Posts Categorized: Complexity

Organizations and Complexity

I’ve discussed this table before, but I’d like to put all the links together to highlight what we need to do with our organizations and structures to deal with complexity. From the evolving social organization we developed this table to show the differences between three archetypal organizations. Simplicity Complication Complexity Organizational Theory Knowledge-Based View Learning… Read more »

Work is learning; so what?

“Work is learning, learning work” – that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know. (once again, apologies to Keats) — I rewrote the above lines a while back and they sum up how networks have changed the relationship between learning and working. They’re one and the same thing, as the ubiquitous… Read more »

Complexity links

I use Delicious to keep track of web resources and recently passed on, via Twitter, my social bookmarks tagged with complexity. Here are some of those bookmarks. James Surowiecki’s three conditions on the use of the Wisdom of Crowds [something often overlooked], via Dave Snowden: independence of opinion between the individuals relevant diversity among the… Read more »

Complexity and Collaboration

Some of the things I learned on Twitter this past week: @jonathanfields: “The day you say “that SOB stole my idea” is the day you need to face your own inability to execute.” via @moehlert @barbarosa1: “There are an increasing number of world problems that can’t be solved by hierarchy. Collaboration is the only chance… Read more »

“Shape Patterns, Not Programs”

Excellent lessons and a wealth of references are included in this paper, Changing Homeland Security: Shape Patterns, Not Programs which is applicable to a wide and sundry audience. Advice from Socrates to a man who over-planned his son’s birthday party – “ask the women”, with the following results: We held the party at Panathinaikon Stadium…. Read more »

The collapse of complicated business models

Clay Shirky, in the collapse of complex business models, notes: Bureaucracies temporarily reverse the Second Law of Thermodynamics. In a bureaucracy, it’s easier to make a process more complex than to make it simpler, and easier to create a new burden than kill an old one. The premise of his article is that successful organizations… Read more »

Wired Work

Wirearchy may be a neologism, but I’ve found it to be a most descriptive term for discussing what happens when you connect everyone via electronic networks. To paraphrase Jon Husband: It is generally accepted that we live and work in an increasingly ‘wired’ world. There are emerging patterns and dynamics related to interconnected people and… Read more »

A linchpin culture

Here is Seth Godin being interviewed by Hugh Macleod: In a sta­ble envi­ron­ment, we worship the effi­cient fac­tory. Henry Ford or even David Gef­fen… feed the machine, keep it run­ning smoothly, pay as little as you can, make as much as you can. In our post-industrial world, though, fac­tory worship is a non star­ter. Cheap… Read more »

Complexity and change

Interesting things I learned on Twitter this past week. Complexity The State of Social Learning Today & Some Thoughts for the Future of Learning & Development (L&D) in 2010 via @c4lpt If it seems too complex for L&D to take on the “responsibility” for enabling learning across the organisation, then bear in mind that this… Read more »

Sharing tacit knowledge

H.L. Mencken, American satirist, wrote that, “For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.” That pretty much sums up the problems we are facing today in our organizations and institutions. We are using tools that assume simple, or at most complicated, problems when many are actually complex. A mechanistic… Read more »