When we think in systems with our old mindset, we think like a field commander perched on a hill trying to design and control the complex behavior we want to occur. Strange? These types of systems–seen across the physical, natural and social sciences in flocks, schools of fish, traffic patterns, ant colonies and across the spectrum of nature land human society–baffled scientists because it was unclear how the group behavior occurred in the absence of a leader. This is a common pattern of a CAS: After applying a fix, the problem disappears but pops up again later. If leaders want to change the behaviour of their organisations, they need to find the simple basic rules the agents follow and influence the rules at the agent level. © 2020 Roland Flemm made with by Studio nulelfzeven. Look at how quickly millions of birds pivot from all moving left to all moving right. Derek Cabrera (Ph.D., Cornell) is an internationally known systems scientist and serves on the faculty of Cornell University where he teaches systems thinking, systems leadership, and systems mapping and is Program Director for the Graduate Certification Program in Systems Thinking, Modeling, and Leadership (STML). systems thinking approach to better deal with complex situations in health, environment, education, etc. When the number of items in the sprint is lowered to an insane minimum, the team morale goes up. All kids could unleash their creativity on the world with simple, modular, relational blocks. To perform the wave in a stadium, every person gets up, raises arms in the air and sits down again. Complex adaptive systems thinking is an approach that challenges simple cause and effect assumptions, and instead sees healthcare and other systems as a dynamic process. We don’t think of simplicity as a good thing. Let’s revisit the idea that systems thinking, at its core, posits that the problems we face—the wicked problems we’d most like to resolve—are most often attributable to the mismatch between the way real-world systems work and the way we think they work. Each time, it follows the same laws of physics. This study therefore investigated (i) the extent to which CSA in the CSV of Doggoh-Jirapa represents attributes of a complex adaptive system (CAS), and (ii) the potential of systems thinking … What we know about complex systems is that underlying their complexity are simple rules. Maybe you recognise some of these dynamics: When we understand that Scrum is a CAS, then scaled Scrum is a CAS too. More than two decades of research went into discovering that there are four simple rules that underlie systems thinking which go by the acronym "DSRP:". Humans are complex adaptive systems, which means that applying the same stimuli on the system will yield different emergent behaviour. Although there is central management in companies, research shows (Hackmanin his book: Leading Teams and this article) that the effect of leaders on the performance of organisations is limited. These four simple rules combine in an infinite number of ways to develop Daniel-san as an adaptive, robust, and resilient fighter. When an intervention is not applied at the system level (we changed simple rules inside a part of a system and not at the systemic level), the system changes only temporary. Complex adaptive systems thinking emerged in the 1980s. When we think of someone intelligent, we think of someone who speaks in complicated ways, not someone who keeps things simple. The next four pages provide a quick description for each of these four concepts as well as synonyms you will be familiar with. The systems thinker is not so different. If we focus on what systems thinking is we will have little hope of actually achieving it. Ole Kirk Christiansen, a carpenter, founded Lego in 1932. For example, there are 318 billion possible ways to play the first four moves. Humans are complex adaptive systems, which means that applying the same stimuli on the system will yield different emergent behaviour. Perspectives Rule: Any thing or idea can be the point or the view of a perspective. Complex adaptive systems (CAS), to reiterate, are systems composed of many individual parts or agents in which patterns can emerges as a result of agents deploying “simple rules” from the “bottom‐up” without external control—CAS are “self‐organizing” systems. Mr. Miagi is not only a Karate-master, he is also a master teacher. Of course I don’t mean literally go kick a dog; it’s a thought experiment. Opposed to static systems, complex systems behave differently under different stimuli. Complex adaptive systems: a different way of thinking about health care systems This paper, authored by Beverly Sibthorpe, Nicholas Glasgow and Duncan Longstaff for the Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute provides a brief synopsis of literature relevant to CAS and health care systems. It turns out there were no leaders, only followers. The focus on Complex Adaptive Systems is closely identified with this notion of changes in behavior over time, which relates to an important aspect of dynamic complexity: evolving complexity. A complex adaptive system is a system that is complex in that it is a dynamic network of interactions, but the behavior of the ensemble may not be predictable according to the behavior of the components.It is adaptive … If we greet a colleague every morning with a … Most of us have never seen the Mona Lisa, a Picasso, a Van Gogh, or a Michelangelo. The behavior of the rock is complicated but not complex; it doesn’t adapt its behavior. Because of four simple colors—Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black, or CMYK. Yet our minds are not beyond making up a cause to relieve the itch of an unexplained effect. The solution requires a deeper understanding of the varied systems that contribute to world hunger, and that can be difficult, but it is not the case that we need to transgress the laws of physics in order to solve the problem of world hunger. There is no central leadership in a CAS. The term complex adaptive systems, or complexity science, is often used to describe the loosely organized academic field that has grown up around the study of such systems.Complexity science is not a single theory—it encompasses more than one theoretical framework and is highly interdisciplinary, seeking the answers to some fundamental questions about living, adaptable, changeable systems. When we take a systems thinking v2.0 perspective, we think like individual soldiers and rely on the collective dynamics of the system to emerge. Complex Adaptive Systems and Agent-Based Modeling proved to be a potent combination of paradigms to address … Now try the same experiment on a dog. The largest human wave consists of 80,000 people acting as a single superorganism with no leadership, all following one simple rule: do what the person to your left does: when they stand, you stand. Systems Concepts Complex Adaptive Systems - 19 The Kellogg Foundation Systems Methods Glenda Eoyang revised May 2004 Evaluation Practice geoyang@hsdinstitute.org 1. There is a set of simple rules executed by all or most of the agents of the system. We now know that underlying complex adaptive systems are simple rules. In a single team Scrum implementation, agents are the Scrum team members following a set of simple rules (the Scrum guide), generating collective dynamics (Scrum practices like using a Scrum board, having the Scrum events,…) that leads to complex emergent properties like self-organisation and problem-solving. Kick it again and it circles away. In the upcoming Systems Thinking episode I will talk about the human CAS and our learning capabilities being one of our emergent properties. Kick a rock over and over again and it doesn’t change its behavior. How do you look at a star-nosed mole rat or a seahorse or a giraffe or a platypus and not think: nature is really creative and has an amazing sense of humor. Instead, it is that many people hold the false assumption that underneath complex things are complicated explanations. Your email address will not be published. Simplicity can be lucrative. For example, a wicked problem might be world hunger, yet there is enough food to feed the world (2640 kcal/person/day of per capita food availability), so this issue is resolvable. Thinking of them this way, says Nathan Rosenberg, founding partner of management consulting firm Insigniam, … The process of systems thinking results in a product: mental models. The dog is a complex adaptive systems (or CAS), in that it adapts its behavior to better navigate its environment. Rule 1: maintain distance x (locally to nearest neighbors); Rule 2: adjust direction (locally to nearest neighbors); and. Organizations aren't just organizations—they're complex adaptive systems. Complex adaptive systems in healthcare organizations Complexity science belongs to newest systems thinking, which explore complex systems, also called CAS, by focusing on the system … He is a senior scientist at Cabrera Research Lab. Note that Wicked Problems are Complex Adaptive Systems too: they behave differently when repeating the same stimulus. In addition, thinking itself is a complex system, if not the most complex system known to mankind. Laura Cabrera (B.S., M.P.A, & PhD, Cornell) currently teaches Systems Thinking and Modeling and Systems Leadership at Cornell University at the Institute for Policy Affairs. The karate sensei understands the fundamental movements that combine to produce all karate moves. At one of my customers, I observed a junior Scrum Master for some time. Some examples of CAS in the context of Scrum are: the Scrum team, the team members, scaling Scrum, zombie Scrum, the IT department, management, customers, markets, etc. A complex adaptive systems (CAS) approach means stepping away from reductionist thinking and accepting that within a social-ecological system, several connections are occurring at the same time … When we face wicked problems, we don’t think to ourselves the answer is simple. Systems thinking tells us to look at the system as a whole, and not to analyse its parts. I observe many times how people apply the same fix to solve a reoccurring problem. How? Remarkable. What makes them special is that they interact together in a complex way that makes an infinite array of colors possible. Compare it to another company where the employees say: “I work here because I am the best and that is what I expect from my teammates too. Posted on March 11, 2018 May 26, 2018 Author sonjablignaut Categories Complexity and adaptive leadership Tags complex adaptive systems, complexity I have been re-reading the work of Prof Paul Cilliers, who truly was a pioneer in complexity thinking. Daniel-san is pissed off and he’s had enough and is going to quit, but he’s about to have his mind blown instead. In this episode, I want to explore Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS). What then causes this behavior? For example, systems-as-cause and closed loop thinking allow members to better understand causality and change that is not linear and always predictable (Richmond, 2000). As we have given talks and trainings throughout the world to diverse audiences, we have discovered one big barrier that impedes understanding systems thinking v2.0. Surprisingly, it isn’t the simple rules themselves, which are actually remarkably easy to grasp. The seemingly simple moves of chess combine into staggering mathematical possibilities. Although managers had the illusion of fixing team problems, they were creating a much bigger one at the company level. Looking forward to the next one! What were they following? According to Bar-Yam [19 1. People knew that if the manager invited you “to have a coffee”, this probably meant you were either fired or moved to another team. In fact, we delay the point (aka the setpoint) where the system tips from one type of behaviour into another. They followed simple rules that brought about this remarkable, adaptive, and complex behavior. The system usually behaves differently than expected. 22 Nov 2020 – Let’s take a look at a video online to illustrate this as there’s simply no way to experience it in writing. These collective dynamics produce emergent complexity (things like adaptivity, robustness, etc.). Here are a few examples of complex things that have relatively simple rules underneath. For the last 2,500 years, our mindset has been that underneath complex systems there are probably layers and layers of complicated subsystems. 6 min read, 12 Oct 2020 – One where the interactions and relationships of different components simultaneously affect and are shaped by the system. The birds at the bottom of the column are following rules one and two and have no idea that rule three (avoid predators) was followed above. Scrum is a CASSimple rules and agents lead to collective dynamics and emergent behaviour. As one American diplomat recently reflected: “from climate change to the coronavirus, complex adaptive systems thinking … In ways that are conditioned by current and previous interactions The behaviour of a dynamically-complex adaptive system emerges from the interactions between the parts of the system. Complexity thinking is increasingly being embraced in healthcare, which is often described as a complex adaptive system (CAS). Let's review the basic logic of the situation: Complexity theory tells us to look for the simple rules that underlie the complex and adaptive human behavior that we know as “thinking.” So what are the simple rules that underlie both the complex systems that make up the world and the way we think about those systems? Implementing value-driven metrics is a good example of effective leadership decision taken at the autonomous agent level. As a Scrum Master in my servant-leader role, I am in the perfect space to trigger systemic changes because I master the simple rules of the system (the Scrum guide) and work at the agent level (team members) of the Complex Adaptive System (Scrum). I noticed that whenever there was a problem with a team, he responded by explaining Scrum and started drawing posters. In one of our favorite scenes from The Karate Kid, Daniel-san has asked Mr. Miagi to teach him karate and all he seems to be doing is hard labor and household chores around Mr. Miagi’s property. Systems thinking seeks to define an ideal future … But most of us have never seen the real thing. Basics of systems thinking 3. If your brain was rendered incapable of any one of them, it would have difficulty thinking about even the most basic things. These techniques are the Complex Adaptive System (CAS), Analytic Network Process (ANP), and Linear Programming (LP). These four rules do not operate in isolation, but in parallel. 4. These types of systems are based on simple, local rules. Figure 2.17 illustrates the basic idea behind all complex systems—that simple rules and agents lead to collective behavior and emergence. Required fields are marked *. 3. The reason we can't solve world hunger is because we don't have a mental model that accounts for the social, economic, political, motivational, and cultural issues that shape the problem. If we drive our car faster, we will be transported faster (limited to the system boundaries of the car itself). We use the term “Complex Adaptive Systems” (CAS) for complex systems. In other words, systems thinking is about building mental models that better align with real-world systems than those created under a non-systems thinking approach. Systems thinking is a complex adaptive system. Built on autonomous agents following simple local rules, chess’s potential for complexity is immense. 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