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Chaos Complexity Eillc

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Discussion of how chaos and complexity theories are useful in business.

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Chaos Complexity Eillc

  1. 1. Chaos and Complexity Applied to Business Kathryn Alexander Strategic Leadership Ethical Impact, LLC
  2. 2. Applying Theory <ul><li>Reality is more than it seems </li></ul><ul><li>Seeing patterns, rhythms and cycles </li></ul><ul><li>Similes and metaphors </li></ul><ul><li>Increasing complexity requires better understanding </li></ul>© Kathryn Alexander. 2008
  3. 3. Scientific Concepts <ul><li>Wholes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Composed of parts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can be taken apart </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Lose their essential nature </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Emergence </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Different characteristics at different levels of complexity </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cognition </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Process-pattern-structure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Self-Organization </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Co-Creation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Open and closed boundaries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Responsive relationship </li></ul></ul>© Kathryn Alexander. 2008
  4. 4. In the Beginning <ul><li>John Bells idea 1964 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Shifting the spin of a paired particle </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other shifted instantaneously </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tested in 1972 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Alain Aspect 1982 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Non-locality, reality-as-it-is </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The background/container for everything </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Particle &Wave </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Light through a slit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Particle OR wave </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Viewer made the “decision” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Both/and = reality </li></ul></ul></ul>© Kathryn Alexander. 2008
  5. 5. Emergence <ul><li>Different characteristics arise out of different levels of complexity </li></ul><ul><li>Cognition is emergent out of complexity </li></ul>© Kathryn Alexander. 2008
  6. 6. Emergence & Cognition <ul><li>Life creates the conditions of its own existence </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Primordial soup </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Living is the process of cognition </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Autoposis/self-making </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Boundaries </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Identity </li></ul></ul></ul>© Kathryn Alexander. 2008
  7. 7. Self-Organization <ul><li>Open systems </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Responsive relationship </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Tit for Tat = cooperation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Bringing forth the world </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Autopoiesis - self-making </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sensitivity to initial conditions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Fluid & shifting structures </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Form follows function </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Size - limited by information flow and structure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Relationship allows for co-creation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Change/evolution </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Incremental- slow, small, constant </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Unnoticeable </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Break-through/discontinuous </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Dramatic and untested </li></ul></ul></ul>© Kathryn Alexander. 2008
  8. 8. Co-Creation <ul><li>Process-pattern-structure </li></ul><ul><ul><li>People and organizations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fractals - self-similarity(cauliflower) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Self-reference/reflection </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Complexity & stability is created by: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Open systems to allow for </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Co-Creation which exists </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Far from equilibrium by using </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Thin range between order and chaos (life) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Information & structure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Feedback loops create stability </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Bifurcation - natural tendency to split </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Dissipative structures = self-organization (individuals, groups, ecologies) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Period doubling - exponential factor (Lily pond is 1/2 full and the next period is completely full) </li></ul>© Kathryn Alexander. 2008
  9. 9. Creating Dynamic Wholes <ul><li>Responsiveness/communication, creates collaboration </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tit for Tat </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sensitivity to initial conditions = very different results, depending upon the beginning responses </li></ul><ul><li>Self organization = increasing complexity = emergence (revealing implicate order) </li></ul>© Kathryn Alexander. 2008
  10. 10. © Kathryn Alexander. 2008 What is a System?? - Ecologies and Organizations A collection of interrelated parts that come together for a purpose, acting in responsive relationship with one another, which then form a whole. These relationships become more complex over time which allows for the emergence of new behavior and capacities.
  11. 11. © Kathryn Alexander. 2008 Living Systems All living systems perform the following: Choice = decision process Pattern = many similar decisions Structure = consistently replicated patterns This is a description of self-organization
  12. 12. © Kathryn Alexander. 2008 A System always has an aim or purpose The role of leadership is to manage the various purposes by aligning the actions/behavior of the organization with its purpose (strategy) to meet the needs of ALL participants.
  13. 13. © Kathryn Alexander. 2008 Important Characteristics of Living Systems <ul><li>There is always an aim or purpose </li></ul><ul><li>All systems are composed of interrelated parts/processes </li></ul><ul><li>The parts are composed of interrelated parts/processes </li></ul><ul><li>All parts effect the whole system BUT, not independently and not all the time </li></ul><ul><li>Sub-optimization; the effectiveness of a few parts are gained, but the effectiveness of the whole is sacrificed </li></ul>
  14. 14. © Kathryn Alexander. 2008 Important Characteristics of Living Systems <ul><li>All living systems have boundaries </li></ul><ul><li>All living systems self-organize </li></ul><ul><li>Stability = “far from equilibrium” and is achieved through feedback loops </li></ul><ul><li>All living systems have input(s) and out put(s), processes have a beginning and an end </li></ul><ul><li>All living systems are nested (i.e they fit inside of a larger system) What is the largest system? </li></ul>
  15. 15. © Kathryn Alexander. 2008 Relationship Means: A shift from focusing on structure to focusing on process. Form follows process. Structures need to change as the organism adapts.
  16. 16. Paradigm Shifts <ul><li>Changes in “reality” or understanding (discontinuous change) generate one of three responses </li></ul><ul><li>Discount the data </li></ul><ul><li>Distort the data </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t see, hear, or remember the data </li></ul>© Kathryn Alexander. 2008
  17. 17. A Process for Changing Beliefs: © Kathryn Alexander. 2008 Understanding of Variation Knowledge of a System P R O F O U N D KNOW LEDGE DR. DEMING'S PHILOSOPHY Psychology Theory of Knowledge
  18. 18. Systems Thinking © Kathryn Alexander. 2008 <ul><li>Has important lessons and tools for business </li></ul><ul><li>Reveals hidden dynamics </li></ul><ul><li>Is strategically relevant </li></ul><ul><li>Is a key leadership skill </li></ul><ul><li>Makes invisible connections visible </li></ul>Contact Us Ethical Impact, LLC 5505 Valmont Rd. Ste. #278 Boulder, CO 80301 www.ethicalimpact.com 888-331-7492 or 303-440-5833

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