Innovation:: managing complexity & reducing risk [Design News]


I was first aware of the author courtesy of this quote…that alarmingly few business ‘leaders’ appear to, either, believe or understand…

“In a complex system, learning how all the pieces—constant and variable—interact gives a depth of understanding that averts catastrophe. That is what we mean by human-centred design—understanding the interfaces among technology, people, communities, governments, and nature. This is what makes complexity manageable”.

If you are in the business of making money based upon the ability of another party to avoid financial loss, then your own ability to identify the properties that distinguish ‘good risk from bad’ is, SURELY, fundamental!? So the message that there is a means to gain “…understanding that averts catastrophe“, through “understanding the interfaces among technology, people, communities, governments, and nature” must surely be greeted with wide-eyed enthusiasm. Read more of this post

John Seddon [video]:: Target Obsession Disorder laid bare.


John Seddon explains why targets make organisations worse and controlling costs makes costs higher. If you’re in management or in executive leadership you desperately need to watch this and know it, understand it and listen to it. For the benefit of yourself, those around you and those that interact with you business.

John breaks out why targets make organisations worse and controlling, or managing costs, actually makes them higher. He explains, in a rather entertaining way, why the public sector along with the private sector is doing horribly compared to what they should be doing…a bi-product of  ‘conventional ignorance’.

This elegant dissection of the organisational madness that pervades our culture was given at the 2009 conference of the Human Givens Institute.

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When ‘Big Data’ is too much data…


Suppose you are monitoring a system, say a human brain, a chemical plant, an asset portfolio, a traffic system. Suppose there are hundreds of parameters that you are monitoring. How do you get the idea of how things are globally going? Which parameter do you look at? How do you "add them up"? How can you blend all the information into one parameter that would cover an idea of the situation?

One way to map (transform) multiple channels of data onto one scalar function is via complexity. Complexity is a scalar function obtained from a sampled vector x(t) of N channels. The function is computed as C = f (T; E), where T is the Topology of the corresponding System Map (see examples of such maps for an EEG, or an ECG) and E is entropy. Given that entropy is measured in bits, C is also measured in bits, and represents the total amount of structured information within the N-channel data set.

If the N channels of data are sampled each at a certain frequency but within a moving window of a certain width, the result is a time-dependent function of data complexity C(t). The process is fast and may be performed in real-time using OntoNet™, our Quantitative Complexity Management engine, as illustrated in the scheme below (the blue arrow indicates the direction of time flow).

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Tips for Transformation – D.E.D.I.C.A.T.I.O.N. is what you need!


Tipping PointThe following is a mere extract from an excellent article that, literally, spells out THE messages that successful ‘Business Leaders’ of the future are already heeding.

Whilst others, instead of acknowledging the flaws and failures of conventional ‘wisdom’, remain trapped by the engrained-thinking of the prevailing culture, more enlightened leaders are happy to ‘exploit’ the competitive advantage presented to them.

Learning lessons from nature has never been more important…

More great work Giles. Thanks

The ‘new norm’ of turbulence in business requires a shift in conventional management thinking from over-reliance on top-down, hierarchical, risk-based approaches to managing within complexity.  Managing within complexity juggles and combines varying styles and techniques. It encourages bottom-up emergence to flourish; establishing an all-pervasive values-led work ethic while guiding and coaching.

via Ten Top Tips for Transformation.

Competitive advantage from new insights on customers, risks and business cycles – Bain & Co.


It isn’t rocket science to figure that, if we keep asking the same questions, using the same metrics and look for familiar patterns in data we won’t get new, better answers or identify new patterns!

Identifying, mapping, monitoring and managing causal relationships is a means by which carriers of financial/insurance risk can seize a considerable competitive advantage…from an informational advantage.

Ontonix enables organisations [insurers] to do just that…in real-time, if required!

So, instead of relying upon attempts to predict the unpredictable and reflexive, post-loss, analysis the opportunity exists for ‘crisis anticipation’. Our experience of working across a wide range of sectors – from healthcare to aviation, automotive and engineering design to banking – is that, our unique analysis can enable effective loss prevention. A, potentially, transformational development for firms involved in insurance risk transfer, investing for future returns or protecting against unknown (or unknowable) future events…so where are the ‘Risk Leaders’? Read more of this post