Posts Categorized: Complexity

Mapping quality with VNA

Our NetWorkShop on Saturday was a great success and I think everyone left with a better understanding of networks, as well as some ideas for future pursuit. One main message that came through early in the workshop is that you cannot manage a network. That’s probably the biggest barrier to Net Work in most organizations…. Read more »

Networked Knowledge: out of the ivory tower

Many of the important issues that face our society are complex and require a good knowledge of science. Yesterday, I explained some of what I’ve been trying to learn about nuclear fission and power generation. Understanding how people learn and how we can integrate learning into work is a prime professional interest of mine. More… Read more »

Emergent Value

A certain amount of hierarchy is necessary to get work done. Networks route around hierarchy. Networks enable work to be done collaboratively, especially when that work is complex and there are no simple answers, best practices or case studies to fall back on. This is where real business value lies – complex work. The above… Read more »

NetWorkShop Sackville

“I’ve become convinced that understanding how networks work is an essential 21st century literacy.” ~ Howard Rheingold Patti Anklam, author of Net Work, will be conducting a workshop at Mount Allison University on Saturday, 19 March (9 AM to 4PM). Sponsored by the university’s Office of Research Services, this workshop is focused on bringing together faculty,… Read more »

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 »