Author Archives: admin

From Fitting in to Flying Out

Do you believe that you will be an employee from graduation until retirement? Do you know what it means to be employed? The changes in the conditions and patterns of employment are shifting so rapidly that it is virtually impossible to plan for your entire work life. The speed of automation and robotization indicates that many jobs (blue-collar and white-collar) will disappear. In fact, that is happening now with many jobs reaching their expiration date! Many

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DRAW OUT COMPLEXITY, the Curious Art of Visual Communication and Facilitation

Visualizing and drawing can help us think and communicate, especially when it comes to complexity. Amanda Lyons, is a visual practitioner. “I was excited to find complexity as I could see the amazing impact visuals can have in complex situations. Whether trying to understand something deeply myself or communicate it with others, visuals are my vehicle of choice.” Amanda is holding a  2-day workshop in NYC on February 24 + 25, 2018, open to anyone

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Not All Rules are the Same

A recent discussion on LinkedIn in the Harvard Business Review Group asked, “Wouldn’t it be great if managing a team was as easy as herding sheep?” Several comments opposed the comparison of people to sheep but there are important insights for influencing pattern-based change in teams and organizations through understanding the self-organizing behaviors that arise from the interaction of individual agents (birds, bees and humans) when they adhere to a set of Simple Rules. The

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We’re All FLUXed

Understanding the Dynamics of Disruptive Experience…to Achieve Optimal Response Written by: Bruce Waltuck and Denise Easton A new series of blog posts will focus on how Plexus network members and clients build on and apply principles of complexity in innovative new ways. In this post, written by Plexus Catalysts Denise Easton and Bruce Waltuck, they describe their ongoing research and work about how Self-Organization and Emergence – two fundamental aspects of Complex Adaptive Systems –

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Complexity in Healthcare: Will you know it when you see it?

The rise in awareness of the principles of complexity continues to be both a boon and a problem for many scientific disciplines, resulting in intense discussions about how best to integrate this method of scientific discovery with established practices. The major divisions in the development and application of “complexity informed” models and tools have been between the legitimacy of mathematics versus conceptual models both for discovery and proof. This divergence of approaches in clearly evident

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Complexity Matters: A Re-Introduction to Complexity

“Scientific knowledge, originally seen to make possible the prediction and manipulation of nature, appears now to be pointing us toward a new relationship with the natural world based on sensitive observation and participation, rather than control.” Brian Goodwin   During 2018, Plexus Institute’s Thursday Complexity Matters posts will continue to offer stories, new thinking, research and practices related to complexity in action. And, we will also be sharing fundamentals of “complexity” by reviewing the language, distinctions

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Complexity Science Reframes Healthcare For Women and Everyone Else!

In an early PlexusCall (September, 2003) guests Birute Regine, Eileen Hoffman and Justina Trott held a wide ranging conversation that explored how the distinctions in the “nature” of women aligned with the theory and insights of complexity science to human systems. “The system becomes more complex when you bring your whole self into it. For women who need to have their stories told and understood, that changes the whole dynamic of the profession of medicine,

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Where Will Your Story Lead Plexus?

Gathering and sharing stories is a human behavior both ancient and universal.  Our stories express our understanding even of the most complex situations; reflect our core values; and articulate our intentions for future action. Story telling is also one of the most enduring tools available to every person and every organization regardless of specific social, economic or cultural contexts. In the HBR article, The Irrestible Power of Storytelling as a Strategic Business Tool, author Harrison Monarth

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Managing in a Complex Environment: Applying Complexity Theory and Outcome Management to Global Problems

From Marc Narkus-Kramer a Plexus Catalyst and Plexus Institute board member.  My interest in Plexus began when I was working at the MITRE Corporation and experienced the power of complexity thinking and practice that Plexus introduced to a project.  I recently retired from MITRE and decided to explore how to build a process for organizational understanding and implementation of an integrated method of using complexity as a guiding principle for outcome management. I recognize how

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Liberating Structures: The APP is Here

Plexus Institute has been the incubator for an impressive flow of research and applications centered on addressing “complexity” in organizations and human system. Keith McCandless and Henri Lipmanowicz  began working as partners to develop Liberating Structures when they shared a hunch that complexity science had practical applications and could be accessible to everyone.  Keith’s interest in transformational learning and planning methods clicked with Henri’s business acumen as they fielded early prototypes. Over twelve years, their work

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