Study of complex systems

The study of complex systems, including human systems, including families, organizations, cities, and nations, is system analysis. You can find countless complexities if you look closely into every structure and examine the relationships between participants. In a systematic approach to a problem, you understand first that a system does not have an inherent end.

There’s no such thing as a whole theory. The goal is to look at a question more thoroughly. The compromises are focused on rethinking how we manage uncertainty. We all perform a great many highly technical things, such as driving our vehicles. Who are we? We are going through a process that does not vary from what someone goes through to become a concert pianist. Very few people begin to play Mozart. You begin to play something basic, like the scales.

On every level, we begin with a degree of complexity within the limits of our knowledge and ability to grasp. While our common knowledge is only restricted in scope, we somehow learn to perform extremely complex tasks. Even a great pianist sometimes begins to play a new piece at a slow pace. He slowly catches the tempo as he “grab” the whole piece. When the time comes to play, the pianist does not need a “self-conscious” to concentrate on where his fingers go. He frees that part of his consciousness from concentrating solely on esthetics.

This method is similar to our overall approach to complexity. It implies that parts of our mind deal much better with uncertainty than our usual, self-conscious awareness. The trick to educating people like processes is to use a systematic method to mimic what the pianist does. Eventually, the concert pianist will only look at a piece of music that is hopelessly complex to our eyes and consume it with his conscious consciousness. He will still have to do it, but his ability to deal with uncertainty has evolved. In his consciousness, a relationship between his self-consciousness and a more automatic level of consciousness has grown capable of handling even more complexity.

Scholars of complex systems never clarified how certain individuals would masterfully lead complex organizations out of the hundreds that seek and fail. Such successes can not be clarified (other than as blind luck), since we believe that the only way to master processes is through a self-aware, logical research method — and few, if any, have the resources to do so. Indeed, people who handle uncertainty function in an intuitive area that we don’t even include in our educational theories. We will only be able to overcome pure modeling by combining this intuitive domain with the natural, logical consciousness domain. Our work with business managers starts with basic models that are only within the capacity of the individual to understand. We use this until the managers no longer have to worry too much about it and instead switch to more complicated models. Acceptance of the meaning is an important step in this intuitive sense.

But corporate managers find it very difficult to embrace the complexity because many of them have to see themselves managed. To recognize it means knowing two things at the intestine level: 1) that it is connected, and 2) that it is never linked. One consequence of this is empowering, because not only can you never find it out, but nobody else is. It provides a level playing field. By learning and practice and their increasing knowledge, most people realize that they will never fully understand anything in their lives. Some people can’t take it, while others sit back and relax. With this increased understanding, two common assumptions are: that people should monitor an entity from above or at a distance; and that a structure can either be completely understood or broken. Dismantling these beliefs is necessary to penetrate the authoritarian mindsets which control the majority of organizations.

Most people have grown up in an oppressive atmosphere with the answers provided by parents, teachers, and bosses. They are completely sure, deep down, that people know what’s happening above them. This mentality weakens them as individuals and weakens the whole organization. When a community of people realizes collectively that no one has the solution, it changes the output of that organization. We learn to live with insecurity because no matter how clever or successful you are, there is still a fundamental vulnerability in your life. This creates a philosophical community among individuals in an organization typically followed by an experimentation enthusiasm. If you never get a reply, all you can do is try. When something goes wrong, someone can no longer be blamed for screwing — mistakes are just part of the experiment. I also believed that system dynamics had the potential to inspire people and encourage people’s ability to create.

But we did not explicitly express a notion of personal control that corresponds to the essence of complex structures. Most managers feel that they have power because they control everything. It’s just a control façade – a mutually endorsed illusion. Subordinates believe that they are regulated, and superiors claim to monitor them. Most people at a deeper level know that this is not true, but the illusion must be taken away. Only then is the soil fertile for motivating people to rise. Only then can you begin to understand how people make. They do not build by finding out and managing items.


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