The limits of complexity

In our daily lives, we are engulfed with complexity. It is all around us: just think about business transactions, global trade, health care systems, jet engines, the energy grid, the tax code, computers, … Many would even add the remote control of their stereo or the radio in their car to that list.  Yet despite that almost permanent […]

Efficiency will kill you slowly

Our western societies are obsessed with efficiency. Just think about topics like lean production, just-in-time logistics, energy consumption, time management: we are always trying to make things cheaper, to use less resources, to pack more action in less time, you name it. While these considerations are usually driven by good intent, I’d argue that they can pave the path to desaster […]

Innovation landscape & adaptive cycles – Part 2

In the previous post I’ve investigated the relation between two of the major concepts that I had discussed earlier: the innovation landscape on one hand and the adaptive cycles on the other. I focused on the part of the innovation landscape that is defined by known problems, i.e., the business as usual quadrant and the research quadrant. Together, with some overlap, those […]

Innovation landscape & adaptive cycles – Part 1

Over the course of this blogging journey, I explored several conceptual ideas that have started to frame my own understanding of innovation, what it is and how it works. The first of those major concepts is the innovation landscape (see initial introduction here, overview of previous posts here) that spans between the demand for innovation (the problems that need to […]

Different scales, different purposes, all intertwined

Complex adaptive systems exists at different scales, both spatial and temporal. As Lance Gunderson and Crawford Holling described it, those different scales form of structure of nested adaptive cycles. To make this idea a bit more tangible, let’s take weather and climate: we are all exposed to the very local patterns every minute we are outdoors; we take into […]