Category Archives: Complexity Matters

Mothering from the Inside Out

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]How can a mother feel a drug is more important than her baby? That question has perplexed policy makers, anguished families, and tormented women facing the complex challenges of addiction, recovery and childcare. Nancy E. Suchman, PhD, an associate professor of psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine is working on answering that question and helping mothers coping with addiction and caring for their children. One Answer is Rooted in Science “What happens on a biological level with chronic substance abuse is that the drug co-opts the neural system,” explains Suchman.” “The drug floods the brain with Dr. Suchman is pioneering

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From Fitting in to Flying Out

This post was adapted from several articles by Arnold Beekes, who shared his work in a Pop-Up Conversation. You are invited to listen to the second half of the conversation.    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

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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 a Plexus Catalyst, and her work brings an important new perspective to how we engage with complexity. Visuals allow Amanda to see juxtapositions and hold oppositions in ways that allow her to understand and see more. According to Amanda, “Drawing

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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 concept of simple rules is a key component of complexity science. One of the distinguishing features of a complex system is the system-wide patterns that

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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 – result in new insights about the Dynamics of Disruptive Experiences, and how they help people develop optimal Adaptive Response Capacities to improve outcomes in uncertainty. 

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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 in the field of healthcare; mathematics is firmly holding sway on the side of disease and infirmity with a predominantly conceptual approach on the organizational

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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 and metaphors that define complexity. What does it mean? How do we talk about it? How can we see and understand it? Where does science

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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, and the dynamic of the human relationship in any personal experience.´  Justina Trott The Back Story The story of how the transcript of the PlexusCall,

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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 understands that “stories” add measurable value when integrated into wide ranging initiatives including research, employee and customer engagement programs, change management strategies and marketing. “Strategic

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Entrepreneurial Chef Plans Food Desert Transformation

Frederic Byarm earned a culinary degree and trained in France, became an acclaimed chef, and owned four restaurants. He earned lean and Six Sigma Black Belt Certifications in manufacturing, and he has worked at an Arizona non-profit designed to serve homeless and impoverished individuals and families. Returning to Camden, where he grew up, Byarm plans to open a farm and market place that will provide fresh food and new jobs in his hometown. Byarm’s Invincible City Farms took first place in the Camden Catalyst entrepreneurial pitch competition, which drew more than 100 applicants who commit to keep their start-up businesses in Camden for at

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