Biology of Business: Complex Adaptive Systems


People who “understand” or, at least, have studied Chaos, Complexity, Systems or Information Theories will continue to argue for many years about the finer points of each. Good luck with that!

At Ontonix we refer to “Complex Systems” rather than the, more familiar, “Complex Adaptive System” moniker. We simply don’t see the need, a complex system is…a complex system. Through our work we have established some complexity facts (follow the link) and, rather than indulge in a debate about differences in interpretation, we wanted to give you access to that information whilst sharing a superb presentation on the subject. 

Business and society have become used to complexity without actually really considering what it is and the impact it has. We NEED to improve our understanding and Sharon’s presentation does a splendid job of bringing clarity and simplicity. ENJOY!

If you are hungry for more knowledge and are prepared to delve deeper here is another excellent presentation from Noah Raford…a man involved in so many projects, initiatives and heaps of other things he cannot sleep!

The Complexity Conundrum: MBA business-speak a source..?


Here is an extract from an article that makes so much more sense than does the modern business-speak that I must confess to “understanding” and using! In my defence can I say that I hear it as a foreign language, interpret it and, on occasion, respond in that language ONLY to make myself understood.

On refection that last statement isn’t actually true! Sometimes I respond in this alien language to test the range of vocabulary and/or actual (useful) knowledge of the other person. Once the façade starts to crack good old (BS free) down-to-earth English can have the impact of a WMD…**BOOM**…get the contract or “I’ll get my coat and leave you with your (bruised) ego”!!!

…”The strange thing about my utter lack of education in management was that it didn’t seem to matter. As a principal and founding partner of a consulting firm that eventually grew to 600 employees, I interviewed, hired, and worked alongside hundreds of business-school graduates, and the impression I formed of the M.B.A. experience was that it involved taking two years out of your life and going deeply into debt, all for the sake of learning how to keep a straight face while using phrases like “out-of-the-box thinking,” “win-win situation,” and “core competencies.” When it came to picking teammates, I generally held out higher hopes for those individuals who had used their university years to learn about something other than business administration”…

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/print/2006/06/the-management-myth/4883/

This is THE question that grabbed my attention…and how! Are MBA programs up to the challenge of developing leaders who can manage complexity well? via The Complexity Conundrum – BusinessWeek. Unfortunately there just wasn’t enough space for my full response. So, here is the unabridged, unedited, version: Put simply…”NO”. Of course I am not in a position to pre-judge every MBA course BUT, on the basis that Academics cannot agree on a common la … Read More

via Get “fit for randomness” [with Ontonix UK]

The Complexity Conundrum – BusinessWeek


This is THE question that grabbed my attention…and how!

Are MBA programs up to the challenge of developing leaders who can manage complexity well?

via The Complexity Conundrum – BusinessWeek.

Unfortunately there just wasn’t enough space for my full response. So, here is the unabridged, unedited, version:

Put simply…”NO”. Of course I am not in a position to pre-judge every MBA course BUT, on the basis that Academics cannot agree on a common language, let alone theory it is extremely unlikely.

Add to that the Global Consultancies, such as KPMG, IBM, PwC, McKinsey and (no doubt) others that seem to view “complexity” as a term used to scare  CEO’s or other C-level Exec’s into opening discussions and justifying large consultancy fees! None of these appear to have a coherent definition, means to measure, or credible solution. Not a great starting point!

To their credit, AT Kearney do, at least, appear to have a clearer understanding but, from what I can understand of their proposed means of analysis (BEFORE any corrective steps can even be taken) a considerable amount of work and additional complexity would be necessary.

New MBA’s, even endowed with such knowledge, could assure themselves of very short careers in many organisations, by importing something that challenges current belief systems. Financial institutions (like political institutions) often consider “new” solutions as a threat to their power-base and react accordingly…although tear gas or water canons are not often seen in the workplace!

Although I am not an MBA, I do run Ontonix UK and we offer the only 100% quantitative, model-free, analyses of complex systems. I and my colleagues know, very well, that, despite a sufficiently rigorous scientific pedigree to be used in Aerospace design, Air Traffic control, cardio. surgical, High dependency medical care and other “critical processes”, when we are asking business leaders to open their minds to complexity, systems and information theory they tend to prefer the familiarity of flawed or limited concepts so as MPT, VaR, conventional risk management, risk models, etc. Of course there are always people within major organisations for whom the status quo serves their purposes very nicely!

Trust this input helps!?

David

Amazon Kindle ebooks: required complexity reading


Dr Jacek Marczyk, CTO and Founder of Ontonix has written several books during his illustrious career – I don’t know how he finds the time! – more recently these have, unsurprisingly, been on the subject of complexity. His work and that of the original Ontonix team has broken new ground and enabled Ontonix to provide solutions to some of the best known brands on the planet.

For those who thirst for further knowledge on, what is a fascinating, infinitely relevant and topical subject, here are the the relevant links:

Practical Complexity Management A New Theory of Risk and Rating

Ontonix have succeeded in creating a rigorous, 100% quantitative, “hard science” means of measuring complexity [structured information] and entropy [chaos or uncertainty] within systems. This has been applied in a wide variety of fields, from Healthcare to critical business processes incl. IT system monitoring – product design and testing – Petro-chemical – Aviation – Aerospace – Air Traffic control – Financial stability rating – ecosystem & interdependence mapping…we are always looking for other areas for future development so feel free to share any ideas applicable to your sector or industry: david@ontonix.com

As a result we are able to provide Complexity Facts that others have, so far, only been able to surmise. Every dynamic [non-linear] system has a current and critical level of complexity and measurement is the first step on managing .

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