Businesses are an example of adaptive systems and require dealing with their integrity in order to influence them to achieve objectives. A paradigmatic case is to “make” an adaptive system grow, e.g. a business.
It is necessary to have an integrated knowledge to influence the evolution of adaptive systems. Changes in adaptive systems cannot be pulled nor pushed. Evolution needs to be catalyzed in order to achieve possible goals.
Catalyzing implies installing objects in the processes that work as “strange attractors” to produce the results they were created for. To do so it is necessary to develop a conceptual design of the problem in order to integrate all the elements that are part of the system.
To achieve the goal of having reliable knowledge of an adaptive system it is necessary to have both the fundamental knowledge and the technical analytical knowledge.
The knowledge of the fundamentals of a reality is basic for individuals’ actions. It is stored in the long term memory and allows spontaneous actions in real-time.
The conscious knowledge of the fundamentals of a given reality has the following characteristics:
1) Defines possibilities
It defines the field of what is possible to be achieved.
2) Allows front-view
It makes the perception of the final picture of actions possible.
3) Destructive tests
It requires making the necessary destructive tests of their validity in order to measure the limits of their functionality.
4) Sustains maximal strategies
It allows going beyond the boundaries of the present situation because it works in homologous fields.
5) Backward-thinking: Pert thinking
It is based on seeing the solution and starting from the conceptual output when developing taxonomic action plans.
6) Future oriented
In the short or the long run all living beings will act according to their nature. Understanding the nature, defined by the fundamentals, allows forecasting the future.
7) Systemic & Conceptual thinking
Systemic and Conceptual thinking are necessary to apprehend the fundamentals using conceptual thinking to develop taxonomies using systemic thinking.
Synthesis: Fundamentals are action driven
Fundamentals are necessary to develop activities in real time having the needed speed and acceleration to influence reality.
1) Defines the probabilities
It allows making the analysis of the experiences to define the probabilities of occurrence of facts.
2) Allows rear-view
As it is based on facts and theories it is necessary to analyze the past in order to learn from it.
3) Non-destructive tests
Technical-analytical knowledge works within predefined boundaries. Therefore the knowledge is only valid within these limits. There is no need for destructive tests.
4) Sustains minimum strategies
Minimum strategies require a strict procedure to make things happen without depending on external elements. Technical analytical knowledge allows developing these procedures within the boundaries individuals can manage.
5) Forward-thinking: Gantt thinking
It defines the elements that need to be built and integrated following a step by step approach. It implies dividing reality into “independent” objects to integrate them afterwards.
6) Past & Present Oriented
Analysis requires the existence of elements that are being observed, measured and analyzed. Therefore it is based on the pre-existence of these elements.
7) Analytic & Systemic thinking
Analytic thinking is necessary to divide reality into manageable elements and systemic thinking is necessary to reintegrate them in a functional unit.
Synthesis: Technical-analytical knowledge is control driven
Technical analytical knowledge is necessary to measure and compare the existing facts with the objective that had to be achieved.
A system grows when it appropriates more energy than it has spent to produce it. This implies that it needs to generate an added value to the environment that is higher than the cost to produce it.
Growth problems are always big changes
Big changes are energy consuming. Therefore it has to be clear if the energy is available. The use of objects is an energy multiplier. Objects are a mass that provides a source of energy to influence change.
The energy available depends on the technology and the knowledge to make use of the technology. Objects are part of the technology that has to be available.
Most of the failures in growth happen because the energy required is not available. This might happen because of the lack of hardware (including objects), software or peopleware.
Knowledge includes the human factor and defines the possibility to generate additional added value to go beyond the existing boundaries to expand the vital space of the system in order to make growth happen.
Access Peter Belohlavek’s R&D e-book on complex adaptive system research at GoogleBooks
Managing both the fundamental and the technical-analytical knowledge is necessary to influence adaptive systems to grow.
The knowledge of fundamentals will give you the front-view to produce the growth and the technical-analytical knowledge will give you the rear-view to control the process.
Based on a post published by Peter Belohlavek at the beginning of this year.