Knowledge Economy: business as PART OF (not apart from) community


I you are at all “read” in the broad subject of complexity you may already be aware of the established links between: information – learning – intelligence – complexity – innovation. If not, this recent article from Wall Street Journal, about  a report, The Atlas of Economic Complexity may be of interest.

But elements of this blog item (apart from a useful infographic) really struck home and I wanted to share it. We have had the usual ham-fisted attempt by Politicians to promote the “Big Society” as if, by sticking a label on it, they could lay claim to a successful strategy…or blame citizens and society if/when it doesn’t work as hoped! In truth, whilst the “spirit” is sound, when delivered by Government against a backdrop of Austerity, it sounded and smelt like more “top down” BS!

I’ve been looking at ways to explain why social learning is so important for business today. It comes down to the fact that what we know and do inside our organizations is insufficient to address external complexity or to be innovative

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Connecting the dissident dots…”Tipping Points”


Mark Mobius is one of the most influential voices in Global investments and he is talking about when and what, NOT “if”, in terms of “tipping point” for the next global financial crisis. He’s right..

The foundations of the world economic system are so decayed and so corrupted that even a stiff breeze could potentially topple the entire structure over. Over the past couple of months a constant parade of bad economic news has come streaming in from Europe, Asia and the United States. Signs of an impending economic slowdown are everywhere. So what “tipping point” will trigger the next global economic downturn? Nobody knows for sure, but potential tipping points are all around us. Read more of this post

Connecting the dissident dots from…Glasgow to the Great Pyramid: a practical lesson in Complexity Theory


Long before I gained any real understanding of  complexity, systems, fractals and power laws it had struck me how very different – I choose the word in preference to “better” – the world had become!

For some time now we have had the tools to facilitate communication like we had never experienced. But there was something fundamental missing…a widespread understanding of just how to put it to “good use”.

For as long as I can remember I have believed in and advocated interdependence [even though at various times in my life I have found it difficult to practice what I preach – delegation has never been a strong point!] and worked in an industry that, patently, doesn’t get it. The financial sector thrived, grew fat, lazy and untrusted by structuring (increasingly) win/lose contracts where value was replaced by advertising, hard-sell marketing and cheap prices.

Abandoning quality for quantity; mis-selling inferior products; misrepresenting debt as credit; abusing customer loyalty and inertia; peddling the myth of financial independence and contaminating a generation… Read more of this post

Is the "fire" taking hold in the Arab world? Tunisian “burning man revolution” a lesson in Complexity Theory


For obvious reasons this and other blogs that talk about the threat of contagion and systemic risk have focussed, almost exclusively, upon financial and ecological inter-connectedness.

HOWEVER, once again we see a “pattern from nature” in these Geo-Political events. The institutional model is and will continue to be under extreme pressure to change as it is the vehicle of the “elites” and in uncertain or turbulent economic times scrutiny and criticism will only increase. Only those that are “structurally resilient” can withstand the heat of a fire that started in Tunisia with a spark and is gathering in intensity as it spreads through peoples inter-connected on numerous levels. People unified by a common purpose…to bring about a cultural paradigm shift.

I would urge you to read: “Disaster myopia”: Failing to learn the lessons of increased uncertainty

A Fruit seller, whose cart was impounded, and complaints ignored, by authorities, set himself on fire in a desperate act of protest. His actions have since been mirrored across the Arab World. Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Iran. This is a measure of how disenfranchised the citizens of these countries feel. Whether fuelled by Political or Religious oppression, an increasing gulf between the “have’s” and the “have not’s”, corruption, crumbling infrastructure, a lack of jobs or food the message is the same. The “elites” who preside over institutions that have given them power Read more of this post

NHS: Faith Healer required


NHS logo

Image via Wikipedia

Thankfully I don’t work within NHS. I have enormous respect and sympathy those people working hard to maintain the level of frontline services that an increasingly “sick” UK society needs.

But I cannot avoid the obvious conclusion that, contrary to what is reported below, the NHS is and has been for some time on, financial, life support. It isn’t “clinically dead” but it is and will continue to be too frail to operate on for as long as treatment is limited to treating symptoms and managing pain…

The NHS could reach “breaking point” within the next few years due to increasing demands on services, senior doctors have warned. The UK’s Royal College of Physicians said that financial pressures may mean junior doctors are not given training posts within the NHS, while the overall number of places at medical school could also drop. At the same time, their report said that medical services across the UK were facing extra burdens including limits on how many hours doctors can work, more hospital admissions and people living longer than ever before.

The doctors warned that services dedicated to looking after very ill people were facing particular strain. About 3,800 NHS jobs are set to go this year across Scotland, but unions have warned that relying on staff turnover to reduce numbers means some vital staff risk not being replaced. The latest warnings came in the annual census of members by the Federation of the Royal Colleges of Physicians (RCP) of the UK, which includes the organisations in Glasgow and Edinburgh. (Scotsman page 2,