Ontonix:: The 787 Dreamliner, Complexity, Systemantics And Linear Thinking

High complexity regimes is uncharted territory. While most people struggle with definitions of complexity (many still think it has to do with ants or storms of starlings) it is hitting us hard on many fronts. In the past few decades we have conceived, designed and constructed extremely complex systems and infrastructures on which our lives depend to a very large degree. The list is endless but it all comes down to huge networks, systems of systems, computers, software, information and communication, the internet, etc. Such systems are indeed very complex and yet they have been designed without taking complexity into account. This is paradoxical to say the least. Complexity is the hallmark of our times and yet complexity is not a design-attribute when it comes to putting in place sophisticated products, systems or infrastructures. Engineers should be the first to be concerned with measuring complexity and keeping it under control in any manufacturing projects, just like it happens for costs and schedules. What happens if you throw complexity under the carpet is that it will strike back in the form of guaranteed cost overruns and late delivery. The A380 and the 787 Dreamliner immediately come to mind. And then, once the product is on the market, high complexity will strike again in the form of fragility. Just think of how sophisticated financial products have run out of control and what they have done to our global economy.

Designing highly complex and sophisticated products while taking complexity into account has been described in our old blog. Today, there is a cloud-based tool for doing precisely that. Visit the Design4Resilience website.

However, it is even more shocking to discover how linear thinking still dominates our thinking and philosophy. Unfortunately this applies to many engineers too. In a recent article on the 787 battery problem we read: “…. One key question for safety investigators is how the battery’s eight individual cells became volatile even though the overall voltage to the battery was steady and didn’t exceed the 32-volt capacity, officials have said.”

The logic is the following:

  • A system is monitored by checking a certain number of parameters (hundreds, thousands).
  • If each parameter is within bounds then all is OK.
  • The worst case is when all (or many) parameters reach the end of the scale.

Ontonix – Complex Systems Management, Business Risk Management.

Gain the competitive edge by learning from natural rules

I already knew that Giles was a bright guy (I wish I could say I have already read his book!) and that we are on a very similar wavelength BUT, if you have read any of my past blogs you will recognise a familiar message in the following extract. I know that the Executive Leadership Group with whom I have been working to form ‘Resilient Communities Network’ [RCN], AIBC & TBORI-UK have heard it all before from me but it can do no harm for them and others to hear it from another…

Akin to living systems
To succeed in business we must be agile, creative, alert, spontaneous and responsive – often operating in completely new ways. Today’s rapidly changing business environment calls for businesses that thrive in rapidly changing environments: businesses more akin to living systems. Read more of this post

Synchronization versus collaboration:: uncertainty v risk

The Lorenz attractor displays chaotic behavior...

The Lorenz attractor displays chaotic behaviour. These two plots demonstrate sensitive dependence on initial conditions within the region of phase space occupied by the attractor. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We don’t need an understanding of  ‘Chaos Theory’ to know about the “Butterfly Effect”, nor do we need a medical qualification to grasp that (hitherto) unseen flaws in human DNA can have life-changing consequences for individuals.

In business terms, those of us who are concerned enough with ‘risk’ to look beyond what conventional “wisdom” tells us, KNOW that in the Digital Age of networks of inter-connected systems and sub-systems, apparently minor errors can have a MAJOR effect:

HILP – high impact, low probability events

Power Laws [fat tail] NOT Gaussian [thin tail]

Beyond probability…to the possible and plausible.

Yet, still, risk carriers, such as banks and insurers, think and rate in terms of “old world”.

It is gone. Past. An era that will not return and the problems that are being stored-up, because they fail to embrace the facts, CANNOT be funded by informed customers!

Production did not drive our lives in the old world, but the complexity of the new societies is turning our lives into gears of a big machine. Thinking that human life has the only aim of being productive for the society is the first error of any organizational system. Engineers design the pieces of a machine in order to be manufactured with a certain level of precision that provides a good performance; however, human organizations cannot design the behaviour of the people with the required precision…

via Synchronization versus collaboration.

Shed no tears for Dimon: ‘Life Goes on’ After ‘Whale’ Loss

Dimon: 'Life Goes on' After 'Whale' LossJPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon apologized again to shareholders Wednesday for the London Whale trading losses but said “life goes on” for the bank and its clients.

JPMorgan sustained losses of more than $6 billion last year as a result of a bad bet related to credit derivatives. The bet was so large that the trader said to be responsible earned the nickname “the London Whale.”

Regulators have ordered the bank to improve its money laundering prevention, risk management and internal auditing practices. And the bank’s board cut Dimon’s pay in half to $11.5 million, including a $10 million bonus.

Enhanced by Zemanta

It’s here!:: Edelman Trust Barometer 2013

Here it is, the moment that Banks and Financial Services companies have been waiting for. The 2013 Trust Barometer has been released. But, it is NOT good news! Sorry to say that it is an inglorious hat trick.

Edelman Trust 2013

Yep, sorry to say that Banks and FS are bottom of the heap AGAIN. For the third straight year …

Following is the full Presentation but commentary on past reports here:

Enhanced by Zemanta