Complex environments defined

Complex environments have three defining attributes:
1. Not all variables pertaining to the outcome are known
2. Of the known variables, their weights in reference to their impact on the outcome are either unknown, or debatably varied
3. Of all variables involved, there are many, and it is arguable that many could have a large degree of impact on the outcome

The point is that the situation’s outcome is extremely difficult to predict no matter how much rhetoric can be provided for certain outcomes and their merits.

These environments exist in the vast majority of business and life decisions. It is one’s tendency to believe in his or her fabricated ability to predict in these situations that leads to ruin. But said prediction is also a natural human tendency. Our predictions in life and the plans we attempt are the security blankets used to create the illusion that the future is knowable and that life has a smaller degree of randomness than we’re comfortable admitting.

In complex environments, there are ways to overcome and dominate. Mostly they follow a testing strategy of many possible solutions. These possible solutions don’t all have to make immediate sense, but their results need to be documented and attributable to a set of parameters.

This is applicable to business in pursuit of profits and life in pursuit of happiness.

More to come on this one.



Filed under All posts, Business, Thoughts, studies and science

2 responses to “Complex environments defined

  1. Kevin Hanley

    Great book on this topic…Ubiquity by Mark Buchanan. Written for the non scientist.

    Or Per Bak’s ‘How Nature Works’ for those with a greater understanding of science, although still completely accessible.

    Complexity theory is going to revolutionise so much of what we do. We are looking at another Scientific revolution in my opinion, but this time in the Social Sciences.

    • I will be checking these out. I think the old narrative that we can know X can lead you to Y is dying. Totally agree that this new understanding of systems will change how we structure many different things. Thanks!

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