Posts Categorized: Complexity

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 »

metamodernity

To an older culture, a newer one often looks amoral, as morality guides older cultures. To a newer culture, older cultures appear to be primitive, lacking complexity. But each culture has its pros and cons. The challenge in developing what Lene Rachel Andersen calls ‘metamodernity‘ is in taking the positive aspects of previous human cultures… Read more »

status update on society

Many of the changes we face today are similar to a time when a new communications technology came along and changed the face of Europe — print. The Protestant Reformation saw the rise of religious wars, which were later followed by the scientific revolution and the Enlightenment. An age of exploration and colonialism followed, which… Read more »

learning with complexity

Two technologies — machine learning, and the internet — are changing our understanding of the world by showing that we really cannot understand large scale complexity. “We don’t use these technologies because they are huge, connected, and complex. We use them because they work. Our success with these technologies — rather than the technologies themselves — is showing us… Read more »

changing structures

“For the first time since the industrial revolution, organizations are changing at a fundamental level. The change is very much a work in progress in most organizations. But we now have many examples of organizations that are fully functioning in an entirely new way — that is, new ideas about how the organization is designed,… Read more »

connected thinking

“… it’s easy, and it’s seductive, to assume that data is really knowledge. Or that information is, indeed, wisdom. Or that knowledge can exist without data. And how easy, and how effortlessly, one can parade and disguise itself as another. And how quickly we can forget that wisdom without knowledge, wisdom without any data, is… Read more »

what it’s all about

Three things are essential for meaningful work in the network era — diversity, learning, and trust. Diversity While there is much talk about information overload, it has never been easier for us to find diverse opinions, experiences, and perspectives. To make sense of any complex matter we cannot rely on a single source. As with… Read more »

learning in complexity and chaos

Most of our current work structures are designed to address complicated situations, such as constructing a building, launching a campaign, or designing a piece of equipment. But more of our challenges are complex and cannot be solved in a standard way —  inequality, refugees, populism, racism. Whenever people are involved, within a global context of… Read more »

gaining insight at work

With increasing complexity in most aspects of a network society, the way that we support organizational learning must change. With low levels of complexity, knowledge can be codified into documentation and distributed throughout the organization. Best practices can be determined and then people can be trained to perform these methods at work. Basic aircraft flight… Read more »