It’s not a behavioural problem: it’s the system


What we need if we want organisational transformation, if we want more effective organisations, if we want people to find the work they do meaningful: we need to work with the whole system. A buddy of mine in England recently observed that most people seem uninterested in effectiveness. Sad but true, I fear. Still desperately clinging on to “scientific” management mythologies, many folks just seem to want the numbers to add up and people to do what they’re told. A scary prospect if your business has just appointed a new global CEO who is a bean-counter by background and disposition and whose single-minded purpose is to show the shareholders that they are getting richer every quarter. Calling a performance issue a “behavioural problem” comes out of a mechanistic worldview. Yuck.

quantum shifting

Don’t ask a systems thinker for advice on managing performance or staff engagement.  They will probably say something pretty fruity and you’ll wind up frustrated by how fervently they trash conventional wisdom on the subject.  Of course performance, engagement, recruitment, they’re all connected, so your systems thinking friend will sound like a fruit loop because they’ll see the whole picture and proceed to suggest that you are asking the wrong questions, when all you wanted to know is “how to get people to do stuff”.  You go to them as a sounding board because there is something you like about the way they think; when you’ve talked previously, they come up with ideas that seem counter-intuitive at first, but are actually surprisingly on the money.  However, when it comes to a sticky situation you are actually dealing with, you don’t want to hear them bang on about the system, the…

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The Dynamic Properties of Complexity and Business Resilience


Based on how close a system functions to its critical complexity one may infer its “state of health” or resilience. Resilience is of great importance since it reflects the system’s ability to maintain functionality in the presence of sudden and unexpected events (shocks). Our turbulent economy will be characterised by and increasing number of shocks of growing intensity. This is because it is highly interconnected and, at the same time, fragile.

via Ontonix S.r.l.: The Dynamic Properties of Complexity and Business Resilience.

Ontonix S.r.l.: Complexity Profiling and Causality


See on Scoop.itComplexity & Resilience

Complexity is a measure of how much information a system “contains” and how much this information is structured. One could simply sum up the Shannon entropies of each variable and conclude that this is the total amount of information in a system. However, because variables can be correlated, they give rise to structure. Structure means the system can “do more” and, potentially, perform new functions. Structure is present everywhere in Nature.

David G Wilson‘s insight:

The potential to track causality through identification of ‘Causal Relationships’ offers insight where an early warning can serve as a means to prevent a potentially major loss.

Invaluable insight for carriers of financial and insurance risks where the causal relationship between its own profitability and risk profile is apparent…so, WHY, if loss prevention is achievable, are those charged with the responsibility to underwrite such risks, ‘content’ with conventional wisdom and a limited ‘risk horizon’ when:

AN INFORMATIONAL ADVANTAGE CAN CREATE A SIGNIFICANT COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE!?

See on ontonix.blogspot.it

Knowledge Management:: Why Management Consulting Will Be Disrupted: Part 1


A lot more than Management Consultants NEED to learn from “interactions” and interdependencies IF their particular skill-set is to remain relevant. The world is better understood when viewed, as it can be in the Digital Age, as an infinite series of inter-connected systems.

Complexity (of the 'system' - business model, or corporation, etc.) x Uncertainty (of the environment, market, economy) = Fragility (of the situation) Evidently, U cannot be managed but C can. Measuring, monitoring and managing 'current complexity' is more effective than conventional means of assessing, rating, managing and modelling risk. And why it is better that a system be less complex [Occam's Razor].  The best way to impact C is by starting from the top of the Complexity profile. Because the profile is computed based on a model-free method, there are no subjective 'weights' to adjust. Basically, this guarantees that you hit the most important parameters first, i.e the hubs. A system CANNOT perform functions for which it was intended without, first, possessing and maintaining the minimum amount of complexity to do so. Therefore, by monitoring current complexity, the potential risks associated with loss of function(s) due to endogenous events, are preceded by 'fluctuations' in the complexity measure

Complexity (of the ‘system’ – business model, or corporation, etc.)
x
Uncertainty (of the environment, market, economy)
= Fragility (of the situation)
Evidently, U cannot be managed but C can.
Measuring, monitoring and managing ‘current complexity’ is more effective than conventional means of assessing, rating, managing and modelling risk. And why it is better that a system be less complex [Occam’s Razor].
The best way to impact C is by starting from the top of the Complexity profile. Because the profile is computed based on a model-free method, there are no subjective ‘weights’ to adjust. Basically, this guarantees that you hit the most important parameters first, i.e the hubs.
A system CANNOT perform functions for which it was intended without, first, possessing and maintaining the minimum amount of complexity to do so. Therefore, by monitoring current complexity, the potential risks associated with loss of function(s) due to endogenous events, are preceded by ‘fluctuations’ in the complexity measure

The core message is that both THREAT & OPPORTUNITY lie within such (inter) connectedness but the winners of the current, turbulent and competitive marketplaces are those who understand the real power of creating RESILIENCE by developing TRUST & INTERDEPENDENCE (the collaboration that the author highlights).

But you cannot buy trust. It has to be earned and, in times of such ambiguity and uncertainty, competition without differentiation (beyond pricing) is not sufficient.

As Clay Shirky famously(?) said “It is easier to understand that you face competition than obsolescence”

The ‘Risk Leaders’ of the future need to recognise that to accelerate the process of understanding they require to trade TRANSPARENCY – demonstrable, shared, principles – for INFORMATION. Otherwise the (oft overlooked) frictional costs associated with transforming data into information remain. Along with the unidentified sources of excessive complexity and ‘manageable’ risk that, unmanaged, add to volatility, increased uncertainty and – when spread through interactions – can lead to contagion (or ‘systemic risk’)!

We are living in a knowledge driven economy that is 

data-to-wisdom1heavily influenced by collaborative forces sharing intangible and tangible assets to create new value.  The internet has accelerated collaboration and people are learning from the interactions.

Why Management Consulting Will Be Disrupted: Part 1.

The companies of the future should look to the natural world to learn how to adapt and thrive. | The Nature of Business


If YOU are intent upon leading your organisation through turbulent times by seizing an ‘informational advantage’, to create and maintain a competitive advantage, we, at Ontonix, cannot wait to hear from you. I sincerely hope that you heed these words of wisdom from Giles…

Due to a number of business drivers, companies need to make big changes – “redesign for resilience” – if they are to succeed in these volatile times, transforming to become more emergent, inter-connected, values-led, organic and inspired by nature.

via The companies of the future should look to the natural world to learn how to adapt and thrive. | The Nature of Business.

Of course there are any number of firms who will offer their services should the need for business ‘transformation’ be realised! They come in a wide variety of sizes, some with very big reputations and a charging structure to match! But only Ontonix can offer an objective, quantitative, means of measuring the resilience of an organisation, a ‘division’ or a business process. Try it on-line for free…

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