The Metamorphosis: Breaking Free of the Cocoon, 4; Challenges to Becoming World Class, 8
Chapter 2 The Present and Future Danger, or Why We Need to Change,
The Five Major Drivers, 13; Change, Uncertainly, and Complexity, 17; Why We Need a New Theory of the Firm, 21
PART II THE THEORY
Chapter 3 The Intelligent Complex Adaptive System (ICAS),
Definitions and Assumptions, 26; The ICAS Model, 28; Emergent Characteristics, 29; An Introduction to the Eight Emergent Characteristics of the ICAS, 30; An Introduction to the Four Major Processes, 33
Chapter 4 Exploring the Emergent Properties of the ICAS,
Chapter 5 Relationships Among Emergent Properties,
Major Relationships in the ICAS, 59; The Drivers of Organizational Intelligence, 61; The Interweaving of Flow, 67; Permeable Boundaries and Selectivity, 69; Concluding Thoughts, 70
PART III THE ICAS IN PRACTICE
Chapter 6 The Learning Structure of the New Organization,
Guiding Principles for Structuring the ICAS Organization, 76; Developing the ICAS Structure, 77; The Use of Teams, 80; Operational Teams, 81; Action Teams, 85; Communities of Practice and Interest, 86; The Mesh Network, 88; Significant Structural Factors, 90; Structure in Support of the Emergent Characteristics, 96
Chapter 7 The Action Culture for Success,
Types of Culture, 100; Assumptions for the ICAS Culture, 104; The Action Culture, 105; The Organizational Ego and Id, 108
Important Aspects of Collaborative Leadership, 134; The Leader as Facilitator, 141; Managing Risk, 144; Description of Collaborative Leaders, 147
Chapter 10 Creating Emergence,
Culture as an Emergent Phenomenon, 150; Steps to Creating an Action Culture, 152; Trust, 155; Reviewing Structure and Management, 157; The ICAS Emergent Characteristics, 159
Chapter 11 The Change Agent's Strategy,
The Growth Path of Knowledge and Sharing, 164; Create a Shared Vision, 166; Build the Business Case, 167; Demonstrate Leadership Commitment, 168; Facilitate a Common Understanding, 170; Set Limits, 172; Share New Ideas, Words, and Behaviors, 174; Identify the Strategic Approach, 175; Develop the Structure, 176; Measure and Incentivize, 177; Provide Tools, 178; Promote Learning, 179; Envision an Even Greater Future, 180
Chapter 12 Strategy, Balance, and the Correlation of Forces,
A Framework for Constructing Strategy, 185; The Issue of Dynamic Balance, 187; A Conceptual Overview of the ICAS Strategy, 194; The Correlation of Forces, 195; The Forces, 196; The Environmental Opportunity Space, 199; Critical Success Factors, 200
Chapter 13 A Tale of Two Firms,
PART IV THE KNOWLEDGE SOLUTION
Chapter 14 The New Knowledge Worker,
Clear Line of Sight, 214; Having Knowledge About Knowledge, 215; The Knowledge Worker as a Team Player, 215; The Knowledge Worker as a Learner, 217; Integrative Competencies, 218; Critical Thinking, 219; Information Literacy, 220; Learning How to Learn, 223
Chapter 15 Knowledge Management,
Managing Knowledge, 229; Understanding the Breadth of Knowledge Management, 230; Knowledge Management Principles, 240; Building the Knowledge Management Framework, 241; Thinking Knowledge Sharing in Systems Terms, 244; Communities of Practice, 246
Chapter 16 The Learning Organization,
Modes of Learning, 252; The Learning Continuum, 256
Chapter 17 Learning, Knowledge Management, and Knowledge Workers,
The Common Ground: Knowledge Management and Organizational Learning, 262; Areas of Intersection, 268; Concluding Thoughts, 273
Chapter 18 Rethinking Thinking: Systems,
Definition of Terms, 276; Principles of Systems Thinking, 278; Guidelines for Use, 281
Chapter 19 Rethinking Thinking: Complexity,
Complexity Thinking as an Integrative Competency, 288; Definition of Terms, 289; System Types in Terms of Complexity, 291; Complexity and the Art of War, 295; Guiding Principles, 297; Guidelines for Use, 298; A Brief Reminder, 305
Chapter 20 Knowing,
Principles of Knowing, 308; The Cognitive Capabilities, 309; The Cognitive Processes, 314; The Self as an Agent of Change, 318; Application, 323; Value Added, 324
Chapter 21 Networking for the Bottom Line,
Basic Concepts, 330; Managing Your Relationship Network, 331; Social Network Analysis, 335; Value Added, 336
PART V THE PROBABLE FUTURE
Chapter 22 Exploring the Unknown,
Forecasting, 343; Knowing What We Know, 345; Searching for Unknown Unknowns, 349
Chapter 23 Summary: And Then There Was the ICAS,
The Major Elements of the ICAS, 351; The Integrative Competencies, 354; Strategizing for the ICAS, 355; Releasing the Power of the ICAS, 357; Continuing the "Tale of Two Firms," 359
Appendix: The Evolution of the Organization,
The Egg Is Fertilized, 362; The Caterpillar Is Born, 363; The Caterpillar as Bureaucracy in Government, 365; The Caterpillar as Bureaucracy in Religion, 367; Spinning the Cocoon, 368
During the last decade it has become obvious to many managers that to succeed they need more effective models of the firm and to implement better organizational principles and practices. Traditional methods and perspectives are not good enough to ensure enduring success in today's emerging business environments. Globalization and emergence of the "knowledge economy" have made effective application and competitive quality of knowledge—intellectual capital assets—decisive competitive factors. It is clear that the new world is more complex and more difficult to manage than that to which we have been accustomed.
Work itself is becoming more complex as enterprises automate routine tasks and ask employees to handle more difficult work requirements. At all levels of the organization we are asked to deliver customized products and services that will provide the greatest value to our external and internal customers. We are asked to respond faster with better work products and fewer errors. We are asked to develop relationships and improve customer loyalty and supplier teaming while looking out for the objectives of multiple stakeholders. We are asked not only to learn faster than our competitors but also to innovate faster. We are asked to participate knowingly in implementing our enterprise's strategy and deliver its intents. And we are asked to do all of this with minimal resources, effort, and problems.
To respond to these demands we increasingly need to rely on intellectual capital assets utilized by individuals who are positioned to deal with the demanding situations. We need new organizational and management paradigms, since conventional ones are limited in their capabilities to build and marshal the intellectual capital assets that make it possible to excel in the new environment. Part of the answer to these demands is to delegate decisions to knowledgeable people who are close to the points of action where detailed information is good and understanding of contexts and situations is clear. Additional answers lie in implementing better organizational structures and management philosophies and practices that reflect and support new directions and strategies which facilitate new approaches.
However, for managers, it has been far from clear how to determine which principles to adopt and how to implement them. It is in this void that Alex and David Bennet present the intelligent complex adaptive systems (ICAS) model for a powerful and comprehensive organizational and operational enterprise. The Bennets, initially separately and now jointly, have pursued the quest for better organizational principles and operations to achieve enterprise objectives more effectively. As a result of this quest, the authors, with their deep respect for building upon proven experiences and solid scientific findings, have been able to integrate multidisciplinary theory and practice to conceptualize and describe the ICAS. They provide a clear and comprehensive roadmap—a model for managers who wish to pursue more powerful approaches to operate their enterprises more effectively—to match the needs of the new environment. They provide a comprehensive expose of the principles and practices—an application model—supported by underlying rationales that make it possible for readers to obtain understanding, objectives, expectations, and knowledge of how to approach implementation of practices within their organizations.
Managers who wish to pursue new directions need help. In particular, they need understanding of what is possible and how to achieve it. Cognitive science tells us that when at all possible, people make decisions and undertake actions by imitating role models or replicating prior experiences and that it is difficult to decide what to do and how to do it without a roadmap. By learning and internalizing descriptions and methodologies—particularly the ICAS model as presented by the Bennets—people are able to build personal understandings and mental models for "what it is possible to achieve," "what to do," "why do it," and "how to do it" that can motivate and guide them in implementing new approaches.
The path to better enterprise principles and practices is not simple. In this book, the Bennets have addressed requirements that need to be satisfied to create suitable paradigms and implement workable solutions that will improve enterprise performance. Whereas the ICAS may not have been implemented in full by any enterprise, it does not represent "a figment of the imagination" in the minds of the authors. Alex Bennet, in her position at the U.S. Department of the Navy, had extensive experience in implementing aspects of the ICAS. In his own organization, David Bennet gained in-depth practical experience with ICAS concepts. Other organizations have implemented aspects of the ICAS and report it to be of significant importance. On June 17,2003, the Financial Times reported that several Chief Executive Officers, among them Lord John Browne of BP and Rich Fairbank of Capital One, consider their enterprises complex adaptive systems that are heavily reliant on intellectual capital assets to provide exceptional performance. Given such convictions, they attempt to manage their organizations accordingly. This is similarly the case with the U.S. Marines.
One might ask: "Why is the ICAS so important? What makes it so different that we should expend effort to pursue it?" One answer is that the ICAS ties together and integrates wide-ranging capabilities to address the new challenges in a comprehensive manner. The ICAS, as explained by the Bennets, focuses on the need for the enterprise to act intelligently. It is designed to make the people within the enterprise—and hence the enterprise itself—deal effectively with complex environments consisting of tightly interconnected and frequently changing systems where considerable adaptiveness is required to generate the evolution needed to survive as the world changes and new insights are gained.
Many enterprises have started to consider their organizations to be complex evolving systems—far from the Newtonian mechanisms or machines assumed by Tayloristic scientific management theory. The increasing realization is that the past models of predictable, controllable, and routine operations constitute wishful thinking rather than what actually happens. The reality is that most work operations are variable and require adaptation to be delivered competently.
The ICAS builds upon the realization that overall enterprise performance results from the myriad of individual decisions and actions of personnel, groups, and operational units at every level of the organization. The behavior of each party is shaped by individual attitudes, objectives, perspectives, and resources—including intellectual capital assets. These vary and can never be fully known. As a result, the individual behaviors are partly unpredictable and the resulting overall behavior becomes complex. To address these complexities, the design focus of the ICAS has been to provide a management system that will foster, support, and generate durable enterprise performance and success in spite of the challenges.
Successful management leads to a search for constant progress, progress that results from finding the best and most effective fit to satisfy current and future customers and survive in competitive environments (compete successfully). Adaptation by the proactive enterprise to current and perceived future contexts leads to improved and more effective actions and operations—to progress. From this perspective, the gradual and at times stepwise or revolutionary improvements become evolution. As the authors point out, this evolution results from practical implementation of Argyris and Schon's double-loop learning.
The Bennets acknowledge that the principal actors in any enterprise are people and that the main resources that make people effective are the intellectual capital assets that they possess or otherwise have available to conduct work. These intellectual capital assets must constantly be renewed through collaboration, learning, and innovation to sustain the advantages that the enterprise wishes to maintain to remain competitive. Hence, the ICAS relies extensively on deliberate and systematic knowledge management (KM). KM, although at times equated with advanced information management, is central to the people-focused perspectives of the ICAS model. Clearly, in today's technological environment the ICAS must rely extensively on technological capabilities for facilitation and support provided by communication and information processing infrastructures of information technology and intelligent automatic processing and actions of cognitively simple tasks, and for functions such as discovery of historic patterns by knowledge discovery in databases (KDD).
In the new context of the global knowledge economy, many have suggested that we need new perspectives for how to manage complex organizations. In this book, the authors provide a systematized and integrated paradigm for a new model of the firm that will be of great value for those who wish to conduct business differently and successfully in the years to come.
This is a bold book that pulls together principles and considerations that for many would be separate entities that are difficult to unite. Unfortunately, the world is integrated and unless we treat it as such it is difficult to steer our enterprises to perform well. As a result of Alex and David Bennet's willingness to tackle the difficulties head on, the book is unique in providing a truly interdisciplinary model that integrates practical management practices into a cohesive and congruent whole. This book should be a valuable guide for all managers who aim to compete successfully in the global knowledge economy.
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"Alex and David Bennet are ideally suited to bring forth such a wide-ranging and erudite synthesis of complexity and knowledge theories. A fascinating report from the front-lines of the new thinking about how organizations thrive (or fail to)."
--Larry Prusak, Distinguished Scholar in Residence, Babson College, USA
"If you want to know how the latest thinking about organizations all fits together to provide a roadmap of the future, you will want to read this book. It is provocative and original."
--Dorothy A. Leonard, Harvard Business School, USA, author of Wellsprings of Knowledge
"The job of today's manager is to invent the organization of the future. The Bennets have provided a launch pad.... They have synthesized the best of the past, current realities, and the challenging but as yet unclear environment of the future, which will require dealing with connectivity, knowledge management, speed, and uncertainty. Their approach, the Intelligent Complex Adaptive System (ICAS) is a blueprint for the manager of the future."
--Charles Seashore, Fielding Graduate Institute, Santa Barbara, CA, USA ISBN:978-0750677127