Love the nine propositions outlined in this paper. Well worth the download and read through. They really are words to live by. I know they relate to evaluation of complex systems. But isn't evaluation really a chance to reflect and learn? And don't we all spend every day deeply engaged and interconnected in these complex networks all around us?
Love that someone has really thought this through:
Characteristics of Complex Systems
Propositions for Evaluation
A complex system is always changing, often in unpredictable ways; it is never static
1 Design and implement evaluations to be adaptive, flexible, and iterative
Everything is connected; events in one part of the system affect all other parts
2 Seek to understand and describe the whole system, including components and connections
Information is the fuel that drives learning and helps the system thrive
3 Support the learning capacity of the system by strengthening feedback loops and improving access to information
Context matters; it can often make or break an initiative
4 Pay particular attention to context and be responsive to changes as they occur
Each situation is unique; best principles are more likely to be seen than best practices
5 Look for effective principles of practice in action, rather than assessing adherence to a predetermined set of activities
Different sources of energy and convergence can be observed at different times
6 Identify points of energy and influence, as well as ways in which momentum and power flow within the system
Relationships between entities are equally if not more important than the entities themselves
7 Focus on the nature of relationships and interdependencies within the system
Cause and effect is not a linear, predicable, or one-directional process; it is much more iterative
8 Explain the non-linear and multi-directional relationships between the initiative and its intended and unintended outcomes
Patterns emerge from several semi-independent and diverse agents who are free to act in autonomous ways
9 Watch for patterns, both one-off and repeating, at different levels of the system
Ashby's law of requisite variety states that a controller must have at least as much variety (complexity) as the controlled. Maturana and Varela proposed autopoiesis (self-production) to define living systems. Living systems also require to fulfill the law of requisite variety. A measure of autopoiesis has been proposed as the ratio between the complexity of a system and the complexity of its environment. Self-organization can be used as a concept to guide the design of systems towards higher values of autopoiesis, with the potential of making technology more "living", i.e. adaptive and robust.
Requisite Variety, Autopoiesis, and Self-organization Carlos Gershenson
This animation distils hundreds of years of culture into just five minutes. A team of historians and scientists wanted to map cultural mobility, so they tracked the births and deaths of notable individuals like David, King of Israel, and Leonardo da Vinci, from 600 BC to the present day. Using them as a proxy for skills and ideas, their map reveals intellectual hotspots and tracks how empires rise and crumble .The information comes from Freebase, a Google-owned database of well-known people and places, and other catalogues of notable individuals. The visualization was created by Maximilian Schich (University of Texas at Dallas) and Mauro Martino (IBM). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gIhRkCcD4U&index=1&list=PL7yuGPz_odjMW3YfSRkFRjoDdGsTrZDyD Read Nature's news story: http://www.nature.com/news/1.15650See Also: http://sco.lt/8by75F
Via Complexity Digest
The idea of the solitary creator is a myth that has outlived its usefulness.
Liz Rykert's insight:
Thanks June Holley for sharing this NYTimes article on the essence of the creative process. It is by author Joshua Wolf Shenk based on his forthcoming book The Powers of Two http://www.shenk.net/powersoftwo/
Fav Quote: "At its heart, the creative process itself is about a push and pull between two entities, two cultures or traditions, or two people, or even a single person and the voice inside her head. Indeed, thinking itself is a kind of download of dialogue between ourselves and others. And when we listen to creative people describe breakthrough moments that occur when they are alone, they often mention the sensation of having a conversation in their own minds."
My boss and I have been working together for over a year, and we've never met in person. She trusts me to make the most effective and productive decisions about where I work and how I structure my time....
A recent article, ‘Leading in the 21st century’, in McKinsey & Company Quarterly, shares a series of interviews of leaders from some of the world’s largest and most vibrant organizations. The article suggests that leaders are operating in a “bewildering new environment in which little is certain
Liz Rykert's insight:
Nice summary of skills needed for leading in the context of uncertainty.
Thanks June Holley for this Scoop! It looks like a great summary of the emerging importance of culture in the workplace, how it is generated and is shaped or changed over time. Nice set of rules. One thing that seems missing is any ref to Ed Schein and his book Organizational Leadership and Culture ??
Social technologies with their inherent democratic, anti-hierarchical quality easily transcend internal and external boundaries, suddenly creating a powerful thrust for horizontal collaboration and participation. They give each and every member of an organization a creative voice and enable real-time virtual connectivity in a way we have never seen before. This makes them a great catalyst for the organizational principles that are required by the new leadership context of the 21st century.
The challenges of transforming distressed communities are heightened by the complexity of the problems community change actors address and the complexity of the environments in which they work. Confr
Liz Rykert's insight:
This new publication looks very helpful for bringing the insights of complexity to community groups and organizations. Written by Pat Auspos and Mark Cabaj for the Aspen Institute Roundtable for Community Change. Free download.
The Matthew effect describes the phenomenon that in societies the rich tend to get richer and the potent even more powerful. It is closely related to the concept of preferential attachment in network science, where the more connected nodes are destined to acquire many more links in the future than the auxiliary nodes. Cumulative advantage and success-breads-success also both describe the fact that advantage tends to beget further advantage. The concept is behind the many power laws and scaling behaviour in empirical data, and it is at the heart of self-organization across social and natural sciences. Here we review the methodology for measuring preferential attachment in empirical data, as well as the observations of the Matthew effect in patterns of scientific collaboration, socio-technical and biological networks, the propagation of citations, the emergence of scientific progress and impact, career longevity, the evolution of common English words and phrases, as well as in education and brain development. We also discuss whether the Matthew effect is due to chance or optimisation, for example related to homophily in social systems or efficacy in technological systems, and we outline possible directions for future research.
"It is not the one ro two big things but the 1,000 little things." This is something my friend and colleague Erika Bailey likes to say when we think about shifting culture. This article from Wharton gets at the need to pay attention to small details.
"The self-renewing man … looks forward to an endless and unpredictable dialogue between his potentialities and the claims of life -- not o
Liz Rykert's insight:
Thanks to Maria Popova of Brainpickings.org for this fabulous precis of John Gardner's Self-Renewal: The Individual and the Innovative Society from 1964. It is such a good reminder of how long these ideas have been with us and it reminds me to keep reflecting on the past in order to shape the future. My fav concept "stability in motion" :)