A process for managing
complexity

 
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We always think in systems. We just aren’t aware of it. Usually the systems around us, the environment we spend our lives within, is small enough to allow us to see the connection between cause and effect. Very often in our world, the relation between cause and effect is directly linked with people taking action in the world and our brains have evolved to be able to deal with a very limited number of people. Most of the research points towards a number in the area of 150 people whose interrelations and connections we manage to map with our brains.

As the world becomes more and more interconnected, our brains struggle to find patterns between cause and effect. Information technology, global business, transport systems have connected all parts of the world and every human with every other human. This happened during the past century and mostly in the past fifty years. We are not well equipped to think in terms of highly complex systems from a perspective of evolution for the simple reason that it was not necessary.

Whenever we as humans encountered such a situation in the past, we have created tools to enhance our capabilities. Cybernetics is the science that is developing the understanding that enables us to build these tools.

Systems can have surprising effects. One of the most surprising effect - for us humans - is that often systems expose exponential behaviour. By this we mean that some level or ratio within the system continuously doubles in value in a fixed timeframe.

We are now at a point in our activity on the planet as humans where we have created imbalances in systems that have created several of these exponential results. This happens in a system when the equilibrium of the system is pushed out of balance by a change in the system. Some of these are pushing us towards a critical point for our survival as a species, others have the potential of providing solutions and some have both.

In order to steer the adaptation of a system from a current behaviour towards a desired future behaviour it is necessary to have a clear vision of the desired state of the system as well as an instrument to orchestrate the adaptation of the system.

The tools we have created and are sharing here, provide you with the instruments to create a clear vision for the desirable future state of your system as well as a foundation for steering the adaptation.