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Rethinking Complexity

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Posts tagged with the category Gary Metcalf

There is a long connection between Saybrook and systems conversations, which continues to this day.  The semi-annual conversations have been hosted by the International Federation for Systems Research (IFSR), and were historically known as the Fuschl Conversations (due to their location at Fuschl am See in Austria). Bela Banathy, the founder...
I recently attended a meeting at the Almaden Research Lab near San Jose, CA.  The T-Summit was jointly sponsored by Michigan State University's Collegiate Employment Research Institute and IBM's Global University Programs.  As described in the announcement about the meeting: Employers are placing...
I just returned from another trip to Japan, this time including a first visit to Osaka.  The first few days were spent in Tokyo, at the seventh workshop and symposium about service systems science, hosted by Prof. Kyoichi (Jim) Kijima from the Tokyo Institute of Technology.  The purpose of the event was “to describe visions of the...
Bill Gates apparently took time out of his busy schedule to guest edit the December 2013 issue of Wired Magazine. In that issue is an article entitled, "This is the Man Bill Gates Thinks you Absolutely Should be Reading." The article opens with the quotation from Gates, “’There is no author whose...
This is a story about a website. Like many stories, however, the lessons are not about the obvious. It is a story about how redesigning a website created a structure for reconsidering an organization.    I serve on the executive committee of an international organization (actually, a federation of organizations), and have for the last...
A recent article by Bruce Schneier, author of the book Liars and Outliers, is titled “The Battle for Power on the Internet.” As he introduces the problem: “We’re in the middle of an epic battle for power in cyberspace. On one side are the traditional, organized, institutional powers such as governments...
Saybrook’s School of Organizational Leadership and Transformation will begin offering a Certificate in Crisis Management beginning in 2014. The program will be led by Ian Mitroff, who recently joined Saybrook as an adjunct faculty member. Dr. Mitroff is Professor Emeritus at the Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California...
Photo: Harland Quarrington/MOD [see page for license], via Wikimedia Commons
It was no surprise that the Sunday morning new shows on August 11th featured more information about online privacy and security concerns. While the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs have been in place for years, with full knowledge of the U. S. Congress, the information released by Edward Snowden raised public awareness...
Photo by Jesus Solana
As reported in the Wall Street Journal (Curran, 2013), Australia has been ranked the happiest industrialized country in the world for the third year in a row, according to the Better Life Index of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).  That puts it ahead of Sweden, Canada, Norway, and Switzerland...
By Szentkiralyi (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by
There is a long lineage of systems thinkers, and systems scientists, who have proposed ways to purposefully design the social systems in which we live. Bela H. Banathy, who created the systems program at Saybrook, used an idealized approach to social systems design. John Warfield offered his Interactive Management process. His long-time colleague...
Photo courtesy of Boston.com
Today's organizations tend to focus on getting better and better at what made them successful. This can be problematic, according to Clayton Christensen, author of The Innovator’s Dilemma. “The problem is that this leaves companies vulnerable to the disruptive innovations that emerge in the murky, low-margin bottom of the market,...
Sorting out complexity is, by nature, difficult. When we talk about complexity we tend to mean something beyond normal, regular, or average.  Even agreeing on definitions is problematic. A search of the “systemspedia” in the online library of the Institute for the Study of Coherence and Emergence found 362 entries related to...