Posts Categorized: Complexity

Preparing for no normal

There is no normal anymore. The first quarter of the year is not even over and we have regime changes on an unprecedented level. Currencies fluctuate and peak oil looms with ever higher fluctuations. Meanwhile, startup companies in emerging sectors grow to billion dollar enterprises in under two years. How is your organization dealing with… Read more »

Professional blinders

It seems that everyone has an answer in dealing with the latest iteration of web technologies – social media. However, as complexity theory tells us, there are no clear and simple answers. Simple processes can create highly complex systems. Maybe that’s why some disciplines might come across as professional liars. The conceit that we have… Read more »

Social learning for business

Here’s an elevator pitch, in 10 sentences, for social learning, which is what really makes social business work. The increasing complexity of our work is a result of our global interconnectedness. Today, simple work is being automated (e.g. bank tellers). Complicated work (e.g. accounting) is getting outsourced. Complex and creative work is what gives companies… Read more »

Social business on the edge of the chasm

Last year I was asked what I thought about Enterprise 2.0 (E2.0). While it’s a popular subject amongst some management theorists, there aren’t many examples of E2.0 in practice.  Peter Evans-Greenwood has a good analysis of why E2.0 is not ready for mainstream business implementation due to regulatory constraints: So, I agree with naysayers that… Read more »

Literacy and numeracy for complexity

The need for competency in developing emergent practices is not a new theme here. Neither is the democratization of the workplace. It’s all about dealing with increasing complexity. In addition to new work practices, it seems there might also be a need for different types of literacy and numeracy, as described by Daniel Lemire. Increasing complexity… Read more »


Most of us have seen those great teamwork motivational posters and almost every job description includes teamwork as a critical competency. Teamwork is over-rated, in my opinion. It can be a smoke screen for office bullies to coerce fellow workers. The economic stick often hangs over the team; “be a team player or lose your… Read more »

In a complex society

As you may have noticed, this has been a busy week. I flew to Maastricht, NL last weekend, via London and Brussels; a 24 hour trip. The highlight of getting to the working smarter event with Tulser was a short but enjoyable stop in Brussels with Christian De Neef who met me at the airport… Read more »

Working Smarter Cracker Barrel

Next week, at our Working Smarter event hosted by Tulser in Maastricht, NL, we will have a series of short sessions on selected topics. Each Principal of the Internet Time Alliance has three topics of 20 minutes to be discussed in small groups. My topics are listed below and include links to relevant posts as… Read more »

Talking about Working Smarter

Working Smarter: What is it? Why do we need to do it? Working Smarter means integrating learning and working. We’re networking our society, our economy and our workplaces. This increases complexity because there are more connections between people, places and things. In complex systems, the link between cause and effect cannot be determined. Instead, we… Read more »

Patterns emerge over time

Andrew Cerniglia has an excellent article that weaves complexity, cynefin and the classroom together. It is worth the read for anyone in the teaching profession. I became interested in complexity as I moved outside the institutional/corporate walls and was able to reflect more on how our systems work. The observation that simple work is being… Read more »