Growth, Transformation & Progress


There are many good reasons to question what we are taught and (yet again) Giles Hutchins tells it how it is. Of course, if you read any of my past blogs, particularly dealing with Panarchy and the Panarchic Cycle, it wont come as a great surprise that we are ‘on the same page’.

I frequently ask myself and others, “how do you know what you know”? The reason is so that we question, not just the basis of our knowledge but that of those who would presume to ‘educate’. Given that we now understand so much more about the, miraculous, fractal nature of our own biology and the striking similarities in structure and cycles affecting other systems seen in Nature, it is surprising that we are still prone to work against Nature by attempting to apply our linear thinking in an effort to control or regulate.

It is, perhaps, no great surprise that the knowledge of subject matter experts can often be seen to be ‘lacking’ or based upon knowledge that has been superseded but that vital information has not reached them or has not penetrated the walls of conventional wisdom…or herd mentality, i.e. the belief system that is the basis of their status as experts. They continue to infect enquiring minds with tainted knowledge, rather than understanding: the blinded leading the blind.

Of course there are those who, knowingly and without conscience, indoctrinate others, in return for the promise of rewards in this life (or the next). These individuals will go to extreme lengths to satisfy their master(s) so the question is worth remembering the next time someone presumes to tell you ‘how it is’…because greed, fear and ego are powerful drivers and many have been ‘blinded’ in the pursuit of truth and understanding!

…in these transformational times, organisations and their leaders need to embrace transformational change: death/rebirth, breakdown/breakthrough. In the words of Dawn Vance, Global Head of Logistics for Nike:

‘Organisations have three options:

1) Hit the wall;

2) Optimise and delay hitting the wall;

3) Redesign for resilience.’

Many organisations today – for profit and non-profit – busy themselves with optimising the existing business model which is only delaying the inevitable car crash

via Growth, Transformation & Progress.

Entropy, Structure and Critical Complexity


If you want to accomplish more you must become more complex. This means two things: structure and entropy. Structure is what defines functionality, entropy is what allows a system to react in a creative and novel way to a changing and possibly harsh environment

http://ontonix.blogspot.it/2013/10/entropy-structure-and-critical.html?m=1

Complexity, risk, uncertainty and change


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Business management, particularly for those intent upon ‘change’ or responsible for managing exposures, needs a rigorous, objective, measurement of the endogenous properties (complexity) that enables the functionality from which (through interactions with exogenous parties) the business generates the revenues that sustain it in changing and turbulent economic times.

“Complexity increases cost and decreases flexibility — often in unforeseen ways — and also tends to decrease stability,”….

Peter Leukert, CIO of Commerzbank

It is the number, nature and integrity of dynamic, multi-scalar, interactions that are the sources of strength (enabling performance greater than the sum of the parts). The ability to distinguish and respond to ‘signals’, that maintain the variety, effectiveness and agility of the complex system, from the ‘noise’ of flawed metrics, self-serving culture, hierarchical structure (silos), skewed incentives – of an unsustainable, failed or failing, model (reliant upon  assumption, reflexive, subjective, statistical analysis and prediction) that has its foundation in flawed (linear) economic thinking.

We won’t get different or better answers while we keep on asking the same questions.

For meaningful change to occur and to be sustained requires a rigorous justification, sufficient to counter financial projections that satisfy the goals of C-level short-termism that are detrimental to the stability and long term health of the business.

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Why not “constructive transparency”?


I recently came across a very interesting article that brought to my attention a phrase I hadn’t come across before: constructive ambiguity.

Isn’t that an oxymoron???

The article is here and it touches upon a topic and writers I have written about before in relation to business as war. If you like you economics with a social conscience and a philosophical perspective Ashwin’s your man.

“The interaction between the market participants, and for that matter between the market participants and the regulators, is not a game, but a war.”

Rick Bookstaber

However, in this article ‘constructive ambiguity’ was being used in terms of preventing moral hazard within a regulatory regime.

That’s when it struck me! Why not constructive transparency?

transparency(1)

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Seeing beyond flags of convenience for a virtuous ‘circle of life’


Don’t think ill of me because this (lengthy) extract is taken from an article I wrote earlier in the year [Don’t (just) believe your eyes:: heuristics + complexity = guesswork]. When I re-read it, I reckoned stood up pretty well on its own.

Also, I felt it tied in well with more frequent (and louder) calls for greater transparency and an increased awareness of the “lessons from nature” – that resilience comes from within – that are, so often, overlooked.

I hope you agree.

Too often, in the absence of information that we can understand and trust, we make assumptions based upon what we are TOLD and the outer appearance i.e. what WE see.

Our senses form part of our very own in-built risk management system! But we don’t KNOW as much as we would like to think. That is why we defer to others… 

What do we do when it comes to really big decisions…when we don’t have the opportunity/tools/expertise to establish the FACTS for ourselves? Read more of this post