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Want to Build Resilience? Kill the Complexity

Want to Build Resilience? Kill the Complexity | The Daily Leadership Scoop | Scoop.it

A plane crash, Lehman Brothers, and bike helmets can demonstrate that the key to strategic flexibility is to keep things simple.

 


Via Kenneth Mikkelsen, Irene Immink
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Kenneth Mikkelsen's curator insight, April 6, 2014 9:27 AM

Taking steps to tame complexity of a system are meaningless without also addressing incentives and culture, since people will inevitably drive a safer car more dangerously. To tackle this, organizations must learn to improve the “cognitive diversity” of their people and teams — getting people to think more broadly and diversely about the systems they inhabit.


Complexity was the theme of the 2013 Global Drucker Forum in Vienna. You can find a series of perspectives here.  


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Managing Complexity: The Battle Between Emergence And Entropy

Managing Complexity: The Battle Between Emergence And Entropy | The Daily Leadership Scoop | Scoop.it

The business news continues to be full of stories of large companies getting into trouble in part because of their complexity. 

 

So what is a leader to do when faced with a highly complex organisation and a nagging concern that the creeping costs of complexity are starting to outweigh the benefits?


Via Kenneth Mikkelsen
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Olivier Arnould's curator insight, December 1, 2013 3:40 AM

Une approche intéressante des organisations...

luiy's curator insight, January 17, 2014 9:34 AM

1. There is a design process –the allocation of roles and responsibilities through some sort of top-down master plan. We all know how this works.

 

2. There is an emergent process – a bottom-up form of spontaneous interaction between well-intentioned individuals, also known as self-organising. This has become very popular in the field of management, in large part because it draws on insights from the world of nature, such as the seemingly-spontaneous order that is exhibited by migrating geese and ant colonies. Under the right conditions, it seems, individual employees will come together to create effective coordinated action. The role of the leader is therefore to foster “emergent” order among employees without falling into the trap of over-engineering it.

 

3. Finally, there is an entropic process – the gradual trending of an organisational system towards disorder. This is where it gets a bit tricky. The disciples of self-organising often note that companies are “open systems” that exchange resources with the outside world, and this external source of energy is what helps to renew and refresh them. But the reality is that most companies are only semi-open. In fact, many large companies I know are actually pretty closed to outside influences. And if this is the case, the second law of thermodynamics comes into effect, namely that a closed system will gradually move towards a state of maximum disorder (i.e. entropy).