Mushrooms growing on a mossy tree

You aren’t building an ecosystem

One of the hot fads right now is ecosystems. HBR went so far as to say, “Today’s CEOs Don’t Just Lead Companies. They Lead Ecosystems.” While the article is interesting in asking leaders to think about the interconnectedness of their business, it fails to understand a simple premise that you can’t lead an ecosystem. Some like Stelio Verzera, Nora Bateson,

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Critical Systems Theory

I recently completed a course on Critical Systems Theory with Michael C Jackson—author of Critical Systems Thinking and the Management of Complexity. In this course, over 8 weeks, we covered multiple systems-based approaches for handling technical, process, structural, organizational, people, and power complexity. One thing of note is that many of these forms of complexity are better described as complicated;

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Success and Successful

When you lie on your deathbed thinking about your life, will you consider yourself successful? What would your definition of being successful be? I would argue that it is hard to form that definition in advance. I have never been on my deathbed, so to speak, but I have had a time when my life was at risk, and the

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System Dynamics

In 2015, I was beginning first to explore complex systems, and I discovered System Dynamics. When people talk about systems thinking with any modeling rigor, they often mean Systems Dynamics. It is often considered an approach to dealing with complexity, even though this, and most other systems approaches, are most applicable when things are complicated and not when they are

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Tyranny of Metrics

This week’s book is not on complexity per se but looks at the role of metrics which can be detrimental when managing complexity. As many of us have just completed our OKRs for Q2, now is a good time to reflect on the metrics we have set. The book The Tyranny of Metrics by Jerry Z Muller was a book

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