking Conference for Contemporary Challenges. This annual conference is sponsored by Systems Design and Management (SDM) - an interdisciplinary program between MIT’s School of Engineering and Sloan School of Management. The SDM program aims to provide mid-career professionals with a systems perspective that will help them address and solve large-scale, global, complex challenges.

System 116

Scale and Complex Systemic Innovation

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

He believes that the current US economy favors big companies over small ones because in today’s environment, three key forces are driving innovation: large-scale ecosystems; globalization; and the vast, systemic challenges posed by business and societal problems that technology now enables us to address. This kind of complex systemic innovation leverages lots of known ideas and makes them work together to help address important problems.

System 108

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.

System 188

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.

System 148

Smart Cities as Systems of Systems

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

He then proceeded to articulate the two key reasons for focusing on cities, one centered on people, the other on technology and systems. are increasingly the central arena for success or failure. ” “And a city is a system - indeed, a city is a complex system of systems. The week before my trip to Berlin, I attended an Engineering Systems Symposium hosted by MIT. Cities are arguably the ultimate system of systems.

System 104

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.

System 100

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.

System 169

Can cyber-crime result in global financial systemic risk?

Ross Dawson

Financial systems evolve, and even while banks continually improve their protection, there will be ways to attack banks. At a sufficient scale, that could impact money supply and the integrity of the global financial system. It is increasingly also about protecting the financial system.

System 200

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.

System 113

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.

System 102

Smarts: content or system?

Clark Quinn

I wrote up my visit to the Intelligent Content conference for eLearnMag , but one topic I didn’t raise was an unanswered question I raised during the conference: should the ‘smarts’ be in the content or the system? Now the obvious answer is the system. Having well-defined content and letting the system use contextual information to choose the content is the typical system used in the industry.

System 104

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.

System 159

Designing a Smart Healthcare System

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Our panel included Denis Cortese - CEO and President of the Mayo Clinic ; Ronald Paulus - Chief Technology and Innovation Officer at the Geisinger Health System ; Chris Coburn - Executive Director of Innovations at the Cleveland Clinic ; and Armando Ahued Ortega - Health Secretary of Mexico City. Dr. Cortese started out by telling us that he was not going to talk about actual healthcare, but rather, about systems and systems thinking as it applies to healthcare.

System 112

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.

System 100