Mastering Complexity
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Mastering Complexity
Systemsthinking in a complex world for better understanding
Curated by Ides De Vos
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Embracing Emergence: How Collective Impact Addresses Complexity (SSIR)

Embracing Emergence: How Collective Impact Addresses Complexity (SSIR) | Mastering Complexity | Scoop.it

When the Process Becomes the Solution

We have found in both our research and consulting that those who hope to launch collective impact efforts often expect that the process begins by finding solutions that a collective set of actors can agree upon. In fact, developing a common agenda is not about creating solutions at all, but about achieving a common understanding of the problem, agreeing to joint goals to address the problem, and arriving at common indicators to which the collective set of involved actors will hold themselves accountable in making progress. It is the process that comes after the development of the common agenda in which solutions and resources are uncovered, agreed upon, and collectively taken up. Those solutions and resources are quite often not known in advance. They are typically emergent, arising over time through collective vigilance, learning, and action that result from careful structuring of the effort. If the structure-specific steps we have discussed here are thoughtfully implemented, we believe that there is a high likelihood that effective solutions will emerge, though the exact timing and nature cannot be predicted with any degree of certainty. This, of course, is a very uncomfortable state of being for many stakeholders.

And yet staying with this discomfort brings many rewards. 

A previously unnoticed evidence-based practice, movement, or resource from outside the community is identified and applied locally.Local individuals or organizations begin to work together differently than before and therefore find and adopt new solutions.A successful strategy that is already working locally, but is not systematically or broadly practiced, is identified and spread more widely.


Via Anne Caspari
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Anne Caspari's curator insight, March 15, 2013 7:21 AM

“When you are moving towards an objective, it is very important to pay attention to the road. It is the road that teaches us the best way to get there, and the road enriches us as we walk its length.”

 

Finally an article on CAS that focuses on the right Process Design features. Good.   

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Defining and Modeling Complex Adaptive Systems

Defining and Modeling Complex Adaptive Systems | Mastering Complexity | Scoop.it
Almost all the critical problems of our time are problems of control and almost all of them concern complex adaptive systems. If we want to know more about our bodies, it is not just to increase knowledge but so that we can control our health.

 

CAS are  “systems that don’t yield compact forms of representation”1. In other words a complex system cannot be described by a simple set of equations. Why would this be the case? It is the “adaptive” nature of these systems that leads to this intractability. Agents within the system respond to each set of environmental conditions within a complex adaptive system with a different set of responses and the number of such environments and their corresponding agent responses that need to be accounted for to construct an accurate model of the system is simply too large. But is this simply a problem of impracticality? Could we, at least in theory, construct a model that takes into account all possible environmental conditions and all possible agent behaviours? Although some scientists may argue that such an approach is theoretically possible, there is ample evidence that the critical “adaptive” component of some complex adaptive systems may in fact be unmodelable


Via Anne Caspari
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luiy's curator insight, March 18, 2013 1:12 PM
What Is A Complex Adaptive System?

The first question that then needs to be answered is: What is a complex adaptive system? David Krakauer defines complex systems as “systems that don’t yield compact forms of representation”1. In other words a complex system cannot be described by a simple set of equations. Why would this be the case? As Krakauer notes, it is the “adaptive” nature of these systems that leads to this intractability. Agents within the system respond to each set of environmental conditions within a complex adaptive system with a different set of responses and the number of such environments and their corresponding agent responses that need to be accounted for to construct an accurate model of the system is simply too large. But is this simply a problem of impracticality? Could we, at least in theory, construct a model that takes into account all possible environmental conditions and all possible agent behaviours? Although some scientists may argue that such an approach is theoretically possible, there is ample evidence that the critical “adaptive” component of some complex adaptive systems may in fact be unmodelable. There is no better example of this than the problems faced by the economist Hyman Minsky in formalising many of his most important ideas.

Luciano Lampi's curator insight, March 19, 2013 9:02 AM

Interesting to read!

Léonne Willems's curator insight, March 25, 2013 4:27 PM

Another way to think about environmental influences at the source of tensions at work (as opposed to individual lack of employee performance or motivational problems). Are these 'tensions' actually symptoms of a system out of balance? Are these tensions the real gems for organisational steering? Check out how Holacracy capitalises just on that!