Tag: Complexity (home)

The greatest masterpiece in literature is only a dictionary out of order. -

permalink source: Jean Cocteau, writer, artist, and filmmaker as seen in AWADmail Issue 46 September 9, 2001
tags: Simplicity, Complexity

Q: Most organizations try to simplify and streamline. But you seem to say that organizations should become more complicated. A: It's the law of requisite variety, which says that if you want to make sense of a complex world, you've got to have an internal system that is equally complex. A good example is the Naskapi Indians of Labrador. Their problem is where to hunt for caribou. The hunter holds the shoulder blade of a caribou over a fire until it develops cracks. Then somebody reads those cracks to see where the caribou are likely to be. The wisdom of this practice is that it randomizes the hunter's behavior, making it harder for the caribou to learn where the hunter is likely to be. It also ensures that some areas don't become overhunted. The translation should be clear to people running businesses. In fact, there are examples in Asian management practices of ancient rituals being given considerable stature.

permalink source: Karl Weick, Complicate Yourself, http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/4.04/weick.html
tags: Chance, Complexity, Management