The Small, the Big and the Beautiful


I am always delighted to find out that the ramblings on my humble blog do appeal to others sufficiently that they decide to “follow” it. When I can I do try to check out their blogs for kindred spirits from whom I can learn. Sarah Denie is one such…thanks Sarah! This is a mere extract from a great, recent, article.

the key factor of all economic development comes out of the mind of man”. Our actions, transactions and interactions ultimately stem from our mental models; the way we perceive the world and ourselves within it. The darker side of this coin is that all economic destruction – whether it is a collapse of the financial system, serious damage to the worlds’ ecosystems, or the exhaustion of earth’s resources – are also fruits of the mind of man. It is our perception of separateness, from each other and from our natural environment, that has misshapen the concepts of wealth, value and wellbeing into individual rather than systemic qualities. It is for this reason that we find ourselves in a system in which economic gains are considered value-creating, even if they destroy the very source they sprung from.

This piece reminded me of words of wisdom from some of  history’s great leaders and intellectuals, from Jesus, Confucius and Ghandi to Benoit Mandelbrot and countless others who, in one way or another, tell us or have demonstrated the need to look within and at smaller scales for solutions to even the biggest problems. Such is the nature of complex [non-linear] systems where, courtesy of the “Butterfly Effect” the very small – even invisible to the naked eye – can have unpredictably large impacts.

“…in its beginning it is easy to cure, but hard to recognise; whereas, after a time, not having been detected and treated at the first, it becomes easy to recognise but impossible to cure”

– Niccolo Machiavelli

 

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Do you work in a “Corporate Death camp”?:: Prof Roger Steare on “Moral DNA”


One thing I have come to really appreciate about the “Corporate Philosopher’s” approach is his pursuit of the root cause of so many of the [Corporate] World’s ills. We can only really get reliable answers by establishing causality. That, albeit from a very different angle of attack, is what I attempt to do in business and what the technology developed by Dr Jacek Marczyk (Founder & CTO – “genius” according to this article) at Ontonix has facilitated with their model-free technology…but there is still a long way to go with spreading such understanding and insight!

But, if we are dealing with sources of systemic risk, that threaten the sustainability and resilience of ALL that we have come to rely upon, then this is a critical mission.

In the “risk society” we tend to get side-tracked, even bogged down, by the sheer volume of information that assaults our senses on a daily basis. Excessive complexity and the promotion of “flawed” correlations are allies of the leading exponents of the sick, prevailing, culture that the Prof. is intent upon “outing”. That is why TRANSPARENCY is such a threat to institutions or organisations that have cultivated and exploited an institutional mentality!!! Read more of this post

Bertrand Russell’s wisdom


Should it be a criminal offence to attempt hijack wisdom imparted by the likes of Russell, Einstein, Ghandi and Confucius for use as a political smokescreen?

Or should I not worry because the acronym for “Big Society” says all that people need to know?

Mind you when you consider that most religions have corrupted the words contained in their own Holy texts to suit their earthly purposes perhaps it explains why so many people readily “buy-in” to a host of alternative philosophies and schools of thought .

Why do we choose to ignore such wisdom?
SO let me paraphrase this…if I dare…not that it is really necessary!:
If we are to survive (sustainability) in an increasingly inter-connected (complex: domain, nation, religion, industry, etc. at every level) world, we need to learn from facts (verifiable & transparent), be empathetic and work together (interdependence).
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Interdependence (updated from July 2009)


A segment of a social network

Image via Wikipedia

It isn’t a sudden realisation that INSTITUTIONS are too interested in self preservation built upon structuring win/lose contracts. But it has become even more apparent as a result of relentless pursuit of the truth behind stories of abandonment of ethics within banks, other institutions and politics.

ME formula: mine – “self serving”

INSTITUTION + INDEPENDENCE = RELIANCE (DEPENDENCE)

Historical (blind) faith in institutions, even pre-credit crunch, was being questioned and eroded. In current climate the exposure of institutional and political greed has only served to accelerate the process.

Independence in business is, to a fair extent, a falsehood! Every business needs customers. Business needs to SELL their products and services.

Quantity model

Customer silos

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New formula, which is hybrid of “People – Planet – Profit” philosophy, has been aided or underpinned by web 2.0 capabilities that facilitate collaborations and innovation. Mass inclusion and contribution drives creation of win/win contracts and, with inclusion of social/community/planet considerations – win/win/win contracts. Read more of this post

Complexity: Interdependence lessons from nature (& Ghandi)


It is always reassuring to discover that you are not the only one blogging frantically in an effort to convey the message that complexity isn’t new or only found within modern technology. Nothing could be further from the truth! It is a subject that, for so long, has been overlooked – or, at least, fallen between too many stools.

Perhaps because of the very nature of the issue, complexity has become a subject much beloved by the Academic community. Whilst the subject matter is absolutely fascinating, for obvious reasons, my focus has been very much upon practical business applications.

Ontonix Srl, under the leadership of Dr Jacek Marczyk have broken new ground in this area so it is really exciting times for us and our clients. Identifying and managing complexity within business systems for a wide variety of purposes is already bringing major benefits.

Critical elements of fundamental “systems thinking” are INTERDEPENDENCE and SUSTAINABILITY. As important to a dynamic business system as it is in nature and has been throughout the history of our civilization. There is a significant resource of complexity-related reading within the Box.net widget on the main page and in the About Complexity page.

But if you want more, particularly with an emphasis upon sustainability and complexity in nature, I can commend Dave Pollard’s blog How to save the world. It contains more information than you could shake a stick at!

Thanks to Dave for allowing me to share these graphics with you.

complexity-systems

“Interdependence is and ought to be as much the ideal of man as self-sufficiency. Man is a social being. Without interrelation with society he cannot realize his oneness with the universe or suppress his egotism. His social interdependence enables him to test his faith and to prove himself on the touchstone of reality. If man were so placed or could so place himself as to be absolutely above all dependence on his fellow beings he would become so proud and arrogant as to be a veritable burden and nuisance to the world…”

If you aren’t already familiar with these wise words I should first point out that they were not written about the current financial crisis but were “coined” some time ago by Ghandi.

Think on!!!

complexity-approaches