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


Quantitative Complexity Management: A simple 5 step process

There are plenty of self-anointed subject matter experts happy to pontificate upon complexity. Sources, causes and their own approach to solutions but what they all (except Ontonix) lack is the means to establish a sound (verifiable) quantitative basis from which to commence the process of ‘complexity management’, monitoring and maintenance.

Check it out, for FREE, on-line!:

cid_part6_04050208_01010701ontonix.gifThe following five-step process forms the backbone of all our service engagements. It reflects our extensive experience in Quantitative Complexity Management in a multitude of applications spanning a wide variety of industrial sectors. It also illustrates the typical structure and workflow in a business simplification and ‘robustification’ project.

via Ontonix – Complex Systems Management, Business Risk Management.

Complexity, risk, uncertainty and change


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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The 7 Element OEM System: Breaking the Vicious Complexity Cycle

CxU=FOrganizations often use different names in different areas for what are essentially the same controls addressing the same Causes of Failure. For instance, processes such as Process Hazard Analysis (PHA), Hazard and Operability Study (HAZOP), Process Failure Modes and Effect Analysis (PFMEA), Equipment Criticality Ranking, risk registers, risk “bow-ties”, and other similar tools are all designed to address the same common Cause of Failure – failure to identify and assess risk. Implementing multiple variations of the same tool in response to poor performance or incidents drives organizational and process complexity.


Good thinking, sound advice but the wrong starting point! Read more of this post

Business Insurance:: ISO 31000 should we believe the hype?



“…risk managers should use standards such as ISO 31000, “because standards, no matter what kind or which ones, support key tools and processes.”“Standards allow you to proactively address risks with some discipline,” he said. “Standards also relate well to the whole idea of focusing on outcomes.”


Surely the focus should be upon being proactive and ‘managing’ emergent risks, NOT outcomes!?

Where, I suspect, NASA have a distinct (informational) advantage is that the multi-scalar interactions among components, processes, networks of sub-systems and systems are each rigorously tested at every point in assembly and operation…

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