Revisited: RBS Bonuses, Bullying & (more) BS

I had a sick – disgusted – feeling in the pit of my stomach when I read these statements:

Banking: Stephen Hester, chief executive at RBS, yesterday told the Commons public accounts committee that he was “low paid” compared to people in equivalent jobs. (Scotsman page 11).

At the same meeting Eric Daniels, former chief executive of Lloyds, angered MPs by suggesting that the banking crisis was good for the UK.

It did bring to mind an old blog item that does still make me smile…

RBS Bonuses, Bullying & (more) BS BBC News – Royal Bank of Scotland announces £3.6bn of losses In the style of “Points of View”: Why oh why oh why are we subjected to numerous column inches, hours of discussion, Select committee interviews, general politicking and bullsh*t on what are patently SYMPTOMS!? It is all just further evidence that it is the CULTURE that needs to change before anything else of any real significance or permanence will occur. As far as RBS is concerned, it … Read More

via Get “fit for randomness” [with Ontonix UK]

The Complexity Conundrum – BusinessWeek

This is THE question that grabbed my attention…and how!

Are MBA programs up to the challenge of developing leaders who can manage complexity well?

via The Complexity Conundrum – BusinessWeek.

Unfortunately there just wasn’t enough space for my full response. So, here is the unabridged, unedited, version:

Put simply…”NO”. Of course I am not in a position to pre-judge every MBA course BUT, on the basis that Academics cannot agree on a common language, let alone theory it is extremely unlikely.

Add to that the Global Consultancies, such as KPMG, IBM, PwC, McKinsey and (no doubt) others that seem to view “complexity” as a term used to scare  CEO’s or other C-level Exec’s into opening discussions and justifying large consultancy fees! None of these appear to have a coherent definition, means to measure, or credible solution. Not a great starting point!

To their credit, AT Kearney do, at least, appear to have a clearer understanding but, from what I can understand of their proposed means of analysis (BEFORE any corrective steps can even be taken) a considerable amount of work and additional complexity would be necessary.

New MBA’s, even endowed with such knowledge, could assure themselves of very short careers in many organisations, by importing something that challenges current belief systems. Financial institutions (like political institutions) often consider “new” solutions as a threat to their power-base and react accordingly…although tear gas or water canons are not often seen in the workplace!

Although I am not an MBA, I do run Ontonix UK and we offer the only 100% quantitative, model-free, analyses of complex systems. I and my colleagues know, very well, that, despite a sufficiently rigorous scientific pedigree to be used in Aerospace design, Air Traffic control, cardio. surgical, High dependency medical care and other “critical processes”, when we are asking business leaders to open their minds to complexity, systems and information theory they tend to prefer the familiarity of flawed or limited concepts so as MPT, VaR, conventional risk management, risk models, etc. Of course there are always people within major organisations for whom the status quo serves their purposes very nicely!

Trust this input helps!?


Philippines to explore the use of ‘complexity science’ for disaster management

Ontonix have already established that changes in complexity serve as “crisis anticipation”. We are the only Company able to offer a rational and rigorous means of measuring system complexity, robustness (or resilience):

The Congressional Commission on Science Technology and Engineering (COMSTE), in collaboration with the Philippine Disaster Science Management Center (DSMC), is set to explore the use of complexity science in developing decision support systems for disaster science.

COMSTE chair Senator Edgardo J. Angara said that the disastrous earthquake that hit Japan and the resulting tsunami alerts that affected the entire Pacific region serve as another wake up call for the country to invest in the science of disaster management and preparedness.

Angara noted that the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released a report from a global science forum entitled, “Applications of Complexity Science for Public Policy,” identifying resilience and vulnerability to extreme events as areas that could benefit from the application of complexity science.

The report defines a complex system as being, “composed of many parts that interact with and adapt to each other and, in so doing, affect their own individual environments and, hence, their own futures.”

“Complexity scientists seek and scrutinize patterns and tendencies in complex systems. When they succeed in identifying consistent tendencies, effective ways of positively influencing the systems may be derived from the scientific analysis.”

via PIA daily news in English, Tagalog, Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Ilocano, Waray, Pangalatok from around the Philippines.