How efficiency can kill you – in simple charts

In the previous post I’ve investigate the antagonistic relation between efficiency on one side and resilience on the other. As that is a pretty abstract subject, I tried to draw up a few simple charts to underpin the story of how efficiency, when taken to extremes, depletes resilience and ultimately promotes system failure. First, let’s think of a simple task, the […]

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 […]

The downsides of a front–loop focus

The depiction of the adaptive cycle as the lying eight has many compelling arguments in its favour. And still it is far from intuitive. While the pessimists have an inclination to look for the downsides in life, and thus can more easily reconcile their view of the world with the existence of the adaptive cycle with […]

Between potential and connectedness

So far I’ve described the adaptive cycles only in very elementary terms. Time to add a level of detail so that this concept can gain more contour and depth. Let’s take the lying eight as the starting point. Without a doubt that is the most common depiction of adaptive cycles that you can find on the […]

Adaptive cycles and innovation – first contact

What is it that adaptive cycles could tell us about innovation? Which new perspective could they give us? Could they actually serve as a common backdrop, a “unifying field theory” that covers all dimensions of innovation? That could incorporate the relevant aspects of technology, business, and society? I’m curious to learn more about the ups and […]