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International Conference on Complex Systems (ICCS2006)

Early Detection Capabilities: Applying Complex Adaptive Systems Principles to Business Environments

Cory Costanzo
TKG Consulting LLC

Ian Littlejohn
TKG Consulting Pty Ltd

     Full text: PDF
     Last modified: June 21, 2006

In today’s complex business world, change seems to be the only constant. Companies are spending vast amounts of time and resources responding to changes in the business environment. What if they could see changes in their environment earlier and respond quicker? Organizations need the ability to monitor for and detect early indicators that signal change in the system. Methods that take a complex adaptive systems approach to understanding a business environment are able to map, represent, and identify the participants, environmental forces, and behaviors that are present in the system, the nature of the interactions, and the resulting relationships that are present. This mapping, when conducted for a framed complex adaptive system within a particular context (be it marketplace or organizational), provides an organization with unique insight into the system within which it operates. The methods discussed in this paper integrate human-based sense-making activities with the use of narrative knowledge base technologies and visualization software to assist organizations in the analysis, understanding, and subsequent strategy formulation regarding opportunities and threats that emerge as the result of the ever-changing nature of complex adaptive systems.

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