Wanted: Chief Complexity Reduction Officer – Forbes


Please don’t make the mistake that Ron has identified in this article i.e. assume that he is talking about some other company! He isn’t he is talking about yours.

…If your assumption is that complexity comes largely from external factors like globalization and unexpected crises, then your only recourse is to be reactive. And when eventually things don’t go well, pegging the blame on complexity — although convenient — is a high-level form of victim mentality.

On the other hand if you acknowledge that some amount of complexity is self-generated — in the way that we structure and manage our organizations — then you can take action.

The reality is that high degrees of internal complexity significantly reduce an organization’s ability to respond effectively to complex, unanticipated events…

via Wanted: Chief Complexity Reduction Officer – Forbes.

If it wasn’t for the popular myth that the “downside of risk” is something that is exogenous [external] we would have more, better and profitable businesses; more stable economies and less volatile markets!

So, presumably, you expect some kind of justification for this statement?

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When Kleptocracies crumble: a farewell to Knights


Correction: Mr Goodwin is no longer a Knight of the Realm (you may have heard!?). Even as I write these words I can’t quite believe it: I feel sorry for him! He is the scapegoat for an industry and a culture that was “lauded” by Politicians and ignored by the Regulators THEY appointed…because the increased tax revenue came in handy and insistence upon “due diligence” may have unduly affected their own career paths!

Moral hazard or what!!!

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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.

Merciless leaderTop performer

As far as RBS is concerned, it is pretty common knowledge that their “disgraced”, but unpunished and not impecunious, former leader has a track record akin to  Genghis Khan at the peak of his powers. Ok, so in keeping with modern etiquette his enemies were only put to the literal (financial) sword…whilst he is STILL a Knight of the Realm. Many of them, deemed to be ”traitors” from within his own ranks, suffered…along with their, equally innocent, families…as…

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Social business:: an outward sign of "inner well-being"


In case any aspiring business leaders are still in any doubt about the merits of integrating a social media presence into their Corporate strategy, hopefully, these few words will prompt some further thought. Not because I am trying to sell anything to anyone but because it isn’t every firm can afford to offer the TRANSPARENCY that stakeholders increasingly demand: competitors weaknesses can be your strength

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Complexity, Leadership and Policy Making:: A New Hope? l Huffington Post


Oh how I would love to believe that there was real cause for “new hope”! But I fear that the author(s) have, in the last sentence, (just about) summarised why I wont be holding my breath.

Not only are Financial leaders “trained to use” linear models but they have spent so long and so much on creating and promoting them: through Politicians; traditional media; Academia (Classical Economics in particular); clever (if ambiguous) marketing and reaping the excessive rewards of their endeavours, that they have become, like Rating Agencies, “pillars” of a flawed belief system and self-serving culture: hubs of systemic risk.

What they had not “modelled” was the true cost of adding layer upon layer of complexity – perhaps they should familiarise themselves with some Complexity facts. Whilst this course served them well in a, now past, era it has made them so fragile that they have lost the agility required to adapt to the uncertain and volatile environment that they have created. They are casualties of their own success…with wider society as misinformed victims!

…the world is not a complicated system: it is a highly complex one that most institutions and people in charge are not yet properly equipped to handle.

Fortunately there is a new lens to help us understand these strange patterns of behaviour, a form of “human microscope.” That lens is the science of complex systems, simply applied. It gives us the power to understand how small and large numbers of ‘things’, be they people, cars in traffic, or actors in a financial system, interact and create dynamic patterns of behaviour. These coordinating patterns occur frequently, at all levels of observation, from neurons firing in the brain to a crowd acting in unison. And like all complex systems, predicting collective patterns is anything but simple. This is because there is no direct, linear and unequivocal relationship between individual and collective behaviours.

We believe that people should stop thinking that a linear approach, where a leader, or group of leaders, decides what regulation or safeguards should be used to solve a crisis. Linearity is not enough to understand our world and try to solve its problems. It simply does not work. Looking at a crowd, for instance, we might feasibly know the individual behaviour of each person, each component of the system. We might even be able to determine the interactions of some of these components. But, crucially, we cannot predict with any certainty what the outcomes will be. At least not with the linear models most leaders have been trained to use.

via Olivier Oullier: Complexity, Leadership and Policy Making: A New Hope?.