A couple of weeks ago I gave the second talk in a series of talks looking at the underlying evidence, mechanisms and meaning of collapse and phase transitions in complex systems and what this means for management.
The first talk (slides and video here) focused heavily on the underlying science of collapse and non-linear transitions. The evidence suggests that systems become vulnerable to phase change when they experience exponential growth, increased connectivity, decreased reserves, and increased imitative behaviour.
A lot of people wrote in asking what to do with this information, so the second talk explored what this means for us, how it should inform strategy, and what kinds or organisational designs work better during periods of collapse and rapid change.
I started the argument building on Gunderson and Holling’s Adaptive Change Cycle, map this onto different spheres of knowledge management and information, then derive strategic principles for different kinds of organisations.
Unfortunately we ran out of time before I was able to get to the recommendations for implementing these insights. It was a long talk, with two breaks, and was really too much material to try to squeeze into a single session. But I’ve already gotten good feedback on this from a few sources, so perhaps there might be room for a third seminar exploring how to do it.
Here are the slides and video will be coming shortly:
The full presentation can be downloaded as a PDF here.