Posts Categorized: Complexity

keep it simple

It is informative to have your work reflected back by others who have interpreted it in their own ways. This feedback gets integrated into my own continuing development of my sensemaking frameworks. Making these frameworks as simple as possible, but no more, has been my work since 2003 when I decided to become a freelancer… Read more »

working smarter

For the past several centuries we have used human labour to do what machines cannot. First the machines caught up with us and surpassed humans with their brute force. Now they are surpassing us with their brute intelligence. There is not much more need for machine-like human work which is routine, standardized, or brute. But… Read more »

turmoil and experimentation

Renee DiResta discusses the challenges brought about by the printing press — invented in Europe in 1450 —  and compares these with the current effects of digital networks in — Mediating Consent. The printing press, invented approximately 50 years before the 95 Theses, extended Luther’s reach from the door of the cathedral to the entirety… Read more »

“diversity trumps ability”

High tolerance for ambiguity is a critical skill as we live and work in increasingly complex, networked environments. Navigating through turbulent times requires the ability to deal with ambiguity by seeking and making sense through a diverse network of connections of people and knowledge. The broader and deeper our connections, the better we can deal… Read more »

solving problems together

Most situations at work can be considered from the perspective of — is this a known problem or not? If it’s known, then the answer can be looked up or the best person can be found to deal with it. The answer may even have been automated or outsourced. Known problems require access to the… Read more »

seeing the value of cooperation

Nancy Dixon tells a wonderful story about ‘Researcher’s Square’ and the hallway of learning. The whole story is well worth your time. It describes how a diverse group of mostly independent researchers who worked in their individual offices were able to cooperate and even collaborate due to a change in the built architecture. A central… Read more »

the relationship era

“In the agrarian age of the 19th century, when schools meant one-room rural schoolhouses, teaching morality and morals and character was all important. That’s because society needed, and so demanded, good moral character.”—Nineshift Not so long ago “gee’ was an offensive word in the USA. It was considered to be short for Jesus. But a… Read more »

range & inefficiency

An innovation system should preserve range and inefficiency, concludes the book Range—Why generalists triumph in a specialized world, by David Epstein. Focusing deep yields efficiencies and incremental innovation. But a broad base of learning and experience can produce radical innovation. Many (most?) of our research and education practices are designed for ‘kind’ environments where the… Read more »

the silo effect

“Silos are cultural phenomena, which arise out of the systems we use to classify and organize the world,” states Gillian Tett in The Silo Effect. Silos are bounded hierarchies that define specialized work or areas of knowledge. They come in the form of academic fields, organizational departments, schools of thought, and many other forms created… Read more »