Making Things Work

Solving Complex Problems in a Complex World

Author: Yaneer Bar-Yam

Publisher: Knowledge Press

ISBN: 9780965632829

Category: Science

Page: 306

View: 4769

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SUPERANNO The science of complexity has revolutionized our understanding of everything from the brain to the economy to the weather. This reference shows how it can change the way we approach our most persistent social problems by introducing key concepts like emergence, self-organization, and networks, then using them to propose novel solutions to problems in health care, education, terrorism, and third-world development. Suitable for anyone struggling to cope with complex challenges. Original.

Dynamics Of Complex Systems

Author: Yaneer Bar-yam

Publisher: Westview Press

ISBN: 9780813341217

Category: Science

Page: 864

View: 8264

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The study of complex systems in a unified framework has become recognized in recent years as a new scientific discipline, the ultimate in the interdisciplinary fields. Breaking down the barriers between physics, chemistry, and biology and the so-called soft sciences of psychology, sociology, economics and anthropology, this text explores the universal physical and mathematical principles that govern the emergence of complex systems from simple components. Dynamics of Complex Systems is the first text describing the modern unified study of complex systems. It is designed for upper-undergraduate/beginning graduate level students, and covers a broad range of applications in a broad array of disciplines. A central goal of this text is to develop models and modeling techniques that are useful when applied to all complex systems. This is done by adopting both analytic tools, including statistical mechanics and stochastic dynamics, and computer simulation techniques, such as cellular automata and Monte Carlo. In four sets of paired, self-contained chapters, Yaneer Bar-Yam discusses complex systems in the context of neural networks, protein folding, living organisms, and finally, human civilization itself. He explores fundamental questions about the structure, dynamics, evolution, development and quantitative complexity that apply to all complex systems. In the first chapter, mathematical foundations such as iterative maps and chaos, probability theory and random walks, thermodynamics, information and computation theory, fractals and scaling, are reviewed to enable the text to be read by students and researchers with a variety of backgrounds.

Simple Rules

How to Thrive in a Complex World

Author: Donald Sull,Kathleen M. Eisenhardt

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 0544409906

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 288

View: 4156

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Outlines an approach to high-performance problem-solving and decision-making that draws on insights from survival guides, pop culture and other sources. Co-written by the award-winning author of The Upside of Turbulence. 75,000 first printing.

Strategic Thinking in Complex Problem Solving

Author: Arnaud Chevallier

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190463929

Category: Psychology

Page: 288

View: 8033

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Whether you are a student or a working professional, you can benefit from being better at solving the complex problems that come up in your life. Strategic Thinking in Complex Problem Solving provides a general framework and the necessary tools to help you do so. Based on his groundbreaking course at Rice University, engineer and former strategy consultant Arnaud Chevallier provides practical ways to develop problem solving skills, such as investigating complex questions with issue maps, using logic to promote creativity, leveraging analogical thinking to approach unfamiliar problems, and managing diverse groups to foster innovation. This book breaks down the resolution process into four steps: 1) frame the problem (identifying what needs to be done), 2) diagnose it (identifying why there is a problem, or why it hasn't been solved yet), 3) identify and select potential solutions (identifying how to solve the problem), and 4) implement and monitor the solution (resolving the problem, the 'do'). For each of these four steps - the what, why, how, and do - this book explains techniques that promotes success and demonstrates how to apply them on a case study and in additional examples. The featured case study guides you through the resolution process, illustrates how these concepts apply, and creates a concrete image to facilitate recollection. Strategic Thinking in Complex Problem Solving is a tool kit that integrates knowledge based on both theoretical and empirical evidence from many disciplines, and explains it in accessible terms. As the book guides you through the various stages of solving complex problems, it also provides useful templates so that you can easily apply these approaches to your own personal projects. With this book, you don't just learn about problem solving, but how to actually do it.

Conflict and Complexity

Countering Terrorism, Insurgency, Ethnic and Regional Violence

Author: Philip vos Fellman,Yaneer Bar-Yam,Ali A. Minai

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 1493917056

Category: Science

Page: 292

View: 8723

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This book follows the methodologies of complex adaptive systems research in their application to addressing the problems of terrorism, specifically terrorist networks, their structure and various methods of mapping and interdicting them as well as exploring the complex landscape of network-centric and irregular warfare. A variety of new models and approaches are presented here, including Dynamic Network Analysis, DIME/PMESII models, percolation models and emergent models of insurgency. In addition, the analysis is informed by practical experience, with analytical and policy guidance from authors who have served within the U.S. Department of Defense, the British Ministry of Defence as well as those who have served in a civilian capacity as advisors on terrorism and counter-terrorism.

Changing on the Job

Developing Leaders for a Complex World

Author: Jennifer Garvey Berger

Publisher: Stanford University Press

ISBN: 0804782865

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 224

View: 1036

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Listen to people in every field and you'll hear a call for more sophisticated leadership—for leaders who can solve more complex problems than the human race has ever faced. But these leaders won't simply come to the fore; we have to develop them, and we must cultivate them as quickly as is humanly possible. Changing on the Job is a means to this end. As opposed to showing readers how to play the role of a leader in a "paint by numbers" fashion, Changing on the Job builds on theories of adult growth and development to help readers become more thoughtful individuals, capable of leading in any scenario. Moving from the theoretical to the practical, and employing real-world examples, author Jennifer Garvey Berger offers a set of building blocks to help cultivate an agile workforce while improving performance. Coaches, HR professionals, thoughtful leaders, and anyone who wants to flourish on the job will find this book a vital resource for developing their own capacities and those of the talent that they support.

Solving Complex Problems

Professional Group Decision-Making Support in Highly Complex Situations

Author: Alexander de Haan,Pauline de Heer

Publisher: Eleven International Pub

ISBN: 9789462365049

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 180

View: 1209

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We live in an ever-modifying world, where people with different interests and goals have to deal with a constantly changing future. Problem solving is a daily experience for everyone. But, especially when problems become highly complex, how does one achieve the best solution to a problem? How are the different insights and interests of those involved included in the problem solving? How is a desired future outcome reached? People are best motivated to act upon complex problems when the essence of the problem is captured in a simple way. This book presents new and practical techniques to do so. Applying these techniques will help the reader to understand and oversee a problem and, eventually, to make decisions and act in situations in which it is not at all obvious what to do. The techniques in this second edition of Solving Complex Problems cover rational problem analysis, creative idea generation, dealing with uncertainty, and comparing different possible solutions. [Subject: Public Administration, Business Management, Sales and Marketing]

The Heretic's Guide to Best Practices

The Reality of Managing Complex Problems in Organisations

Author: Paul Culmsee,Kailash Awati

Publisher: iUniverse Star

ISBN: 1938908406

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 416

View: 339

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When it comes to solving complex problems, we often perform elaborate rituals in the guise of best practices that promise a world of order, certainty, and control. But reality paints a far different picture, which practitioners are often reluctant to discuss. A witty yet rigorous journey through the seedy underbelly of organisational problem solving, The Heretic’s Guide to Best Practices pinpoints the reasons why best practices don’t work as advertised and what can be done about it. “Hugely enjoyable, deeply reflective, and intensely practical. This book is about weaving human artistry and improvisation, with appropriate methods and technologies, in order to pool collective intelligence and wisdom under pressure.”—Simon Buckingham Shum, Knowledge Media Institute, The Open University, UK “This is a terrific piece of work: important, insightful, and very entertaining. Culmsee and Awati have produced a refreshing take on the problems that plague organisations... If you’re trying to deal with wicked problems in your organisation, then drop everything and read this book.”—Tim Van Gelder, Principal Consultant, Austhink Consulting

Do Less Better

The Power of Strategic Sacrifice in a Complex World

Author: J. Bell

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 1137452781

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 228

View: 7583

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Do Less Better teaches leaders how to recognize the complexity and inefficiencies within their businesses and reveals how they can simplify and streamline through specialization and sacrifice. According to Bell, a company's willingness to focus on a particular vision or identity ensures viability and strengthens its competitive edge.

Systems Thinking For Social Change

A Practical Guide to Solving Complex Problems, Avoiding Unintended Consequences, and Achieving Lasting Results

Author: David Peter Stroh

Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing

ISBN: 1603585818

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 264

View: 3770

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Donors, leaders of nonprofits, and public policy makers usually have the best of intentions to serve society and improve social conditions. But often their solutions fall far short of what they want to accomplish and what is truly needed. Moreover, the answers they propose and fund often produce the opposite of what they want over time. We end up with temporary shelters that increase homelessness, drug busts that increase drug-related crime, or food aid that increases starvation. How do these unintended consequences come about and how can we avoid them? By applying conventional thinking to complex social problems, we often perpetuate the very problems we try so hard to solve, but it is possible to think differently, and get different results. Systems Thinking for Social Change enables readers to contribute more effectively to society by helping them understand what systems thinking is and why it is so important in their work. It also gives concrete guidance on how to incorporate systems thinking in problem solving, decision making, and strategic planning without becoming a technical expert. Systems thinking leader David Stroh walks readers through techniques he has used to help people improve their efforts to end homelessness, improve public health, strengthen education, design a system for early childhood development, protect child welfare, develop rural economies, facilitate the reentry of formerly incarcerated people into society, resolve identity-based conflicts, and more. The result is a highly readable, effective guide to understanding systems and using that knowledge to get the results you want.

Creating Wicked Students

Designing Courses for a Complex World

Author: Paul Hanstedt

Publisher: Stylus Publishing, LLC

ISBN: 1620366991

Category: Education

Page: 200

View: 4436

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In Creating Wicked Students, Paul Hanstedt argues that courses can and should be designed to present students with what are known as “wicked problems” because the skills of dealing with such knotty problems are what will best prepare them for life after college. As the author puts it, “this book begins with the assumption that what we all want for our students is that they be capable of changing the world....When a student leaves college, we want them to enter the world not as drones participating mindlessly in activities to which they’ve been appointed, but as thinking, deliberative beings who add something to society.” There’s a lot of talk in education these days about “wicked problems”—problems that defy traditional expectations or knowledge, problems that evolve over time: Zika, ISIS, political discourse in the era of social media. To prepare students for such wicked problems, they need to have wicked competencies, the ability to respond easily and on the fly to complex challenges. Unfortunately, a traditional education that focuses on content and skills often fails to achieve this sense of wickedness. Students memorize for the test, prepare for the paper, practice the various algorithms over and over again—but when the parameters or dynamics of the test or the paper or the equation change, students are often at a loss for how to adjust. This is a course design book centered on the idea that the goal in the college classroom—in all classrooms, all the time—is to develop students who are not just loaded with content, but capable of using that content in thoughtful, deliberate ways to make the world a better place. Achieving this goal requires a top-to-bottom reconsideration of courses, including student learning goals, text selection and course structure, day-to-day pedagogies, and assignment and project design. Creating Wicked Students takes readers through each step of the process, providing multiple examples at each stage, while always encouraging instructors to consider concepts and exercises in light of their own courses and students.

Complex Science for a Complex World

Exploring Human Ecosystems with Agents

Author: Pascal Perez,David F. Batten

Publisher: ANU E Press

ISBN: 1920942394

Category: Science

Page: 334

View: 8297

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It is well known that human activities are endangering the stability and sustainability of many fragile ecosystems. This title looks at the science that addresses the frontiers of interactions between human behavior and environmental responses.

Problem Solving 101

A Simple Book for Smart People

Author: Ken Watanabe

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 9781101029183

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 128

View: 5703

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The fun and simple problem-solving guide that took Japan by storm Ken Watanabe originally wrote Problem Solving 101 for Japanese schoolchildren. His goal was to help shift the focus in Japanese education from memorization to critical thinking, by adapting some of the techniques he had learned as an elite McKinsey consultant. He was amazed to discover that adults were hungry for his fun and easy guide to problem solving and decision making. The book became a surprise Japanese bestseller, with more than 370,000 in print after six months. Now American businesspeople can also use it to master some powerful skills. Watanabe uses sample scenarios to illustrate his techniques, which include logic trees and matrixes. A rock band figures out how to drive up concert attendance. An aspiring animator budgets for a new computer purchase. Students decide which high school they will attend. Illustrated with diagrams and quirky drawings, the book is simple enough for a middleschooler to understand but sophisticated enough for business leaders to apply to their most challenging problems.

Knowledge Assets

Securing Competitive Advantage in the Information Economy

Author: Max H. Boisot

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191589349

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 306

View: 5312

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It is now widely recognized that the effective management of knowledge assets is a key requirement for securing competitive advantage in the emerging information economy. Yet the physical and institutional differences between tangible assets and knowledge assets remain poorly understood. In the case of knowledge, the ownership and control of assets are becoming ever more separate, a phenomenon that is actually exacerbated by the phenomenon of learning. If we are to meet the challenges of the information economy, then we need a new approach to property rights based on a deeper theoretical understanding of knowledge assets. Max Boisot writes clearly and in accessible language providing some of the key building blocks which are needed for a theory of knowledge assets. He develops a powerful conceptual framework, the Information-Space or I-Space, for exploring the way knowledge flows within and between organizations. This framework will enable managers and students to explore and understand how knowledge and information assets differ from physical assets, and how to deal with them at a strategic level within their organizations.

Embracing Complexity

Strategic Perspectives for an Age of Turbulence

Author: Jean G. Boulton,Peter M. Allen,Cliff Bowman

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0199565252

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 288

View: 3560

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This text discusses the concept of complexity. It describes what it means to say the world is complex and explores what that means for managers, policy makers and individuals. The authors cover the theory and ideas of complexity and explore issues of complexity in the fields of management, strategy, economics and international development.

Aid on the Edge of Chaos

Rethinking International Cooperation in a Complex World

Author: Ben Ramalingam

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199578028

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 440

View: 304

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Aid has become a tangle of donors and recipients, so unwieldy that it is in danger of collapse. This ground-breaking book presents fresh thinking that transcends the 'more' verses 'less' arguments. Drawing on complexity theory it shows how aid could be transformed into a truly dynamic form of global cooperation fit for the twenty-first century.

Complex Engineered Systems

Science Meets Technology

Author: Dan Braha,Ali A. Minai,Yaneer Bar-Yam

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 3540328343

Category: Science

Page: 386

View: 3906

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This book sheds light on the large-scale engineering systems that shape and guide our everyday lives. It does this by bringing together the latest research and practice defining the emerging field of Complex Engineered Systems. Understanding, designing, building and controlling such complex systems is going to be a central challenge for engineers in the coming decades. This book is a step toward addressing that challenge.

Talk Matters!

Saving the World One Word at a Time; Solving Complex Issues Through Brain Science, Mindful Awareness and Effective Process

Author: Mary V. Gelinas

Publisher: FriesenPress

ISBN: 1460286340

Category: Self-Help

Page: 342

View: 6032

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We create the present and future in our meetings and conversations every day. What can we do to increase the likelihood that we’re creating a future that we all want? We can start by talking more constructively and productively about what matters to us all. After decades of advising groups in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors, process design and facilitation expert Mary V. Gelinas has integrated her best knowledge of brain and behavioral sciences, mindful awareness, and effective process to create Talk Matters! Her eight essential practices offer us ways to avoid getting hijacked by our survival instincts, engage with people who differ from us, and open ourselves, our businesses, and our communities to real, lasting change. As she explains, good process can help us work better together to do good things for the world. In this highly readable and accessible book, Gelinas uses real-world examples to illustrate the practices that can help you start achieving life-serving results in your interactions as a leader, participant, or facilitator today.

Reframe

How to Solve the World's Trickiest Problems

Author: Eric Knight

Publisher: Black Inc.

ISBN: 1863955593

Category: Political Science

Page: 224

View: 9851

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'An original and vital contribution to understanding politics.' - Matt Ridley, author of The Rational OptimistHow to solve the world's trickiest political problems? In Reframe,Eric Knight explains how a change of focus can reveal a solution that was lying just outside your frame of vision. From terrorism to global warming, from border security to high finance, he brings a new perspective that is both exhilarating and useful. Why can't we eliminate terrorism by killing terrorists? Why can't we learn anything about climate change by talking about the weather? Why can't we resolve immigration tensions by building higher fences? And what do fishermen in Turkey have to teach us about international relations? This is an optimistic, lucid and original book by a brilliant young Australian thinker.