Posts Categorized: Complexity

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 »

Co-operation: from soft skill to hard skill

What are known as soft skills, like getting along with others, are becoming much more important than commonly known hard skills. This is still not a general perception amongst business leaders; as recently as last year, Management-Issues reported: The annual CEO study by PricewaterhouseCoopers has argued that what companies around the world are crying out… Read more »

Embracing complexity at work

After our session at Online Educa this morning (well, it was early morning for me anyway) I thought some more about one of the models I used. The Cynefin framework is a good way to explain different types of work and how training can only help in some cases: when work is simple (cause &… Read more »

Simplexity – review

In Simplexity Jeffrey Kluger writes an easy-reading book on “why simple things become complex and how complex things can be made simple”. First of all, this is not a book for anyone looking for a deep examination of complexity theory. Kluger is a writer for Time, not an academic or researcher. This makes Simplexity a… Read more »

Increased complexity needs simplified design

In the book Informal Learning: rediscovering the natural pathways that inspire innovation and performance, Jay Cross draws a parallel between the development of: 1) Bands, 2) Kingdoms, and 3) Democracies with 1) Small, local businesses, 2) Large, central corporations, and 3) Loosely coupled networks. The learning analogy Jay provides is 1) One on One, 2)… Read more »

Grains of sand

Though she calls it micro-planning, in my view Beth Kanter describes one way of developing emergent practices for complex environments or situations, which more workplaces are facing each day. When faced with complexity, I propose that we should organize as networks; continuously develop emergent practices; practice open co-operation and collaborate around common goals. Micro-planning is… Read more »

Learning and Working in Complexity Workshop

Over several online and on-site presentations this past year, I’ve noticed a need for organizations to develop practical tools and contextual processes to manage information, knowledge and learning. I am offering a one-day workshop that encapsulates several years of “learning & working on the Web”. Learning & Working in Complexity Workshop One day (on-site or… Read more »

Managing emergent practice

What would happen if you called for closing your training department in favor of a new function?  Imagine telling senior management that you were shuttering the classrooms in favor of peer-to-peer learning. You’re redeploying training staff as mentors, coaches, and facilitators who work on improving core business processes, strengthening relationships with customers, and cutting costs…. Read more »

Learning as a Network

Mohamed Amine Chatti extends the framework on personal knowledge networks with his post on Learning as a Network (follow link for graphic): The Learning as a Network (LaaN) perspective draws together some of the concepts behind double-loop learning and connectivism. It starts from the learner and views learning as the continuous creation of a personal knowledge network… Read more »

How complex is our work?

On my recent post, Emergent practices need practice, I looked at how complexity could not be easily addressed through traditional training methods: But many of the problems we face today are COMPLEX, and methods to solve simple and complicated problems will not work with complex ones. One of the ways we addressed simple & complicated… Read more »