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by Richard Tabor Greene

by Richard Tabor Greene

EMAIL richardtgreene@alum.mit.edu

EMAIL richardtgreene@alum.mit.edu

Professor of Design Creativity & Innovation

Professor of Design Creativity & Innovation

Grad School of System, Design, & Management

Grad School of System, Design, & Management

Keio University, Yokohama, Japan

Keio University, Yokohama, Japan

Master, DeTao Masters Academy, Beijing-Shanghai

Master, DeTao Masters Academy, Beijing-Shanghai



Partly Edited 3rd Edition, Updated 9/2005

Partly Edited 3rd Edition, Updated 9/2005

What 150 eminent people from 41 nations and 63 professions who rose to the top of their field by “managing complexity” better than all others, said their particular capabilities were for handling each of many types of complexity, including specific tools and methods they invented and used to spot and handle types of complexity others missed, avoided, or handled badly.

Three major complexity sources--non-linear system effects, social diversity, and computational “inter- action” emergents complexity are presented, THEN 24 tools for handling major paradoxes--leadership versus emergence, customer follow versus customer lead, quality versus revolutionary re-engineerings-- that the 3 major complexity sources generate are presented in practical use detail.

NO OTHER BOOK organizes ways to handle complex- ity as well against a deep and comprehensive map of sources and types of complexity to handle (Pace at Princeton though comes close).

BOOK OF BOOKS by RTGreene First 50 pages of 24 Books


STEP 1--use links below to download FREE 1450 page PDF file of the first 50+ pages of EACH of Richard’s 24 books below.

STEP 2--choose titles below to order, email me at address at bottom of this page, I send PayPal fund request $20/title, you PAY with your Paypal, instantly I send you LINK to book download = 3 min. total

1. Your Door to Creativity--42 models summarized 8 in detail--PAGE 4--86

  • 2. Are You Creative? 60 Models--world’s most comprehensive--PAGE 88-142

  • 3. Are You Creative? 128 Steps--to becoming creator & creating--PAGE 143-192

  • 4. Getting Real about Creativity in Business--measures tools--PAGE 193-245

  • 5. Your Door to Creativity, Revised--42 general 12 deailed models--PAGE 246-303

  • 6. 72 Innovation Models--a grammar of changes that change history--PAGE 304-367

  • 7. Creativity Leadership Tools--intructors’ manual & student text--PAGE 368-420

  • 8. Creativity Leader--managing creativity of self & other, everywhere--PAGE 421-468

  • 9. Thinking Design--160 approaches, tools, leading design, designs that lead--PAGE 469-538

    • 10. Designs that Lead, Leaders who Design--an article collection--PAGE 539-594

    • 11. Are You Educated?--an empirical science-based definition as 48 capabilities--PAGE 595-657

    • 12. Are You Educated, Japan, China, EU, USA--300 capabilities from 5 models--PAGE 658-728

    • 13. Managing Self--128 Dynamics--redoing Plato, Freud, Sartre, Kegan,Zen--PAGE 728-805

    • 14. Power from Brain Training--exercises for 225 brain modules--PAGE 806-866

    • 15. Knowledge Epitome--200 new face to face tools from revising ancient media--PAGE 867-933

    • 16. Your Door to Culture Power--the shared practiced routines model--PAGE 934-989

    • 17. Culture Power--what can be done with it, models & articles--PAGE 990-1055

    • 18. Global Quality--24 approaches, 30 shared aims, quality soft-&-hard-ware--PAGE 1056-1129

    • 19. Are You Effective?--100 methods from the world’s top performers--PAGE 1130-1193

  • 20. A Science of Excellence--54 routes to the top of nearly any field--PAGE 1194-1242

  • 21. SuperSelling--tools, methods, cases from 150 best at ALL forms of selling--PAGE 1243-1304

  • 22. Managing Complexity--3 sources, 3 paradoxes of handling them--PAGE 1305-1370

  • 23. Taking Place--creative city theory & practice via 288 city-fications--PAGE 1371-1431

  • 24. Innovations in Innovation--& in 29 other creativity sciences--PAGE 1432-1491

All page numbers are PDF not print page numbers. FREE download of this entire book of books via either LINK below:




Table of Contents of Managing Complexity by Richard Tabor Greene THREE COMPLEXITY SOURCES Types of System

Table of Contents of Managing Complexity by Richard Tabor Greene


Types of System Surprises:

Types of Social Diversity:

Types of Computation:

(Options for Organizing People, Tasks, Data)

Chapter 1: Complexity from Various Types of Surprise--How

Non-Linearity Makes Life and Work Complex


  • 1. 54 System Effects p24

  • 2. 128 System Effect Fault Types p26


Chapter 2: Complexity from Various Types of Social Diversity--33 Tools for Leveraging Social Types of Diversity p29


  • 3. 64 Dimensions of the Culture of Everything p61

  • 4. 64 Social Process Functions of Every Unit of Every Society p63

Chapter 3:

Complexity from Various Types of Computational

System--How Machine, Biologic, and Social Computers Interact

to Spawn New Forms of Computation



  • 5. 39 Computation Types and Their Interactions p86

  • 6. 83 Biologic Forms of Computation Now Interacting p88





Chapter 4: The Social Automaton Process


Reduce Complexity by Managing Social Automaton Processes


7. Globalizing Quality by Quality Types p113 8. Managing by Events, Not Processes or Departments p114

Chapter 5: Complexity in Policy Making


Reduce Complexity by Deploying Functions to Social Automata

Learning to

manage self


workforces; to

organize self

organizing firm

coalitions; to

design self



Chapter 6: Computational Sociality


Reduce Complexity by Managing Workforces as Parallel Arrays of Human Processors


  • 11. 77 Totalizations of a Body of Knowledge p160

12. Just-in-Time Management, 64 Leadership Functions p162

Chapter 7: Community Quality Cabaret Events


Reduce Complexity by Managing by Events Instead of by Departments and Processes


9. The Evolutionary Engineering Process p135

  • 10. The Social Automaton Process p136


  • 13. 24 Traits of High Performance Teams p171

14. 64 Ways Organizations Learn p172




Chapter 8: Measuring Satisfaction of Customers

of Customer Satisfaction Data


Reduce Complexity by Using Techniques Recursively and Fractally

  • 15. Customer Requirements Matrix, 22 Product Aspects p193


  • 16. Satisfaction of Customers of Customer Satisfaction Data


Chapter 9: Measuring Policy Receiver Satisfac-

tion with Policies They Receive


Reduce Complexity by Measuring Satisfaction of Customers of Poli- cies with the Policies They Receive


  • 17. Problems-Systems-Tools Chart p214

  • 18. 128 Total and Global Quality Tools Triangles p215

Learning to extremely detect cus- tomer wants and go beyond them


to perfectly define the prob- lem then invent a better prob- lem

Chapter 10: Uniting 8 Domains Via a Complexity Theory

(Non-Linearity) Model of Creativity


Reduce Complexity by Expressing Dozens of Domains as the Same Cre- ativity Functions Applied to Different Aspects of Persons and Groups

  • 19. Paradox Models of 9 Domains p248


  • 20. Models of 9 Domains as Creativity Functions

Applied to Different Parts of Societies/Persons p252

Chapter 11: Uniting 42 Models of Creativity Via an

Overall Model and a Cyclic Model


Reduce Complexity by a “Model of Models”--Putting Different Models of 1 Phenomenon into One Overall Well-Ordered Model


  • 21. 476 Creativity Dynamics from 12 Models of Creativity p342

22. 64

Dynamics of Highly Interesting Careers p350


Chapter 12: Processware--Merging Virtual Quality

with Quality Virtuality


Reduce Complexity by Blending Advanced Software and Quality Tools and Technologies


23. Quality and Virtuality Challenges p355

  • 24. Quality and Virtuality Synergies p356

Chapter 13: Innovations in Quality


Reduce Complexity by Spotting Abstract Dimensions of Improve- ment and Innovation in Any Domain


25. 40 Innovations in 31 Abstract Dimensions p377

  • 26. Recursive Tool Application p380



Learning to

switch from

hardware to

Chapter 14: Total Quality Knowledge Work via De-

Professionalizing Knowledge


software qual-

ity; to move from product production

Reduce Complexity by Generating Superb Processes of Inventing and Creating Using Quality Methods Applied to Knowledge Work

  • 27. Quality Genres p421

28. Professionals Deprofessionalizing Knowledge, Hypotheses423

  • competitive- TOOLS

ness to knowl-

edge production

Chapter 15: Self Emergent Re-engineering



Reduce Complexity by Designing Social Automatons that Evolve and Emerge into Needed Organization and Results


29. The Femininity of Productivity p485

  • 30. Emerging New Organization Forms p486

Managing Complexity


Copyright 2006 by Richard Tabor Greene, All Rights Reserved, US Government Registered




Sources of Complexity and Tools for Handling the Paradoxes They Give Rise to

This book deals with the three primary sources of complexity faced by globalizing net-savvy organizations in the 21st century: the various types of surprises generated by non-linear connection within systems having many components or actors, the diverse types of social diversity of person and group found around the world, and the diverse types of social and machine computation, from the interactions of which emerge new forms of social and new forms of machine computation (so quickly these new forms appear before organizations can digest their immediate predecessors). Stated this way, this seems a rather abstract point to make. However real people, particular managers you and I know, suffer as tools (computers, organizations, and others) tend to become purposes of their own, distracting organizations from real missions (social versus machine computation). Real managers suffer as what is con- sidered “excellent”, “productive”, “good effort” in one locale and group is radically different than what these things refer to in others (“social” diversity of basic values). Real people suffer as well when the side-effects of planned actions are larger and more important and devastatingly counter to intended outcomes (diverse surprises in handling non-linear systems). If we are honest with ourselves, daily, certainly weekly, we all suffer from these sources of complexity. This book is a book of tools for handling that complexity well.

There are three primary paradoxes involved in facing these sources of complexity. The first is how leadership is undermined by the very organizations it leads, and vice versa, how the organizations leaders depend on are undermined by the way leaders lead them. The second is how discerning and meeting customer requirements is undermined by creativity in leaders and organizations and vice versa, how creativity is undermined by attending well to what customers require. The third is how the quality with which processes are done gets under- mined by or actively undermines radical re-doing of processes on the basis of new assumptions and new materials for doing process functions (and vice versa, how radical re-doing gets undermined by process quality achievement or actively blocks achieving such process quality). All three sources of complexity cause leadership to undermine organization and orga- nization to undermine leadership, meeting customer wants to undermine creativity and creativity to undermine meeting customer wants, and quality to undermine re-engineering and re- engineering to undermine achieving process quality. Complexity of non-linear systems, many types of social diversity, and social forms of computation sustains and exacerbates these paradoxic polar pairs.

Along the way this book presents two methods after every chapter, methods that allow you to handle well the sources of complexity and the paradoxes they exacerbate. This is a pow- erful book that makes you more powerful by reading it. All of these tools, taken together, are based on and create a new commonsense, to replace the commonsense organizations and economies have used the past 400 years, since Isaac Newton (“mechano-sense” I call it). This new commonsense I call “biosense”. Biology is the hot science these days replacing physics; bone is what we aspire to not steel (bone grows stronger exactly where it is under the most stress, it repairs itself, steel does not). This book defines this new “biosense”, pre- sents actual completed applications of it, by me, the author, and others. Unlike other books on complexity, this book presents completed proven applications, not possible vague, future applications.

The Romance of Ideas and Underperforming Businesses

In the early 2000s the US economy was very robust, breaking records for un-interrupted growth, rate of growth, and the like. Everything except an increasing trade-deficit and overall

government budget-deficit looked rosy.

In such good economic times two things happen--all business people become arrogant, not some; and, people invest fully in bad ideas that will

In other words, generally robust economies hide the true worth of business styles, decisions, and persons.

not be revealed as bad till times become hard again.

The market for advice to organizations paradoxically waxes and wanes simultaneously in such times. It waxes as readily available funds make consulting easy; it wanes as readily avail- able success makes getting advice and listening to it unnecessary for good financial returns. This book is written for everyone when the economy is no longer rosy, and for ambitious people who wish to avoid the arrogance and investment in wrong ideas endemic to rosy economies.

The Duality of Performance

We all once wanted a world where people could concentrate on really making a difference.

We all found that world does not exist.

What does exist is a world where we always have

two agendas--a superficial “looking like” we are “performing” according to some big shot’s warped idea of what works, and a hidden layer of making real but disguised contributions.

Productive people make good impressions and good results, make good short term superficial results and make good long term results.

Being able to look right while doing right is the

essence of managing in any real world organization. merit.

It is a matter of packaging and product--if the product is great but the package is wrong, people do not buy it, they miss its true

Because of this dual nature to “performance” bubbles are inevitable--the accomplishments in “looking creative” at times greatly depart from “creativity” actually achieved and vice versa. Collapses surprise only those willing to depart from reality entirely; but most of us want to depart from reality and build and imagine new things by departing partly from reality in our imaginations. The imaginative force that drives economic growth also drives bubble formation and collapse.

Neither the Flaws Elicited by Rosy Economies Nor the Duality of Work Agendas is Complexity

This book is real. It acknowledges that rosy economies produce stupendous inventories of bad ideas that work anyway (whose true worth is hidden); it acknowledges that people are responsible for both product and packaging, never just one alone. But this book is not about the complexity of not getting sucked into bad ideas during rosy economic times or the com- plexity of working dual agendas each day at work. This book is about an entirely different dimension of complexity.

“Tampering” in one word might be a good way to say what this book is about.

When you do not really know what influences and determines things you care about, yet you feel respon-

sible, have to look “managerial” and “do something”, you do something--something that usually makes things worse. This is tampering in general--acting into a situation while ignorant of the dynamics that determine it, so that one’s actions make things worse. Dr. Deming the quality guru talked about statistical tampering--managers, ignorant of the statistical nature of work processes, spotting variation in work process outcomes and blaming individual workers or firing people, thereby, not addressing the true causes in system design of variation, and

thereby, by messing with irrelevant variables making variation much much worse.

I remember him pointing at the funny looking brown spot on the side of the forehead of the chairman

of General Motors (much like the one Gorbachev had) and accusing him of major tampering, because as chairman his ignorance of statistics made him incapable of designing work pro-

cesses that worked.

That is statistical tampering, this book concerns a different but even more widespread form of tampering, complexity tampering.

Complexity sees the world as populations of intelligently interacting agents.

The behaviors each agent is trained in and capable of, the other agents any one agent associates with, the

interactions permitted, supported, and done as work-arounds within certain groups of freely associating agents and between such groups, determine work outcomes--all of them.


Managing Complexity


Copyright 2006 by Richard Tabor Greene, All Rights Reserved, US Government Registered

manager commands, if they do not affect these--basic unit states/behaviors, basic unit neighborhoods, within neighborhood interactions, between neighborhood interactions--tamper. Again and again managers, ignorant of the complex adaptive system dynamics of workplaces (or worse yet markets of customers) intervene in such a way as to make their wanted out- comes more remote. This is complexity tampering. This book teaches you what it is, how you now suffer from it, and how to cure yourself and others.

Four hundred years ago, Mandeville, in his Fable of the Bees, introduced complexity theory to science. He showed how lower level units interacting with bad behaviors (badly inten- tioned ones) produced overall good results for society on a higher size scale. Four hundred years later, about 30 years ago, Prof. Schelling in his Micromotives and Macrobehaviors, introduced complexity theory to science, again. He showed how lower level units interacting with good intents produced overall results the opposite of those intents, that is, bad results on a higher whole society size scale. The magic of complex systems of agents that inter-act in a non-linear way, is called “emergence” but it is simple magic--when you plan and act on one size scale, you will produce results on smaller or larger scales that you may not plan for or see at first till they grow dominatingly large and overwhelm any results that you have your attention and plans focussed on.

More recently Wolfram showed in a masterpiece book (A New Kind of Science) how 256 simple program types (one-dimensional cellular automata) might underlie everything in our universe and our universe’s basic nature itself. Motion might be a happenstance “emergent” outcome from the nature of space as an automaton in time; living thing body designs might be emergent outcomes of the most plentifully and simply available simple program types. Managers who see a problem on one size scale and respond to it on that same size scale, miss the simple programs generating that problem as an emergent on a higher size scale from where the causal simple programs are. Thinking in simple program systems ways is absolutely vital for making interventions in systems that address causes.

Avoiding the Flaws of Shallow Business Writing and Application-less Academic Theorizing

  • I have had a moderately successful career in charity and NGO work (third world development and fund raising for it), in business (as manager in three large global corporations and 2 venture businesses), in science and software (as researcher in artificial intelligence computation), in academia (as professor at three universities including the Univ. of Chicago Grad

School of Business), and in the arts (as author of three successful novels, and 20 songs).

methods from narrow careers.

Success, modest though it be, in five different careers has made me skeptical of attitudes or ”

and “one minute for


The best people I met in business found Similarly, this book questions Nobel

In that context, this book questions books for business persons like “7 minutes for ...

... that the money you get from associating with people who liked such books was not worth the quality of lunch conversations you had to endure.

Prize winners at leading schools of business and other such academics.

I have eaten lunch with such people and in not a few cases there was a Rush Limbaugh feel to their conversa-

tions (unthinking rightwing political bigotry). In all too many cases, the narrowness of their reading and the even greater narrowness of their exposure to the real world appalled.

This book aims beyond the “seven habits” and “one minute” type of cook-books on the market and beyond the narrow theoretical topics that win Nobel Prizes for economics.

It looks

realistically at how powerful and effective people handle the non-linear systems around them, the social diversities that globalization exposes, and the new social and machine forms of computation organizing our world, and distills from much opinion, principles that can repeatably be proven to work.

  • I had lunch with an extremely famous research and development corporate vice president years ago, when he was head of Xerox PARC the famous lab. I watched five grown men

fawn and “kiss his butt” for two hours, being careful to only say things nice to him that would “impress” him. It was doubly disappointing. What most disappointed me was his irre-

sponsibility to his job at this lunch. A director of research who allows his environment to become such sycophancy, such apotheosis, such “ass licking”, is well on his way to the faults of monarchy. Separated from real criticism and the give and take of actual conversation, he accepts worship services to his ego instead. The second offense, was, of course, my peers, sitting around the table, and reduced to “lesser monkeys” when talking in the presence of the “top chimpanzee”. This book shuns expressions of romance to the rear ends of luminary

business leaders and academic leaders.

This book shuns tiny narrow theoretical research topics.

This book follows a middle way that has proved popular in Europe and Asia.

The Parts of This Book

This book looks at complex adaptive systems, that is systems that self-consciously evolve (including all systems involving human beings).

These are the most complex things known

in the universe. As complex as strings and quarks, the simplest situation of these systems immediately bursts beyond traditional continuous maths finding adequate expression only in the “simple programs” of Stephen Wolfram and other digital modelers (Wolfram, A New Kind of Science). We all know a lot about them because all of our lives we have lived inside,

beside, around, over, under, and throughout them.

They are the world we live in.

There are only tiny fragments of that world that are approximately linear, all the rest is highly non-

linear, and hard to predict.

This book, then, is about how to live in the highly non-linear, highly complex, world that we actually live in.

This is a book, in that sense, on how to live,

period. This book also looks at social diversity--different genders, cultures, eras, professional ethics, practices, values, institutions--and how they expose the deepest most emotional and intimate parts within us as we encounter them around the world. We cannot globalize without becoming deeply self reflective. The journey out requires a journey in (to para- phrase Joseph Campbell’s book from 20 years ago). Globalization is delivering into our jobs and homes diversity of person, view, value, and product from elsewhere in the world and

delivering all over the world ourselves and our values as invaders of the jobs and homes of others. This book is about how to handle diverse forms of diversity exposed by globaliza-


Finally this book looks at social institutions, routines, and organizations as types of computation system and the new forms of machine computation they give rise to.

It also

looks at new forms of machine computation and the new social arrangements of living and working they inspire. Each new form of computation leads to surprising new products and

surprising new configurations of business organizations and customers. Managers and leaders have to get their minds around these emerging new computation forms. vides a map that does just that.

This book pro-

The first part of this book handles complexity theory, as it is called. It presents three major sources of complexity: the variety of surprises caused by non-linear inter-connections of many things in systems, the diverse types of social diversity across the globe, and the variety of types of social and machine computation the interactions of which generate still more newer forms of social and machine computing. This includes the usual Santa Fe Institute ideas on non-linear system dynamics, population style simulations of markets, consumers, products, inventory flows, and the like, upgraded by deep careful reading of Wolfram’s masterpiece, A New Kind of Science. It goes beyond that, however, by looking at three very dif- ferent sources of complexity in our world: various surprise types generated by non-linear systems of interacting things, diverse types of social diversity that make idea and values not work everywhere equally, and various types of social and machine computation that interactions of which are daily spawning new forms of social and machine computation. The sec- ond part of this book presents three paradoxes generated by all these sources of complexity: Leadership gets two chapters versus organization which also gets two chapters. In truth all four of those chapters deal with one aspect or another of the tension between leader and organization. Customer gets two chapters versus creativity which also gets two chapters. All four of these chapters deal with the tension between satisfying customers and amazing them. Quality gets two chapters versus re-engineering’s two chapters. All four of these chapters deal with the trade-off between perfecting existing ways of operating and throwing them out entirely in favor of radically different ways of operating. These polarities are profound contradictions that nothing eliminates or makes easy to handle. What each chapter presents is ways of handling these powerfully and well. Each chapter, both the core chap- ters on sources of complexity and the following chapters on each pole of the paradoxes is followed by two tools, introduced in the chapter but presented as step by step methods and exercises after the chapter.

There is a tremendous amount of research and practice packed into each chapter so there are fascinating side-light ideas in each chapter. For example, one chapter handles a social movement that changed the goals, methods, measures, and values of all major businesses in the world in just 20 years--the total quality movement. That a social movement would be done in businesses by business persons is ironic. Greenpeace, a few years ago, hired an experienced business executive to lead their organization when donations suddenly halved.

The long haired unshaven bad-smelling acid-freak of the 1960s was suddenly leading venture businesses and the bald-headed, control-freak, blue suited conservative father figure was out on the street looking for work, his aged ways of thought and work no longer a growing part of the economy. The T-shirt economy has soundly defeated the blue suit economy, soundly enough that only the completely blind have not rethought their style and values as a result (first defeat, the T-shirts built a West coast technology-based business model that out- performed blue-suit East coast firms in the US for three decades; second defeat, the blue suit economy’s “resurgence” after bursting of the technology bubble of the early 2000s, ended

in a corrupt-CEO bubble that burst in SEC investigations and legal changes in corporate governance and accounting).

Total quality taught businesses all over the world what “process”

was, enabling businesses to understand what the “internet” “meant”. Without the understanding of process that total quality provided, the internet as a faster, cheaper form of process- ing would have languished. What is more, the total quality movement ushered in 63 other movements in business, worldwide. That social movements would become a major way of

“managing” and a key skill of managers is ironic. It is also due to managers being forced, initially by Japanese competition in the previous century, to manage complexity, instead of

avoiding or fleeing from it.

The total quality movement’s tactical system was the first way of managing that fully embraced the complexity of any workplace. A couple of chapters of

this book show how we can re-vision and re-invent quality by moving it from being based on system science of the “system dynamics” era (Forrester, Senge, and the like) to being

based on systems science of the Wolfram-Santa Fe era (complexity theory). Another chapter of this book treats processware--where process in quality terms meets process in internet terms. It shows how to use information systems differently, how to re-engineer processes differently, by doing them both so as to foster emergent phenomena rather than design ones. Parts of this book, then, present complexity and tampering with it. They present a movement way of managing that fully handles complexity instead of fleeing from it. Then they examine how the idea of “process” in business mixes with the idea of “process” in software and on the internet.

The sources of complexity presented in this book--diverse surprises from systems effects, diverse types of social diversity, and diverse new forms of social and machine computation--

are not going to go away.

We and civilization will all have to learn to handle them well.

This book presents proven tools for doing that.

The paradox between leader and organiza-

tion, between satisfying customers and creating things beyond customer expectations, and between perfecting existing way quality and going radically beyond existing ways (re-engi-

neering) are not going to go away.

We and civilization will all have to learn to handle them well, as well. This book presents proven tools for doing that.


This is a book of ideas.

My experience has been that nothing is as powerful in business as a good idea--the more abstract and hard to understand, the better.

My peers failed to stop

me again and again, though they were competitors, because they could not figure out where I was coming from and what I would do next.

I was uncompetable because highly abstract

ideas guided my daily work style, content, and visions. stories of how I and others used the ideas within.

Ideas become powerful tools when you use them to make a difference in situations.

Most chapters of this book give detailed

Managing Complexity


Copyright 2006 by Richard Tabor Greene, All Rights Reserved, US Government Registered

Every chapter of this book is followed by two tools, of the many introduced in each chapter, along with instructions on how I get my students and consulting clients to use those tools so

as to master the core points of each chapter. There are 15 chapters in this book, so there is a total of 30 tools thusly presented after the chapters.

Readers can test their understanding of

each chapter’s content by using those 30 tools as instructed. to practical goals and concerns, to good effect.

Such testing will show readers very clearly exactly how to apply the ideas of this book, abstract and many though they be,

  • I have applied nearly every idea in this book to three major corporations, successfully enough to get the CEO of every company I have worked for to visit me within a year of hire carry- ing money, facilities, and additional headcount for my efforts (not vice versa), and I have applied every idea in this book to publishings in academia, successfully enough that top ten

departments phoned me offering work, purely on the basis of reading manuscripts of my books. I have applied for only one job in the last 20 years, all other work has, au contraire, invited me.

The ideas in this book worked for me.

How do I know they work for other people?

First, my employees have gone on to forge rather stellar careers, after learning the ideas in this book

while working with me.

I encouraged this by sponsoring every Friday breakfast study groups, wherein employees would read key books and plot out how to apply those ideas to oppor-

tunities at work.

Second, I have sent twelve years of students out into the world.

obvious though just beginning.

These students now star in movies, found venture businesses, and the like.

Their career success is

This is a practical book. It turns ideas into tools for transforming competitions, customers, markets, organizations, beliefs, and persons. What makes it even more practical is most chapters in this book include actual tools that I have developed and used myself in leading non-profits, government agencies, or business organizations. These organizations paid me tens of thousands of dollars to teach them and guide them in applying these tools. Readers of this book get access to the same tools for a tiny fraction of that price.

Abstract Models as the Most Powerful Tools

Once you get the idea into your mind that your life will face a dozen basically different infrastructures each of which get implemented worldwide, one after the other, while you are alive, things become simpler. Regular infrastructure change becomes a “normal” part of your work--you learn to abstract work functions from the current infrastructure means of doing them, so as to implement those functions on the next “coming” infrastructure.

One way to greatly reduce the complexity you face is to have before your mind a model that shows a succession of changes likely to appear in a certain already known ordering. The issue becomes, then, not what you face but when exactly you will face it. Abstract models of what is coming, for example in infrastructure change terms, greatly simplify the world and organize our preparation and responding. This book contains a lot of models, not a few of which have 64 or 128 individual parts (usually organized in smaller groups of 4 and 16 items). They might intimidate some readers and scare a few people off but that would be a mistake. Complicated as they appear, they organize and make simple much more compli- cated dynamics at work in our world. The models in this book, because they are somewhat abstract and very comprehensive, reduce greatly your exposure to surprise, undermining done by unrecognized types of social diversity, and similar problems caused by facing new forms of computation. Models are tools, very powerful tools. They direct attention and order diversity, they make viewing comprehensive both in terms of including everything and in terms of offering various scales of granularity to your viewing--many specific local con- crete things organized by fewer more abstract general things.

The Missing Negatives

There is a strong bias in business culture around the world to never say anything bad about another business person--you may need their cooperation later--and to never say anything bad

about your own business--you may offend higher ups.

The banishment of criticism and fault-finding from conversation among business persons infests business schools at leading uni-

versities. You cannot do research with a business if you criticize it or offend it.

Contrary to what one might think, not a few large business organizations are populated with not a few

petty minded people--in some cases, more of them the higher you go, unfortunately.

These people keep grudges, in spite of their vast wealth.

Their tiny egos remember slight slights

from decades ago.

Business school professors, even Nobel Laureates, have learned to tread carefully, never quite criticizing something till a major business magazine criticizes it first.

  • I do not mind this--it is part of nearly all human relationships from one viewpoint. You cannot simply say the truth to your wife and kids, anymore than you can do it to business persons. However, because corporate and academic cultures grow up that omit criticism entirely, organizations become deluded (there is no more accurate word). This book tries to put some

sting back into language without picking on any one named organization. It tells some ugly truths just the way they are and, no doubt, the tinier egos of some executives somewhere will be mightily irritated by comments in this book. Just enjoy, with me, when reading a “sparky” passage in this book, the knowledge that sometime somewhere a tiny man with great wealth and a fragile ego is going bananas over the passage while you and I coast amiably along.

In truth, it is a somewhat ugly world.

The people are what make it somewhat ugly.

The human condition--complexity among other traits--contributes a lot to making it ugly.


organizations are not immune to this ugliness (inspite of having the beauty of nearly automatically generating great streams of wealth).

Only six of them, as of this writing, can design

a web page that makes ordering over the internet a comfort (at least in the first decades of the 21st century).

Seeing and naming that ugliness has only one redeeming feature--it saves

people and organizations. The nasty one that names the names of ugly parts of other people and groups, is the person who stops the weaknesses of one and all from ruining the destinies

of one and all. All the happier more optimistic un-gloomy people to be around turn out to be useless when push comes to shove.

Their happiness prevents them seeing and handling the

ugly things that hurt people and organizations.

Corporate cultures with their silly stories “we are all great people with a great past marching on to a wonderful future” are for children

and executives bent on treating employees as dumb children.

Reverse the corporate story and you get near the truth, just as, when you reverse the meaning of an advertisement you get

the meaning (smoking is not like breathing beach air on the top of a boat with nearly naked ladies, it is more like kissing the exhaust pipe of a car).

This book at times directs your attention to some of the uglier uglinesses of this world and its people. something more optimistic.

If you do not have the stomach for that much truth, drop this book now and go buy

The Origins of This Book

All the chapters in this book started as presentations at conferences and consults to leading organizations, that were worked into texts used in graduate school classes at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business and at my present university, Kwansei Gakuin University, in Sanda, Japan. I always collect audience evaluations of my work and drove my pre- sentation work till 9.5 out of 10 was my average score, putting audience satisfaction from my work above that for work by more famous peers and competitors I presented among. All chapters of this book were highly evaluated by such audiences. Later I created manuscript versions of this book that I used with students at the University of Chicago Grad School of Business and my present university, Japan’s 8th ranked private university, by adding particular tools to each chapter and using more research literature in complexity theory to frame case presentation in the text. I also excluded a few types of complexity and their sources that were intellectually obvious and without enough depth to require college research treatment, given the more serious other sources of complexity around us. In addition to the above uses, managers at half a dozen Japanese, European, and American corporations and NGOs have used versions of the material in this book. The material in this book has been highly tested and achieved high evaluations by both these audiences for some years now. You are getting a thoroughly tested product herein. Yearly I have updated the models in this book, while using it with students and consulting clients, to keep it useful, current, and relevant.

Information Reduction, Ideation Quality, Personal Integrity

Each chapter of this book condenses into thirty to fifty pages the contents of fifty or so books and fifty or so research journal articles.

Single illustrations in these chapters not infre-

quently achieve similar feats of summarizing. If you master the ideas within, you save yourself much additional time spent gathering scattered reading sources and actually reading them, extracting key points. By reading the thousand or so pages herein you save yourself reading 100,000 other pages.

Benchmarking My Competitors

  • I have bought and read nearly all the books published on complexity (over 330 as of this writing; over 572 if purely math books on fractal geometry and chaos theory are included).


have found and printed out over 1200 articles on this topic.

Careful grouping, organizing, and reading of this material furnished some of the ideas in this book.

There is an additional

source, however, that is very important. I developed the ideas in this book while working at major corporations, for venture businesses, for consulting companies, and at top ten colleges

in the US, France, Holland, and Japan.

While my massage of the readings was generating models of key ideas, I had the chance to apply those nascent ideas.

Some of those applica-


tions failed miserably but a great number worked out pretty well and a few were astonishingly effective.

The stories of those successes as well as the failures are in this book.

  • I have read the competition, seen their virtues and flaws, and endeavored in this book to do what they did not do well, to talk about what they forget to mention, and to apply what they

left vague, ambiguous, or overly general.

Contact me if you find errors or omissions in this book at richardtgreene@alum.mit.edu.

Related Books

This book is the core of a number of others.

I have written large books on educatedness (Are You Educated?), effectiveness (Are You Effective?), creativity (Are You Creative?), and the

power of abstract ideas for competing (Theory Power). Managing Complexity combines elements of them all.

It is the core in a sense.

If being more educated, effective, creative, and using ideas more practically appeal to you, by all means buy these other books and apply the particular methods in them.

Managing Complexity


Copyright 2006 by Richard Tabor Greene, All Rights Reserved, US Government Registered

Table of Contents of Managing Complexity by Richard Tabor Greene THREE COMPLEXITY SOURCES Types of System

Table of Contents of Managing Complexity by Richard Tabor Greene


Types of System Surprises:

Types of Social Diversity:

Types of Computation:

(Options for Organizing People, Tasks, Data)

Chapter 1: Complexity from Various Types of Surprise--How

Non-Linearity Makes Life and Work Complex


  • 1. 54 System Effects p24

  • 2. 128 System Effect Fault Types p26


Chapter 2: Complexity from Various Types of Social Diversity--33 Tools for Leveraging Social Types of Diversity p29


  • 3. 64 Dimensions of the Culture of Everything p61

  • 4. 64 Social Process Functions of Every Unit of Every Society p63

Chapter 3:

Complexity from Various Types of Computational

System--How Machine, Biologic, and Social Computers Interact

to Spawn New Forms of Computation



  • 5. 39 Computation Types and Their Interactions p86

  • 6. 83 Biologic Forms of Computation Now Interacting p88





Chapter 4: The Social Automaton Process


Reduce Complexity by Managing Social Automaton Processes


7. Globalizing Quality by Quality Types p113 8. Managing by Events, Not Processes or Departments p114

Chapter 5: Complexity in Policy Making


Reduce Complexity by Deploying Functions to Social Automata

Learning to

manage self


workforces; to

organize self

organizing firm

coalitions; to

design self



Chapter 6: Computational Sociality


Reduce Complexity by Managing Workforces as Parallel Arrays of Human Processors


  • 11. 77 Totalizations of a Body of Knowledge p160

12. Just-in-Time Management, 64 Leadership Functions p162

Chapter 7: Community Quality Cabaret Events


Reduce Complexity by Managing by Events Instead of by Departments and Processes


9. The Evolutionary Engineering Process p135

  • 10. The Social Automaton Process p136


  • 13. 24 Traits of High Performance Teams p171

14. 64 Ways Organizations Learn p172




Chapter 8: Measuring Satisfaction of Customers

of Customer Satisfaction Data


Reduce Complexity by Using Techniques Recursively and Fractally

  • 15. Customer Requirements Matrix, 22 Product Aspects p193


  • 16. Satisfaction of Customers of Customer Satisfaction Data


Chapter 9: Measuring Policy Receiver Satisfac-

tion with Policies They Receive


Reduce Complexity by Measuring Satisfaction of Customers of Poli- cies with the Policies They Receive


  • 17. Problems-Systems-Tools Chart p214

  • 18. 128 Total and Global Quality Tools Triangles p215

Learning to extremely detect cus- tomer wants and go beyond them


to perfectly define the prob- lem then invent a better prob- lem

Chapter 10: Uniting 8 Domains Via a Complexity Theory

(Non-Linearity) Model of Creativity


Reduce Complexity by Expressing Dozens of Domains as the Same Cre- ativity Functions Applied to Different Aspects of Persons and Groups

  • 19. Paradox Models of 9 Domains p248


  • 20. Models of 9 Domains as Creativity Functions

Applied to Different Parts of Societies/Persons p252

Chapter 11: Uniting 42 Models of Creativity Via an

Overall Model and a Cyclic Model


Reduce Complexity by a “Model of Models”--Putting Different Models of 1 Phenomenon into One Overall Well-Ordered Model


  • 21. 476 Creativity Dynamics from 12 Models of Creativity p342

22. 64

Dynamics of Highly Interesting Careers p350


Chapter 12: Processware--Merging Virtual Quality

with Quality Virtuality


Reduce Complexity by Blending Advanced Software and Quality Tools and Technologies


23. Quality and Virtuality Challenges p355

  • 24. Quality and Virtuality Synergies p356

Chapter 13: Innovations in Quality


Reduce Complexity by Spotting Abstract Dimensions of Improve- ment and Innovation in Any Domain


25. 40 Innovations in 31 Abstract Dimensions p377

  • 26. Recursive Tool Application p380



Learning to

switch from

hardware to

Chapter 14: Total Quality Knowledge Work via De-

Professionalizing Knowledge


software qual- ity; to move from product production

Reduce Complexity by Generating Superb Processes of Inventing and Creating Using Quality Methods Applied to Knowledge Work

  • 27. Quality Genres p421

28. Professionals Deprofessionalizing Knowledge, Hypotheses423

  • competitive- TOOLS

ness to knowl- edge production

Chapter 15: Self Emergent Re-engineering



Reduce Complexity by Designing Social Automatons that Evolve and Emerge into Needed Organization and Results


29. The Femininity of Productivity p485

  • 30. Emerging New Organization Forms p486

Managing Complexity


Copyright 2006 by Richard Tabor Greene, All Rights Reserved, US Government Registered

Sources of Complexity:

Complexity Source 1:

Variety of Types of Surprise

Chapter 1

Complexity from Various Types of Surprise:

How Non-Linearity Makes Life and Work Complex

including How Managers are Becoming Human Ecologists and Mastering the Skills of Evolutionary Engineering So They Can Manage Systems That Self Consciously Evolve

A Source of Complexity: the Non-linear Relations of Things in Large Systems

The first source of complexity we all face is the non-linear nature of interactions in the human, technology, and physical systems of our world. Till personal computers made non-linear modeling cheap and easy, for hundreds of years mankind simplified the world using linear models. We assumed that if more A produced more X then that even more A would produce even more X now (when, usually, it produced suddenly zero X and lots of unexpected Y). This left lots of unpleasant surprises in life unhandled, treated by religious hopes or folk cyn- icism. Non-linearity, if faced or admitted at all, was treated in mystical retreating religious injunctions (“do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, “this world is a veil of

sorrow” and the like) or in folk sayings (“a stitch in time saves nine”, “let sleeping dogs lie” and the like clearly refer to non-linearity). Today we dare see the world as it really is, non-

linear, where doing more of something can suddenly produce startling entirely different unexpected results.

The systems that people are asked to manage or lead generally evolve in

time--they are not a fixed stable target.

When we delay response the target we must lead or manage changes, so we have to invent new responses all over again.

The systems that peo-

ple are asked to manage or lead generally are self conscious, when they see us messing with them they change how they work so that intervening in them, itself, changes the target we

want to change.

This is much like Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle in quantum mechanics--seeing and acting redefine the target system so what we see and do changes reality mak-

ing our seeing and doings irrelevant or harmful. The result is a kind of Social Quantum Mechanics, explored in this first chapter of this book.

Management is becoming social movement building. That is dealt with in another chapter of this book. Management is becoming the shuffling of technical with social systems of work. That is dealt with in a still different chapter of this book. Management is becoming the eliciting of new knowledge via creativity from bureaucratically organized teams, work- groups, and ventures. That is dealt with in still another chapter of this book. This particular chapter, here, deals with something else--management is becoming the handling of self- consciously evolving systems: of people, of market players, of technologies. You have to be something of an ecologist to manage superbly these days. You have to think biologically where competitors, and you yourself some years ago, think/thought mechanically. Managers are becoming human ecologists--managers of ecosystems of humans interacting with technologies and market players.

Indeed an entirely new common sense is emerging--”bio-sense” I call it, replacing “mechanosense”. Everywhere managers who think situations through biologically are defeating managers who think the same situations through mechanically. Though much research will be required to prove this hypothesis, here, in this chapter, I make this hypothesis fully, based on the limited evidence presently available. Managers in real businesses cannot afford to wait for academic researchers to prove something true. They have to try things out before proof comes along, to stay ahead of competitors all too ready and willing to replace them.

This initial chapter of this book introduces non-linearity in full face form--the way it messes up strategies, plans, outcomes, investments, efforts, and dreams of everyone in any busi- ness. Non-linearity is simply this--when a little more A produces more X and still more A produces still more X, if the system is non-linear, then a little more A will suddenly produce zero X and lots of unexpected Y. Non-linearity is small ignorable side-effects that without warning suddenly become no longer ignorable or side. This chapter does more than face this non-linearity full on, however. It sets up a framework of capabilities that managers and leaders will have to have if they are to handle well such non-linearities in systems they are responsible for. It defines a new kind of manager/leader--the manager as “human ecologist”, that is, a person who manages self consciously evolving systems, rather than rigid mechanical ones. Seeing the full specific explicit definition of this new role for managers is very helpful, career-saving in many instances. It takes a hundred partial insights and nascent intuitions and pulls them all together into crystal clear focus. It turns hunch into precise powerful action. This chapter, like all of this book, liberates you from the thrall of con- fusion that interacting with non-linear systems produces. It empowers you to ride and steer non-linearities that now flood you and mess up your best laid plans.

Since nearly all human systems, and all organizations, and all new technologies are extremely non-linear in nature, this chapter presents a non-optional set of skills.

Executives who

must hire the best, that is, identify them, and vice presidents of human resources who must develop their workforces into the best can use the definition of capabilities of human ecolo-

gist managers in this chapter to build assessment instruments, spot potential leaders, and diagnose careers under-performing now.

This chapter presents Evolutionary Engineering, the creation and modification of systems that self-consciously evolve, as the skill that all human ecologists have, because it is the skill that defines “human ecologist”. When businesses and government agencies say they want more systems thinking in their managers (I surveyed executive education directors some months ago and their number one priority was systems thinking training for their managers), what this amounts to is saying they want their managers to become human ecologists. The steps of that process of creating systems that self-consciously evolve show how 18 different bodies of knowledge are used by human ecologists when they create, improve, influence, or design systems that reflexively evolve.

This chapter examines problems with non-linear systems caused by the segmented, linear, direct command nature of existing bodies of knowledge and professions, and how human ecology overcomes those segmentations, linearities, and command processes. Difficulties in designing systems that evolve, living systems, human systems, and difficulties inherent in design itself are used to specify roles for Evolutionary Engineers. Four attempts at creating a systems science that ended up lacking influence are compared with one successful form of systems science that gained world-wide popularity--the total quality movement. We can learn from why total quality succeeded worldwide ways to make a new complex systems form of quality also succeed. The relationship between personal change capability and capacity to change the systems and lives of others is explored as a limit to Evolutionary Engi- neering.

A Theory of Surprise is presented, built from ways that linear models that we humans use to simplify our world get upset by various non-linear phenomena in our world. The study, measurement, improvement, and self-emergent design of policy processes is examined as a major field of application of Evolutionary Engineering. Cases of policy failure are explained with reference to particular steps in the Evolutionary Engineering process that were omitted by the policy formation process and policy implementation process used in each case. Finally, a new type of leadership, being ushered in by Evolutionary Engineering is illustrated using examples of Evolutionary Engineering versus other ways of creating coali- tions, and Evolutionary Engineering versus other ways of leading meetings (methods for personal leadership used as an example).

Some Historical Notes:

1.1866, Haeckel, first use of the word “ecology” in any language, by combining “economy of nature” with “biology” to pro-

duce “bioecology” which, in the 1893 Botanical Congress, became the word “ecology”. He used the economy as a metaphor for the natural environmental organization of plants and animals. This ‘economy of nature’ evolved to become the concept

Managing Complexity


Copyright 2006 by Richard Tabor Greene, All Rights Reserved, US Government Registered


2.1896, Cowles, used some concepts of ecology--successional development, climax equilibrium, symbiosis, succession in space

and time, as metaphors for urban organization and change. The society metaphor in biology and the ecology metaphor in soci-

ology converged to become definers of the term ‘ecology’.

3.1921, Park and Burgess, first use in English of the term ‘human ecology’.

4.Park, 1926 “The concern of human ecology is not simply man, but the community; not man’s relation to the earth which he

inhabits, but his relations to other men.” “Everyone, I learned



is now talking about the ‘ecological’ aspect of everything.”

He defined four social interaction processes among humans: competition, conflict, accommodation, and assimilation; two types

of competition: struggle for existence in nature (unwilled symbiotic relations), struggle for livelihood in social sphere (con-

scious social institutions). Human society is created by intentional competitive cooperation, he thought. He defined four types

of human social organization: ecological, economic, political, and moral.

5.Park, 1928, human ecology is a type of organization arising from the essentially social processes of competition in the strug-

gle for existence.

6.1921, Allee extended animal social organization concepts to human social organization. Allee saw all social life as derived

from natural survival struggles; the natural processes of cooperation and competition generate society.

7.1924, McKenzie defined human ecology as “a study of the spatial and temporal relations of human beings as affected by the

selective, distributive, and accommodative forces of their social, natural, and moral environment.” “The spatial relationships

of human beings are the products of competition and selection.”

8.1989, Mitsch and Jorgensen, textbook on “Ecological Engineering” produced, teaching the design of self-emerging ecosys-


Executives of Large Organizations Want Systems Thinkers, Why?

In 1995, while teaching at the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business, and again, earlier this year, I phoned the executive education directors of 50 of the world’s largest international corporations--roughly a third headquartered in Europe, a third in the US, and a third in Asia. I asked them just one question:

You probably have adequate training suppliers for many of your training needs, however, there may be one or two topic areas

in which you see a demand for training right now, but you have been unable to find a good supplier of that training. What

one or two areas are these?

The overall answers from the 50 directors polled were as follows (the number is total number of mentions of the items by all 50 directors):

41, systems thinking

23, internet/intranet virtual business ventures

11, accurate forecasts

9, managing multi-company teams

less than 9 mentions, all others

(amazingly their top 4, as a group, did not change between 1995 and now though the top 4 of each individual did change).

The largest item by far was systems thinking. One might suppose that each director had a different reason that systems thinking was needed, yet not well supplied. That was not the case. Most of them expressed the same idea:

Managers were failing to see ahead of time, plan for, and, take responsibility for the side-effects and second order effects of

intended actions (Maruyama, 1992).

What does this mean? It means that managers tend to take responsibility only for what they plan. If unplanned things happen, they drop responsibility.

Examples will help.

Seven Stories About Some Current Needs of Our World

Oxymoron Systems, Systems That Produce the Opposite of What They Intend and Desire--the Yemen Mystery

The nation of Yemen for 5000 years had never needed to import food. All the food it needed was grown in small fields on the steep sides of mountains. There was no extra food for export but plenty of food to feed the local population. When Yemen wanted to export food to Europe like Israel, they asked the World Bank to build a dam. This dam would turn a desert into a rich agricultural area. The World Bank agreed and built a huge dam. Three years after the dam was built, Yemen became a net food importer for the first time in 5000 years. A project planned to increase overall food production so that Yemen could export food, actually reduced overall food production so that Yemen had to import food. How did this happen? Why did this happen? Answers will be given later in this article.

Basically, however, I can say here that the managers of this project took responsibility for doing their plan. They succeeded in doing their plan. But, they ignored data coming in, while they implemented their plan, that indicated that what they were doing was having exactly the opposite effect from what they planned. Why they ignored this data is lack of systems thinking, according to the 50 executive education directors that I polled.

Development projects in the 3rd world typically suffer this problem. Technocrats leave out human reactions in planning financial, technological, and other professional details.

A project I was once involved in illustrates this point. A Community Branch system was set up by the Royal Bank of Canada to invent a form of banking profitable among the world’s poorest people. I was asked to design workshops that would be held monthly with all the customers of bank branches, wherein the customers would design new financial services, such as child savings accounts, and small business accounting training to be provided by the bank. We did a social simulation of such a meeting using customers of Royal Bank branches in poor neighborhoods of Canada. We found an unexpected side-effect of these workshops was general activism among customers of the bank that affected local government and social services. This political side-effect had been nowhere in our previous plans. By seeing it appear before our eyes in a social simulation, we fundamentally adjusted our procedures to keep community relations peaceful.

What is Needed--people who can take responsibility for higher order effects of intended outcomes.

Evolutionary Engineering is a formal method for designing not only systems but the side-effects of creating such systems and

the higher order unplanned effects of creating them..

Inhuman Systems, System that are Unlive-able--US Urban Housing

Urban housing in the United States has suffered through 30 years of giant buildings, nearly all of which had to be torn down, after becoming crime dominated, derelict, and abandoned.

Managing Complexity


Copyright 2006 by Richard Tabor Greene, All Rights Reserved, US Government Registered

Enormous effort and expense, after the giant housing was erected, to persuade, force, incent, and otherwise get residents to live properly in them, produced nothing. New urban hous- ing, not surprisingly, looks just like private homes and apartments, with small buildings, lawns, and parks.

There is some emerging agreement about what was wrong. I summarize three similar positions, quite common today, below:

planner grandiosity

incentives to build not succeed

lack of resident participation in design.

Planner grandiosity is the planners developing an imagination of their own, separate from and unchecked by the rest of the world. It is a kind of narcissism. They like an idea and therefore put it into the design, without really anticipating its effects on people who have to live their lives daily in what they design.

Incentive to build, not succeed, is the way society pays designers. They get contracts to design something. Often it is other people who get contracts to build it. The designers design wonderful things, if the builders fail to build them it is the builders’ fault. The builders build things wonderfully, if, when built, the things do not work, that is the designers’ fault. Both can always blame each other. No one is held accountable for the overall result.

Lack of resident participation in design is using elite designers and elite builders to do things and then putting people into them at the end. The idea is that professionals have the exper- tise to be listened to, but ordinary people lack expertise and are not worth listening to until after things have been designed and built.

The AUM religious group, in Japan, invented their own culture, allowing the economics and politics of their new group to be personally dictated by one man, their founder, Shoko Asahara. With no resident participation in politics or economics, exploitation turned into mass murder, rather easily.

A personal experience I had illustrates the power of resident participation in design processes. The Yubari Eco-Venture project mobilized the residents remaining in a coal mining town after that industry shut down. The 800 person, one-week, 16-hours-a-day workshop I designed for this project resulted in resident invention of 16 eco-business-ventures that were fully designed, budgeted, staffed, and legally formed within 30 days of the workshop’s end. Resident participation in selecting business types and designing business procedures in these workshops resulted in much more realistic designs than previous government and private efforts to help had produced.

Another experience I had was leading ordinary design engineers in a year long problem solving effort that ended up creating Xerox’ Taguchi Technology Development Project. They specified not a software tool alone but changes in incentives, management, and careers that made use of the software attractive and powerful. Usual software projects pretend that new software alone will change or improve work processes. By having the ordinary design engineers create the software’s design, social supports absolutely essential to good use of the software were included.

What is needed--people who can make the user the primary customer of a project, not the doer of the project.

Evolutionary Engineering is a formal method for making final users the primary customer of projects instead of those

doing the project, in part by extending the category of doers to include users of the project outcome.

Orphan Systems, Systems that No One Owns--the Commons Problems

Global warming is a problem. Tuna becoming an extinct species of fish is a problem. Mass media enticing children to smoke cigarettes and become violent is a problem. The problem

with these problems is no one particular nation or company or group owns them (Hardin and Badin, 1977).

This is called the problem of the commons--how to get someone or every-

one to own problems that fall through the cracks, that do not belong to any one group. Indeed, sometimes each individual group benefits by making the problem worse.

When global

warming changes agriculture, people switch to more industrialized agriculture, adding more chemicals to the atmosphere, making global warming worse. When fishermen find fewer fish, they try harder and catch more of the few fish remaining. That insures that there will be few or no fish for anyone in the future.

Responses thus far to these types of problems have mostly included the following:

create owners


spontaneous movements of people who care.

Creating owners means creating institutions that many nations contribute to, such as the United Nations. These institutions then own problems no individual nation owns. Advertising means that people who worry about these problems get rich people or foundations to spend money making the general public aware of these problems. Creating movements means that people interested in these problems make speeches, form local chapters of interested people, demonstrate against bad habits and practices, and orga- nize to change laws and business policies.

Many of us have recently read about the Northeast Grand Banks fishing grounds off of Canada and the US. There was no common organization that united the fishermen of these two countries till after all the fish their livelihoods depended on were gone.

Twenty years ago I worked for an NGO called the Institute of Cultural Affairs. They had for several years attempted rural village development of Kwang Yung Il, a poor farming vil- lage in Jeju, South Korea. However, it had failed to improve from much development effort. I sensed that the men-women relations were key to this village’s lack of interest in devel- opment. I asked permission to import portable backpack mowers from Japan to reduce 8 weeks of hands-and-knees rice harvesting by village women to 1 week of standing-up harvesting. By changing women-men relations (giving the women suddenly 7 weeks of free time to earn money part-time in nearby cities) this single tactic completely changed village development over the next 2 years. It turned women into a group wanting further development and men into a group wanting the part-time money now being earned by the women. Before no one in the village wanted their place in the status quo upset by change. The mowers, and the free time and income they caused, created a movement of women wanting change, that, in turn, created a movement of men wanting change.

What is needed--people who can create new institutions and movements, worldwide, that take ownership of commons


Evolutionary Engineering is a formal method for creating institutions and movements that provide ownership for orphan


Missed Systems, Systems that No One Sees All of--Medical Diagnosis

As all of us get older, we see more and more problems of our world coming from the way we split our world into segments. We see companies, projects, and government ministries repeating the segmentations of knowledge found in university departments. Indeed we see lives of people split painfully apart by repetition of these divisions.

When young people go to college, many older people tell them to specialize early. By becoming really skillful in one area, they can develop outstanding levels of skill that attract scholarships and other benefits. By learning a lot about the whole world, however, they will develop little skill in any one area, and not qualify for nearly all scholarships, jobs, and rewards. Our world does not reward generalists. More and more of our most important problems, however, come from the failure of specialists to solve things.

Medicine is a good example. I went to the doctor with a hurt ankle; he diagnosed it as a sprained ankle and gave me a support for it. A female friend went to the doctor with a hurt ankle; he diagnosed it as arthritis and gave her drugs. In truth, both of us had sprained ankles--I sprained mine getting out of a car, she sprained hers stepping onto the curb of the street. But the doctors segmented the world into women who are weak, unathletic, and who suffer degenerative diseases for no good reason and men who are strong, athletic, and who put a lot of stress on their bodies. The segmented view of the world of the doctors--men are this, women are that--caused them to see entirely different causes and to suggest entirely differ- ent treatments. My female friend and I treated her ankle as a sprained one, bound it with tape, and it promptly got better.

In Chicago, a similar thing happened. When an acquaintance went to a rheumatologist showing a hurt foot, the rheumatologist diagnosed it as arthritis. When my acquaintance showed the same hurt foot to a foot doctor, he diagnosed it as a bruised bone. If we had gone to a dentist he probably would have diagnosed it as a long toothache! Each specialty sees what his or her training helps him or her see. The Mayo Clinic, acknowledging this, created a few years ago teams of doctors from a dozen different specialties who diagnose patients instead of single doctors.

Many of us remember the explosion of the US space shuttle Challenger. Research showed that it was the direct result of project manager professionals sharing different values than project engineers. When viewing the same data, the managers did not see danger where the engineers did see danger.

A personal experience I had several years ago illustrated the power of overcoming community and knowledge area divisions. Several thousand foreigners in Kobe, Japan spent hours each year complaining about various aspects of living in a foreign nation, the Germans from a German perspective, the French from a French perspective, and so on. By organizing 21 nationalities into a one-day participatory town meeting, I catalyzed creation of a community center, serving all 21 nationalities, and allowing combination of their shared complaints to reach critical mass for influencing Kobe City polity.

Managing Complexity


Copyright 2006 by Richard Tabor Greene, All Rights Reserved, US Government Registered

What is needed--people who take a non- or multi- profession view of issues.

Evolutionary Engineering is a formal method for combining the knowledge of all other disciplines to overcome that part of

particular problems caused by segmentations of our world.

Moving Systems, Systems that Evolve--the High Definition Television Failure

There was a Japanese High Definition Television project in the late 1980s (National Research Council, 1995). It involved new equipment for sending out TV signals and new TVs for hundreds of millions of people around the world to buy. Japanese led the world in TV technology and production. They invested billions of dollars in this project. By the time, in the early 1990s, that they were ready to start selling products and making money, however, technology had changed. They had used analog technology, like our old familiar TV s have; dig- ital technology was much better. The Japanese electronics companies lost nearly all the money that they had invested in HDTV. Why did they make this error?

My executive education directors said it was a clear example of non-systems thinking. Technologies evolve, so when you decide to use one of them for a big project you have to be able to create, test, and fully implement your project faster than the particular technology that you use evolves. The Japanese electronics companies did not complete their HDTV project faster than broadcast technology evolved!

Why did this happen? The answer is profound. Because those designing the HDTV systems were a small part of the overall global use of TV broadcasting, namely, Japanese manufac- turers, they omitted standards, values, and customer needs that others saw more clearly. In other words, because a small part of the overall global TV industry came up with the HDTV design, that design was rejected by the overall global TV industry system.

In the newspapers today there is general frustration with Japan’s highly regulated telecommunications industries. The time it takes to reach consensus by industry and government on what to do is so long that the decisions thus reached are already out-dated by new technical developments. Thus Japan’s policy-making process is slower than technology-development processes, making technical policies poor or nearly useless.

  • I personally experienced the power of a larger system to implement what a small component of that system produced (Xerox, 1992). Xerox wanted all its workgroups and customers to

switch to a new groupware software platform for supporting work processes in a common fashion. Direct persuasion to switch to any such new platform would not work. Therefore, I directed my employees to first support processes that all of Xerox was implementing and bothered by the work of. These bothersome processes were the total quality problem solving processes. When people saw how the platform made doing those problem solving processes easier, they imagined the platform helping similarly their own ordinary work processes. They then requested modification of the platform to support them. In this way, by marketing the platform, not as what it really was, but as a narrow but convenient role it could play in solving a larger system’s problem, we made the platform popular.

  • I had a similar experience at General Motors (Greene, 1990). GM was introducing artificial intelligence technology. Those introducing it were highly educated Ph.Ds. Their first

projects were very complicated, risky, and did not address major problems that managers worried about. I created, for EDS, a part of GM, a series of workshops wherein ordinary GM

engineers proposed fast, simple, cheap, and non-risky first artificial intelligence projects. In the afternoon of those workshops, demonstrations from technology vendors, that matched those proposals, were shown to managers of each GM division. Millions in funding for the new technology from local divisions was thus produced. My workshops replaced intimidat- ing views of experts with proposals by ordinary company engineers.

What is needed--people who expand the doer of a particular system to the whole system that the new system must be a

part of.

Evolutionary Engineering is a formal method for designing systems that evolve via incorporating the dynamics of the larger

systems that a new one must be a part of.

Conflicted Systems, Systems Whose Design Fights Their Emergence--the Failure of Re-engineering Projects in Businesses

Re-engineering is was a very prevalent business innovation some years ago. Most major companies in the industrial world are still regularly applying it. As internet and other computer and telecommunications technologies evolve, organizations regularly revise assumptions about how to organize work and what work to do.

At first re-engineering was done by elite committees, consisting of the top 50 people or so in a company. 80% of these early top-down design re-engineering projects failed.

They designed new work processes for 5000 or 10,000 other employees to use.

What happened was during implementation, the 5000 or 10,000 people who were asked to use the new process designs, re-did the designs. The 50 elite people on the committee got into

fights with the 5000 or 10,000 as they changed the designs. failure.

This fight between pre-planned design and emergence of new designs by those asked to do the work, caused re-engineering

Now, typical re-engineering projects do not get elite committees of 50 people to do the design work. Now they find ways for thousands of employees to do the design of their own new work systems.

Initial implementations of many recent business innovations (total quality, downsizing, globalization, virtual business ventures) have failed for the same reason--when those involved re-did the design they got into a fight with the original designers.

Recently, I was asked to fix a broken re-engineering project. Famous consultants had set of an elite committee of 50 members to redesign the work of 10,000 salesmen. After 2 years, nothing but fighting was accomplished. Using a technique called Managing by Events, I replaced the elite committee with large multi-day conference events wherein 500 employees at a time designed new work systems for they themselves to apply, using workshop procedures designed by experts.

What is needed--people who know how to get thousands of people to design systems that formerly were designed by

small committees of people.

Evolutionary Engineering is a formal method for getting design work done by thousands not dozens of people.

Diverse, Cross-functional Globalized Systems, Systems that Cannot Reach Agreement on What “Excellent”, “Good Perfor-

mance”, or “Productivity” Are

Many organizations have sensed how segmentations of our world hurt productivity and effectiveness.

They have created teams having both genders, having members from many sepa-

rate departments, having members from many different companies, and having members from several different nations. This certainly invites working across segmentations. What hap- pens, instead, is all the diversity, segmenting, and difference bogs down the committee into ineffective squabbling. Such teams fail to reach agreement of what being excellent, good in performance, or productive mean.

An example of the power of overcoming segmentations follows. A major corporation created a team of 8 people--2 in England, 2 in New York, 2 in San Francisco, and 2 in Japan and Taiwan, to manage a $200 million a year business. Even though small companies are supposed to reach decisions faster and with more consensus than large companies, this company spent all their time fighting. When world-wide email was set up among them, they sent angry messages back and forth, daily. What was the problem? The problem was they could not reach agreement on whose procedures were best for any particular task. The London people wanted to use European procedures for everything; the Japanese wanted to use Japanese procedures for everything.

The above company hired my group to help them. Applying techniques called Meta-Polity and Democratic Rules of Order, we created four workshop events, one every three months during the year. At one workshop, European procedures for doing certain tasks were designed and tried out by all members. At another, Japanese procedures for other tasks were designed and tried out. At another, US east coast procedures. At the last, US west coast procedures. Data was collected throughout the year on whose procedures worked well. Proce- dures that worked poorly were replaced with new ones in later workshop events.

What is needed--people who know how to use and combine diverse skills, attitudes, and viewpoints in a systematic way,

gathering data to get beyond personal bias and opinion about what works, to get work done.

Evolutionary Engineering is a formal process for creating repertoires of ways to do work and processes of systematic testing

of each item in those repertoires to see what actually works.

A Specification of What Human Ecologists Do

An Initial Specification

The above discussion introduced seven parts to such a specification:

1.responsibility for and design of second order effects of intended actions

2.methods for making end-users, not doers of project, the primary customer

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3.capability to create institutions and movements to own orphaned problems

4.non-professional or multi-professional viewpoints when solving problems

5.expansion of who is the designer and implementor to include entire systems of hundreds or thousand of people, as who

designs and implements things, instead of small elite committees or staff experts

6.methods for supporting patterns that emerge from the interacting of many local agents so that they change plans and


7.testing repertoires of diverse approaches to see what works.

There is a consistent direction of change within all the above:

1.Time Scope Expansion--expand time scope to include later effects

2.Customer Scope Expansion--expand incentives to make final users the primary customers of any effort

3.Institution Scope Expansion--expand institutions to incorporate homeless problems

4.Doer Knowledge Scope Expansion--expand doers from single professions or hand-offs among professions to fused

views from many professions

5.Doer Components Expansion--expand designer and implementor roles to include whole systems as enactors

6.Implementation Process Expansion--expand design and implementation process to include emergent patterns from

interaction of the basic units involved in the project

7.Diversity of Method Expansion--expand the range and number of alternative ways to do something and then reduce

that range and number by systematic testing.

The message from the seven stories above, is that too few, with too narrow an education, and too selfish a set of incentives, are working on problems that many, many more should be involved in.

Most people have not been taught methods for getting hundreds of people, together for short workshop events, to do work in days that is usually done over a period of months or years by small elite committees or groups of staff experts. There are, however, proven methods of getting hundreds to do design work that formerly was done by small staffs. More on these methods--called Managing by Events--is presented later in this article.

The systems thinking that human ecologists employ may have more than an accidental relation to the way we divide our world into professions. It may be that the entire content of sys- tems thinking is merely the undoing of the splintering of knowledge and action by the way our world is divided into professions.

Professionalization as a Root Cause of Lack of Systems Thinking, the Case of Quality by Profession versus Quality by


Dr. Deming, the guru of total quality, who launched it in Japan in the early 1950s, spoke about the workplace as a system. He invented the distribution of causes principle--one problem appearing in one location and time has causes scattered throughout the system that the workplace is. There is a similar distribution of solutions principle--one cause, appearing at one particular place and time can only be eliminated by actions scattered throughout the work system that the cause appears at one place in.

Total quality replaced quality assurance departments. Total quality made entire managements and workforces responsible for quality rather than making quality the responsibility of just one department, the quality assurance department. By thus de-profession-alizing the quality function, total quality achieved much more powerful results than the quality assurance profession had ever achieved. The body of knowledge was one--quality--but a profession applying it underperformed entire management and workforces applying it, part-time. The de-profession-al treatment of that body of knowledge outperformed the professional treatment of it.

This raises the question of what other bodies of knowledge might produce more powerful results when given de-professional treatment.

The seven stories that begin this article answer this question by showing in economics, politics, culture, and nearly every area of life, that excessive narrowness and specialization are causing us to fail to see, handle, and eliminate problems. We have succeeded in subdividing our areas of knowledge, creating narrow professions corresponding with each body of knowledge, with the result that problems go unspotted, unmanaged, and unsolved. Just as total quality once again made the workplace an overall system, giving people responsibility for that overall system’s impact on final customers, we need a more global kind of quality to make our world once again an overall system and give people responsibility for that overall system’s impact on the population of the planet earth.

Evolutionary Engineers pursue Global Quality control of system outcomes. Just as total quality made whole workforces

responsible for the production system’s impact on final customers, Global Quality makes whole communities and nations

responsible for their social system’s impact on the population of the entire planet Earth.

Some Difficulties Specific to Designing Systems that Evolve

A part of our overall specification of the human ecologist role appears when we examine the difficulties of designing systems that evolve.

Designing HDTV, as illustrated in the story above, was a disaster. But designing individual TVs today is very successful. Why this difference? What additional factor is added in the HDTV case that makes designing it so much trickier?

The missing factor is the limited channel capacity of the air. The wavelengths that signals can be broadcast on are limited and HDTV wanted to use certain of them in an analog fashion that was more expensive than using them in a digital fashion. If the only new activity was HDTVs this would have not been a problem. However, HDTV was being invented while major changes in cable TV, phone company business, and personal internet computing were also going on. That meant that the analog HDTV technology’s request for more wave- lengths clashed with these other industries. The system that HDTV was in was just the TV industry if you considered the mechanical and electrical parts of TVs, but if you considered all the materials that TVs use, then the airwave capacity for broadcasting signals is involved. Other industries had claims to the airwave capacity.

So, additional difficulties of designing systems that evolve include:

1.Component Evolution--the parts or components you design with change as you design

2.Component Competition--other systems claim all or some of the parts that you plan to use in your design

3.Purpose Evolution--what those who will use your system want changes while you design it.

The End of Organizations--Departments and Processes are Slower Than Our Problems and Opportunities

The issue of speed is omni-present today. There are so many people doing so many things that interactions among them generate unexpected consequences fast. No one expected the Soviet Union to disappear as quickly as it did. No one expected new diseases and epidemics like AIDS and tuberculosis to become global menaces as fast as they did. The speed of our problems seems to be faster than the speed of our responses.

Businesses have recognized this. As cellular phones put all the people in the world in touch, business speeds up. As the internet allows instant creation of workgroups from people scattered all over the world, business speeds up. As groupware software allows automatic coordination of much more work by each person, business speeds up. Competitors develop new products faster. Consumers see new possibilities sooner and change what they want faster. So businesses have emphasized cycle time reduction--reducing the time that it takes to invent and produce new products. Businesses have also switched from departmental bureaucracies as a way of structuring people at work to cross-department business processes. Recently these processes have been extended to inter-organizational processes. Business talks about “boundaryless “ organizations.

Governments and universities have not emphasized cycle time reduction, cross-functional processes, or boundaryless operation. Therefore, the public and knowledge problems we face are responded to more slowly than the commercial problems we face.

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There is a leadership problem behind this. Many governments and academics want to lead, but their old style of leading--commanding, telling others what to do--is failing today. They want another, faster way to lead. One solution is Managing by Events. This involves replacing departmental bureaucracies and cross-functional, cross-organizational processes with events. Events are much faster than both departments and processes. Managing by Events is using mass workshop events wherein hundreds of people do work in a few hours or days that otherwise would take small elite staffs months or years to do. In a previous article I described six such events and how they were used to unite the total quality movement with the global environment movement.

Evolutionary Engineers mobilize quick response to our fast-paced problems by creating mass workshop events (Managing by

Events). Instead of leaders creating answers for others to obey, leaders design sophisticated workshop procedures for others

to use to design answers of their own. This is a new role for leaders and more responsibility for followers. This is a faster

way of responding to the problems of our time.

Some Difficulties Specific to Designing Living Systems

Living systems evolve, just as technologies do. They feed off of each other and become nutrients for each other as technologies do. They become the conditions of success of each other, one niche creating new niches for subsequent species to thrive in, the way personal computers created niches for other technologies like video gaming.

Living systems differ in their evolution from technologies in some respects. We can re-invent old technologies that are no longer here; we cannot at present re-invent dinosaurs or spe- cies that we make extinct. That is one important difference, failure lasts longer in the case of living systems. We can experiment with technologies to know all their behaviors; we can- not isolate living systems and understand all of their behaviors in the same way. That is another important difference.

Designing an ecosystem adds additional difficulty. We take some action to “improve” the system and find that it has unpredicted side-effects worse than the problem we were solving. We find that some “good” results that we planned for, actually end up not being “good”. A large lake in Peru had become polluted. A campaign to clean it up and eliminate the sources of pollution feeding into it was begun. The result was the growth of an immense layer of floating plants that took all the oxygen and sunlight out of the water and killed every living thing in it. The good deed of eliminating pollution had created an unplanned side-effect--making one plant dominant over the whole ecosystem.

1.Time Dependent Goods--partial, in space or time, good actions have side-effects that make them bad overall.

2.Combination Dependent Goods--many partial good actions, when combined, produce the opposite or contrary of what you


The End of Design--Complex Adaptive Systems Cannot Be Designed In Usual Ways

Living systems typically consist of populations of many thousands or millions of individuals. In fact, living systems typically consist of many populations of different species living

together in a complex web of inter-dependent relationships. The dynamics within populations are complex; the dynamics among populations are complex. emerge from such interactions that no one designs.

Overall events and patterns

The typical example is the ant colony, consisting of millions or tens of millions of individual ants. It seems to reach decisions. When the weather changes, the ant colony will suddenly move from one place to a place a number of kilometers away. There is no President Ant that calls a Cabinet meeting of leading ants and discusses the need for changing location. Some- how the overall “decision” to change location emerges from tiny changes in behavior by thousands of the ants. Such emergent “decisions” or “behaviors” are startling when they emerge from the daily chaos that the behaviors of so many ants seem to human observers.

So many human community decisions and patterns are not reached in an ant-like emergent way, but are commanded by actual presidents, dictators, leaders, or managers. have asked “is there a way for decisions to emerge in human communities as they emerge in other biological communities?”


There is a way. It is called the Social Cellular Automata Process (Greene, 1996). I have described its origin and application elsewhere. Instead of leaders designing what whole com- munities should be and do, leaders equip individual people and groups with: certain behaviors (through schools and adult education), certain connections with other people (abstract neighborhoods, via telecommunications, geographic, highway links), certain ways of interacting with neighbors (though repertoires of events). By managing these, leaders adjust the amount of interaction among basic units till there is neither too much order nor too much chaos. At this point, spontaneously, without anyone designing it ahead of time, patterns of great complexity and sophistication in behavior and communication emerge from the summed up local interactions of people and groups. This is a new way to lead that avoids the error of one leader imposing his or her right answer on thousands of people.

Evolutionary Engineers lead by equipping basic societal units--persons and groups--to interact till the edge of chaos pro-

duces spontaneous emergent pattern and behavior (the Social Cellular Automata Process).

Some Difficulties Specific to Designing Human Systems

A further part of our overall specification of the human ecologist role appears when we examine the difficulties of designing human systems.

Designing a TV, an HDTV system, or a multi-media computer is simple compared to designing an urban neighborhood, an ecosystem, or an international conference. The parts of the TV do not have minds of their own. They do not disagree suddenly with other parts of the TV. They do not inconsistently change opinions so that what they believe today differs from what they believed yesterday. When you put a TV together the parts do not get into arguments and angrily walk away from each other! Designing TVs is very very simple compared to designing any human system.

It is useful to be specific about some of these difficulties. Human systems, when design of them is attempted, produce the following problem types for design work:

1.Path Dependence--how a good design is implemented determines whether people support and sustain it

2.Initial Condition Dependence--how people launch an effort determines whether they finish or support it when finished.

3.Component Combination Dependence--certain human components when combined with others break apart the system

4.Final Result Dependence--humans, once they experience the final result, can reject it in spite of having participated in

envisioning, designing, and implementing it.

5.Process Dependence--humans can tire of a system after the time and work of creating and implementing it.

6.Expectation Dependence--achieving a new system can raise human expectations so much that they hate the improved sys-

tem they just created.

Reflexive Systems--Designing Systems Conscious of Their Design

If we examine the above problems in designing human systems we see a common element in them all--humans see and react to every step of the design process--the beginning (launch conditions), the middle (how change is attempted), and the end (what the final result is, relative to human expectation levels). The reflexive nature of humans makes designing human systems very tricky indeed.

Consensus is much more complex and important than we realize, I believe.

Consensus means designing the reflexive responses of humans to systems, not just the systems themselves.

If we design housing, but do not design the emotive, integrative, interpretive, or decisional responses of people to that housing and to the process by which that housing was designed and implemented, then people end up hating or not using the housing. In designing human systems we have to design the artifact and the human responses to the artifact. Our tech-

niques for designing artifacts--houses, machines, communications media--are vastly better than our techniques for designing human responses.

There is a technique called Stratified Responding, that has successfully been used to design human responses to systems, and to resolve policy and system implementation conflicts. It divides all things that people experience into what is noticed, emotive responses to those noticings, patterns of relationship among those emoted noticings, background reminders that interpret those inter-connected emotive noticings for us, and decisions to be or do something differently that we reach based on interpreting those connected emotive noticings (Morris, 1989). Famous policy process researchers (Schon and Rein, 1994) in a recent look at policy studies have advocated a version of this designing of response dimensions, that they call “re- framing”. This involves reaching consensus by all parties holding stakes in a policy process about each of the five levels of experience in Stratified Responding.

Evolutionary Engineers design artifacts and five layers of human responses (Stratified Responding and Re-framing) to the

components of the artifacts, the process of designing the artifacts, and the process of implementing the artifacts.

Some Difficulties Specific to Design Itself

While working with Dr. Genichi Taguchi at Xerox Corporation, I listened as he advised particular workgroups. These were product designer groups. Each group was designing one sub- system of an overall product. Each group was required to attain a certain performance target for their subsystem. Most groups were quite good at reaching such targets. The problem

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was, in their effort to reach their assigned performance target, they changed other values that were needed by the other subsystems. Arguments ensued.

Each team would lose its own

target if it kept particular values needed by the other subsystems. Dr. Taguchi believed the process by which design was being conducted created this conflict and these arguments.

If the groups, instead of optimizing their subsystems to attain a single point value, could optimize their designs to achieve a region of values along a straight line, then they could adjust along that line to assist other teams in reaching their values. Dr. Taguchi recognized that the process of designing an overall product was non-linear--you could not simply add up com- ponents each optimized to do its own job. Each component had multiple requirements of the behaviors of the other components because the other components were the environment of any one component. Our processes of doing design work assumed design was linear--each team works independently, then when each design attains its target value, the teams combine them. Instead, they need a non-linear process of design, optimizing around regions of value and adjusting along those regions to allow other subsystems attain their target values.

In general designing systems today involves:

1.Components as Environment--all other components are the environment any one component operates in

2.Mutual Optimization--only when all components achieve their own functions in such a way as to assist other components

in achieving their functions does the design work.

The End of Linearity--Non-Linear System Dynamics

For several hundred years, before we had computers, people simplified the relations between things. They sought how one variable changed in value linearly with another. If I changed X by 5 units, then Y changed by 5 times X or 25 units, for example. This involved a particular way of viewing the world. If I changed one part of the world a little bit, other parts changed different amounts. If I changed that one part of the world a little more, other parts changed more. There was continuity among changes. Of course when I changed things a lot, lots of things also changed a lot. But when changes were small and incremental, the rules of the game stayed the same.

In the real world there is the sandpile phenomenon. If a sandpile is a certain height, adding one little tiny grain of sand extra, causes giant avalanches on all size scales. An immense change in the size and shape of the sandpile results from adding just one extra grain of sand. A world like this is tricky to live in. You never know when your one little tiny action will be the extra grain of sand causing the whole system to change status and shape. This is non-linearity. When a little change in one variable completely changes the character of lots of other variables and the status of the whole system.

For several hundred years researchers and scientists, artists and policy makers ignored non-linearity because there was no way to calculate, predict, and manage its tricky outcomes. Now, however, we have personal computers that can handle the solution of non-linear mathematics.

One aspect of that non-linearity is fractality. The shape of the way--fires burn through wood or cloth, cities grow through geography, industries use technologies, trees develop from seeds, species inhabit niches in ecosystems--all are fractal. We are all familiar with the smooth squares, circles, cones, and triangles of Euclidean geometry. The world we are born into, however, has few such shapes (the moon, crystals of rock, and a few others). Most of the shapes in the world around us are irregular. It turns out they are irregular in a special way--they are fractal. That means two things--the same shape is repeated on different size scales (invariance of shape to changing the size scale of phenomena you look at), the way veins of a leaf branch from a central vein, like leaves branch from a central twig, like twigs branch from a central branch, like branches branches from a central trunk of a tree. The other thing that “fractal” means is fractional dimension (Mandelbrot, 1977). We know points are dimension zero, lines are dimension one, planes are dimension two, solids are dimen- sion three, and Einstein’s space-time is dimension four. Fractals are dimensions like 1.333 or 2.732. They are objects systematically filled with holes, with the remaining parts of the object filled with still smaller holes, on and on without end.

Recently, people have started building models of concepts that are fractal--that repeat the same shape on different size scales. Such fractal concept models allow people to see and use the non-linear relations among ideas. Certain special fractal concept models, ones that have been regularized in certain ways, can be used for monitoring the non-linear results of sys- tem actions. That is called Management by Balancing; it is explained later in this article.

Evolutionary Engineers build social, cellular, and system dynamics models of non-linear relations among system compo-

nents, and fractal conceptual models of non-linear relations among ideas thereby predicting and managing phenomena

hithertofore missed by linear simplifications.

The Change Illusion--the Link between Personal Change and Societal and Policy Changes

Research shows that when people contemplate other people changing they become optimistic and enthusiastic. When people contemplate themselves changing they become pessimis- tic and doubtful. In some of my business school teaching I had my students select 9 irritating or suboptimal personal behaviors to try to change. They wrote down each day how many times the bad behavior appeared in spite of their efforts to erase it. In a typical class of 50 students, after ten weeks of trying to eliminate 9 behaviors each (for a total of 9 x 50 = 450) less than 6 behaviors were eliminated! That is the typical success rate by highly educated MBAs trying for 10 weeks to eliminate bad behaviors was 6/450 = <1%! Yet these same MBAs are enthusiastic about getting hundreds of employees who work for them to change a dozen behaviors each month or quarter! These gaps between how much people actually change and how much people want to change, between how much people change personally and how much they expect the people around them to change, have enormous social power. They cause much of the turmoil in human history.

Research also shows (Klar et al, 1992) that the primary groups that people are in--workgroups and families usually--are highly resistant to change of most sorts. Your friends and fam- ily are the first to oppose you in most of the changes you attempt and the last ones, there at the end, regretting any changes you did succeed in making! Research also shows that your own personality opposes most of the changes you wish to make in yourself--personality traits are highly stable and interpret nearly any environmental encounter using old familiar cat- egories rather than using such encounters to change categories. The only exceptions of significance are those few people who have, as an enduring stable self-image trait, the idea that they are the kind of person who is always continually changing.

In addition, to change people you have to change the systems they are embedded in, mainly, their primary system. Ecological models of personal change (Klar et al, 1992) have exam- ined how each of 12 common ways of changing people changes either the environments of people or what people notice in those environments. Changing who you converse with and changing to conversing about topics new to you, either put you in a new environment or let you notice new potential good and bad things in your existing environment (improving your “attunement” to environmental “affordances”, to use ecology terminology). Primary groups that a person is in, can be changed by putting the whole group into new environments or into activities that change what they notice about existing environments.

This ecology of personal change is absolutely essential understanding for any person who would spend a good portion of their life proposing that other people change their lives, work, ways, or tools of living. Those who would design systems that other people live in and interact with must master human psychology at a deep level, or fail continually, throughout their career. The primary error of systems designers of our past has been their ignorance of, shallow models of, or de-valuing of the human reactions to what they design and how they imple- ment it. The reflexivity of human systems defeats most World Bank, third world development, ecological and new technology venture business projects.

The Evolutionary Engineer is able to entice people into new self-images that they are people continually changing and

capable of changing, by changing several of the environments people live in, including the primary groups, yet Evolution-

ary Engineers know that there are large gaps between what change is likely and what change people expect.

System Thinking--A History of 4 Failures and One Success?

Norbert Wiener, of MIT fame, is credited with inventing and leading the first systems theory movement, the cybernetics movement. It came from efforts in the second world war to understand systems that contained feedback. Controlling the flight of missiles, for example, required feedback from sensors, to keep the missile on course. People realized then, in the

early 1940s, that many living systems and social systems had lots of feedback.

However, nothing much developed from this initial effort. No outstanding new concepts or methods

were invented by it. Next, in early 1960s, came General Systems Theory by Bertanffly and Boulding (Boulding, 1978). This work looked at arms control and the inter-nation dynamics of the cold war, as

systems phenomenon. But again, no new concepts of great interest and no new methods appeared so the effort lost interest. A few concepts that have endured were created, the most

significant of which was self-organizing systems (Morin, 1992).

There were systems with large-scale ordered patterns that no one designed or planned ahead of time. The patterns

simply emerged from the interactions of many small local actors. However, this concept was not made measurable and precise, so it had little immediate impact. Bertanffly wanted General Systems Theory to unite all the arts and sciences; instead it became a specialized discipline among them.

In the early 1980s, Systems Dynamics became popular. Jay Forrester (Forrester, J. 1971), at MIT and a consulting company called Innovation Associates, created software for model- ing systems with lots of positive and negative feedback. This effort produced no new concepts of great worth, but it did produce a new tool, software for modeling systems that had lots of feedback. Stella II, Dynamo, and Powersim are the leading commercial forms of this software today. The limits to growth argument, about our planet’s limited capacity to absorb industrial growth, did not originate with this group but this group did create simulations showing how current trends produced dangerous long term consequences.

In the mid-1980s a new systems effort emerged. Called Complex Adaptive Systems, or more briefly, Complexity Theory, this is an effort, largely by University of Michigan research- ers, relocated in the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico, to find common principles underlying wildly different types of complex systems: the rise of civilizations, immune responses in animals, origin of human languages, artificial intelligence programs, network traffic flow on the internet, and others. A number of systems concepts have been made more precise, mainly because this group had cheap powerful personal and parallel computing tools available that none of the previous groups had. Later in this article I define a number of the con- cepts they refined: supercritical systems, edge of chaos, order parameter, avalanche events, fractal growth, and others. Recently this effort, too, has been criticized for producing a lot of promises but few new concepts and no new methods other than cellular automata models (Wolfram, 1994) on personal computers.

While I was a graduate student at the University of Michigan, in 1983, I took courses from John Holland on genetic computation systems. At nearly the same time I was working as Manager of Artificial Intelligence computing applications at the computer subsidiary of General Motors, EDS (where my group created the first object-oriented genetic artificial intel- ligence rulebase for automating CAD design of truck spring systems). I took turns driving to work with a partner, Marciel Losada, who was introducing Varela’s autopoesis theory

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Copyright 2006 by Richard Tabor Greene, All Rights Reserved, US Government Registered

(discussed later in this article, see Goodwin, 1994) to those people beginning to plan the creation of what became the Santa Fe Institute. Holland’s genetic computer programs were pop- ulations that competed with successful members reproducing more than unsuccessful ones. Varela’s theory emphasized how living systems maintain themselves by repair, reproduction, and learning. Complexity theory arose from combining Holland’s kind of computer model with Varela’s kind of theorizing about living system capabilities. Complexity theory has, as of yet, failed to create new concepts or tools that ordinary employees can apply to improve work systems.

Why have these four efforts at a systems theory not had more impact and permanence? One reason, surely, is none of them arose from actual solving of our systems problems as societ-


They arose from intellectual interests of researchers and never were able to offer concrete methods to solve societal, business, and economic systems problems.

There is an interesting story here (Obloj et al, 1995). Deming, Juran, and Feigenbaum, three US scientists invented total quality control, in the late 1940s. It was not at all popular in the US. However, Dr. Deming went to Japan and it became very popular in Japan. What was new about total quality was it took the responsibility for quality from a profession, called Qual- ity Assurance, and gave that responsibility to entire workforces. It also had a social methodology of making every workgroup in the company do research on its own work processes, continually improving them. It had a technical methodology of statistical process control and Taguchi experiment design. It made each employee responsible for how the entire work process impacted the final customers of the company. Before, each employee was responsible only for his or her own section of that process. Technical methods (to find which steps in a work process caused customers to be dissatisfied with characteristics of what the process produced) were provided in total quality. In fact, total quality took a systems view of busi- nesses and work processes. In the mid-1980s it became a world wide hit, with companies everywhere copying Japan’s success with total quality. Why was total quality developed well in Japan before interest in it developed elsewhere?

Many now say that something in the systems viewpoint that total quality contains, matched a systems feeling to inter-company, inter-industry, inter-person relationships in Japan (Coo- per, 1995; Choi et al, 1995; Hamilton and Sanders, 1992; Maruyama, 1992). That is total quality gave form to a systems part of Japanese culture.

A student of Forrester, at MIT, Peter Senge made the systems software that they developed into a seminar for giving business managers a systems common sense. However, few compa- nies were interested and for years this seminar had marginal interest and impact. Then, in the mid-1980s, because of Japanese competition, total quality gurus--Deming, Juran, and Feigenbaum--became very popular. Thousands of companies hired them and their kind of systems view of the workplace became what every company implemented. This frustrated the systems dynamics people greatly. [In fact, if you go hear Prof. Senge speak, he rants against all the quality people while himself using their systems perspectives.] Why did the quality gurus succeed in making systems approaches popular where the systems people, four different sets of them, have not?

The quality people had a social method of whole workforce and every workgroup participation and a technical method of statistical modeling and measurement of work processes and customer requirements. These tools were practical and any worker could learn and apply them. The systems movements never had tools that every worker could learn and apply.

Unfortunately, the total quality people tended to stay in businesses, never seeing the wider applications of their systems way of working. Only recently have people begun expanding total quality methods to handle other kinds of quality issue, in, what is called, the Global Quality movement. I present more on that later.

Another reason systems science efforts produced more hope than accomplishment was the self-contradictory nature of the term “systems expert”. The term “systems” applies to all col- lections of many things interacting complexly, hence, nearly everything, big and small, in the universe. The term “expert” applies to people who focus on some part of the universe in a lasting and deep way. Hence, people who are “systems experts” must either not be experts or must be experts but not in handling all systems.

This is related to key steps in the Evolutionary Engineering process model, presented later in this article. A key step is selecting critical variables to collect data on and pay attention to. How does the human ecologist know, in a system of tens of millions of variables, which ones are high leverage, which few suffice to affect the overall outcome you are interested in? The answer to this question largely determines the structure of education required of working human ecologists. It turns out that it takes years of study of a discipline to learn what vari- ables are key in various situations. That means human ecologists, necessarily, must master one disciplinary area at significant depth, even though they must, in order to act as human ecologists, be generally conversant and ready to recognize key variables from a dozen other different fields.

A human ecologist must master the 18 bodies of knowledge presented later in this paper and the ten steps of the Evolutionary Engineering process, also presented later. Foreign lan- guage and computer simulation and gaming literacy are also required, as minima for participating in all systems with global and data components. Two things, in addition to these four General Foundations (18 bodies of knowledge, Evolutionary Engineering process, computer and foreign language literacy) are also required: mastery of a disciplinary skill area and mastery of an application area.

The disciplinary skill might be macroeconomics of trade or microeconomics of village agriculture. The application area might be mediation of international territory conflicts or design of urban settlement zoning laws. What is essential is general education (the four General Foundations) is not enough. Students must develop a first class skill level in a traditional dis- cipline of knowledge like economics, political science, management, or the like. Students must also develop a first class mastery of an area of application (of skills). In general, it works nicely if freshmen and sophomore years are dedicated to the General Foundations and junior and senior years are dedicated to specialization in a skill area and an area of application.

There are naive students who want to work in the United Nations and who therefore study international organizations for four years. Unfortunately, when they interview for a job with the United Nations, the least necessary background is knowledge of the United Nations. The United Nations itself knows a lot about itself and can readily teach itself to anyone. It hires people with skills that it wants but does not easily develop inside itself. To get hired by an international organization you generally need a skill they do not now have enough of.

Similarly, developing a great skill fails you in job interviews if you have no imagination of how to apply it. Organizations hesitate to employ, even impressive skills, if the person being interviewed shows no evidence of knowing what use that skill is to the world of work. Hence, students, to interview well, need to evince mastery of the General Foundations of human ecology, a key disciplinary skill area, and a key application area.

Evolutionary Engineers have mastered 6 things: 4 General Foundations (18 bodies of knowledge, the Evolutionary Engi-

neering process’ ten steps, computer gaming/simulation, and foreign language literacy) plus skill in a discipline and mas-

tery of an application area.

Table 1:



many variables influence any one variable

distribution of causes principle; distribution of solutions principle; depth of causes principle; depth of solutions principle

self-organizing patterns

horizontal cascade processes (Quality Function Deployment); vertical cascade processes (Policy Deploy- ment)

each part of system responsible for the whole process and its final result

customer satisfaction as the primary measure of how well all work and roles are done

system boundary open to environ-ment

inter-organizational processes across supply chains; cross-functional management

gigantic reactions to small local actions

root causes identified that unleash disproportionate change

variation in system outcomes

statistical control of the processes which produce outcomes

local unit inter-actions producing large scale outcomes

quality circles; workgroup problem solving teams; cross-functional teams;

Towards a Theory of Surprises

Since so much of life is managed by government, university, or corporate bureaucracy, and since the thing bureaucracies most dread is surprise, one practical outcome of systems science has been much valued--a theory of surprises. One positive outcome of the Senge work (Senge, 1990) was a list of ten ways that systems effects surprise people used to living in linear simplifications of the real world:

Delayed Feedback--Surprised by Delay--person takes action, sees little initial response, takes more action, but is over-

whelmed by robust but delayed response

Self-Reinforcing Growth--Surprised by Switch from Positive to Negative Feedback--person takes action, that makes

more action easier, person takes more action, cycle repeats till suddenly more action makes further action harder, till no

action is possible

Solving Symptoms--Surprised by Fundamental Cause Being Unchanged and Atrophy of Fundamental Solving Capabili-

ties--person takes short term immediate action to handle symptom of problem, that works so is repeated, deeper solving

capabilities, unused, atrophy, till the fundamental cause overwhelms short term actions

Outside Intervention Dependency--Surprised by Never Being Able to Solve Things Yourself--person sees problem, does

not know solution, asks outsider for help, repeats this whenever the problem appears, never learns to solve themselves.

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Copyright 2006 by Richard Tabor Greene, All Rights Reserved, US Government Registered

Redefining Away Problems--Surprised by Regular Solving Actions Making the Problem Much Worse--person sees

problem, person tries short term solution and person lowers performance standards, this repeats till person finds stan-

dards have become so low that solution is no longer possible.

Price or Performance Wars--Surprised by Parties Competing Till Both Fail--person takes action, person sees competi-

tor match that action, person takes more action, sees competitor match, this cycles till both are unable to succeed.

Rich Get Richer or Lock In--Surprised by the First or the Wealthier Getting More and More Advantage--person takes

action, competitor matches that action, first actor gets big advantage, so takes more action, getting more advantage, so

other party never can succeed.

Overfishing as Incentive to Overfish--Surprised by What is Personally Rational Ruining Success by All--person takes

from commons, competitors take from commons, person, seeing less available to take from commons, tries harder, com-

petitors try harder, till nothing is left in the commons.

Ignoring Costs of Fixes--Surprised by Cost of Solution Being Worse than Original Problem--person tries solution that

has cost or delayed negative side-effect, solution works so is tried again, this repeats till enormous costs/side-effects

overwhelm in importance the original problem.

Unnecessary Diminishing Returns--Surprised by Greater Performance Available from New Investment that Was Never

Made Because Diminishing Returns from First Investment Made Further Investment Look Risky--person invests, per-

son gets good returns, person invests more, gets more returns, this repeats till suddenly more investment produces less

results, this repeats till person gives up investment altogether, but large increment in investment would have produced

more increases in return, yet large increment in investment was never thought of.

People, capable of handling linear models of their world, have a hard time living in a world that is basically non-linear. They are continually surprised in the above ten ways. The result is people who experience different amounts, timings, and kinds of non-linearity in their lives develop different linear models of what the world and life are like. These images of life and the world come as valid generalizations of personal experience that has been limited to a small part of non-linear system behavior (the items below are modifications of models by Thompson et al, 1990).

Fatalists--Overwhelmed by System’s Non-Linear Responses--nature is randomly delivered goods, human effort is

futile; people act only out of self-interest; human nature is unpredictable; neither your needs nor resources can be man-


Egalitarians--Frightened by Smallness of Stable Linear Part of Overall Non-Linear System--nature is a hidden hand

that makes small actions into big disasters, humans must look out for each other all the time; people can act out of

wanting the good of the group; people are born good, corrupted by institutions; you can manage your needs but not

your resources

Individualists--Enjoying Non-responsiveness of System to Experimental Local Linear Actions--nature is a hidden hand

that makes small mistakes turn out all right, nature is responsive to our degree of skill and effort; people act only out of

self-interest; human nature is unaffected by institutions; you can manage your resources but not your needs

Hierarchists--Well Aware of Boundaries of Safe Linear Actions within the System--nature is safe within such-and-such

bounds and dangerous outside those bounds, humans must learn and obey limits; people can act out of wanting the

good of the group; human nature is a layered system, some parts good, some parts bad, therefore needing order outside;

you can manage both your needs and your resources not now but over time by a career within an ordered hierarchy

Hermits--Reject Entire System as Unreliable and Unnecessary--man and nature are one and social interaction hides us

from that truth, hence withdrawal is good; you can manage both your needs and resources but more resources requires

interacting with others, hence reducing needs is helpful.

The actual world we live in is non-linear so that at some periods of your life you may get overwhelmed by system non-linear responses (the fatalist’s experience), or you may get fright- ened by the smallness of the stable linear part of life you depend on and control (the egalitarian’s experience), or you may enjoy the freedom to do what you want caused by the part of the system you are in not responding much to local errors that you make (the individualist’s experience) or you might see clear boundaries within which action is safe and beyond which action is treacherous (the hierarchist’s experience) or finally, you might reject the entire non-linear system you are in as an illusion (the hermit’s experience). Each of these responses is rational if you experience that aspect of non-linear system behavior it is based on.

These five ways of life are valid generalizations from the experiences they are based on yet they misrepresent the entire panorama of non-linear system behavior in our world. They are based on small parts of non-linear system behavior. Surprises, then, come from our present experiences presenting to us aspects of non-linear system behavior that we did not encoun- ter in our past. That means the way of life we built, based on the past part of non-linear system behavior that we experienced, does not handle well the new aspect of non-linear system behavior we are now experiencing. Such a mis-match between our way of life and our present situation creates major surprises about how life is and who we are.

If we assume the environment that people live in is a non-linear combination of many non-linear systems, then people can expect four types of treatment by their environment--small actions sometimes have good consequences, sometimes bad, one cannot predict (the fatalist’s experience); small actions have giant unpredictable bad consequences, don’t trust the world (the egalitarian’s experience); small and large actions both produce largely good consequences, anything goes (the individualist’s experience); and finally, actions up to a certain size are okay, after that things are dangerous (the hierarchist’s experience). Each way of life is supported by encountering the type of environment it is based on and is surprised by encountering any of the other environments. That means 4 ways of life each encountering 3 types of non-fitting environments equals 12 types of surprise.

Fatalists encountering consistently large bad consequences of small actions, find life and they are unlucky (surprise type 1: unlucky), encountering good outcomes from any action, find they and life are lucky (surprise type 2: lucky), encountering good outcomes from small actions but bad ones from larger ones, find they and life have unknown principles (surprise type 3: unknowns). Egalitarians encountering the lack of pattern and predictability of reactions to small actions, find care and caution do not work (surprise type 4: futile care); encounter- ing good outcomes from any action, find irresponsibility is rewarded (surprise type 5: care is punished); encountering good outcomes from small actions but bad outcomes from larger ones, find temporary leeway (surprise type 6: headed for trouble). Individualists encountering lack of pattern and predictability of reactions to small actions, find skill unrewarded (sur- prise type 7: effort futile); encountering consistently large bad consequences of small actions, find skill is punished (surprise type 8: skill is dangerous); encountering small actions are good but larger ones produce bad outcomes, find limits to growth (surprise type 9: growth limits. Hierarchists encountering unpredictable outcomes find no rules (surprise type 10:

unfathomable universe); encountering bad consequences of even small actions find life and self are not worth living (surprise type 11: collapse); encountering good consequences of nearly all actions, find self and life are unnecessary (surprise type 12: why bother).

When people encounter the Senge ten surprise types or the twelve surprise types immediately above, their commitment to their way of life is weakened. They become ready to change, if more data disconfirms what their way of life has caused them to expect.

The Evolutionary Engineer designs tactics to handle the 22 types of surprise that linear people living in a non-linear sys-

tems world can expect to experience.

How Human Ecologists Differ From Ecologists

One of the most important confusions about the field called human ecology is how it differs from the field called ecology. Hawley, in his famous book on defining human ecology,

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Copyright 2006 by Richard Tabor Greene, All Rights Reserved, US Government Registered

starts by saying that the first point in explaining human ecology is realizing how humans are different than animals. The primary difference, he says, are humans live in more types of environments and some of those environments are more complicated than the environments that animals live in. Human ecology deals with interactions between people and all ten of the environments that they live in, while ecology deals with humans and animals and the natural environments that they live in. Note that there are more than one kind of natural envi- ronment.

Animals can be said to live in the last four environments, and certain animals have a sense of self, family, and society. There are differences of degree, however, so that human selves, families, and societies are more complex than animal ones. Also, human interventions in man-made nature, gaia, wild nature, and the cosmos dwarf in complexity and power animal interventions. When we get to media, real differences of degree become apparent. Animal use of tools, languages, and cultural rituals and rites is immensely simpler than human use.

Human ecologists begin their work by selecting a reflexive evolving system that they want to fix or create or influence. Their second step is selecting environments, from these ten, that are relevant. Ecologists can largely ignore the three media environments and concentrate on the other seven, when dealing with ecosystems having monkeys, apes, and sea mammals. When dealing with other creatures, however, only the four nature environments pertain.

Human ecologists differ from ecologists in the number and type of environments they must examine in order to influence or create a situation.








tools and artifacts

information and language



man-made nature

gaia (how life has changed wild nature to suit itself)

wild nature



Evolutionary Engineers select reflexively evolving phenomena to create, design, modify, or influence, then select the envi-

ronments relevant to those phenomena.

A Brief Survey of Ecological Models in Various Disciplines

It is worth noting that ecological models became quite popular in many different fields, in the 1980s, as the world-wide environment movement succeeded in gaining increasing political

power. Because the idea of systems effects has been made popular by the environment movement, many people confuse systems concepts with environment concepts. least, environments that people live in. Each of those environments as well as combinations of them support many systems dynamics.

There are ten, at

The chart below mentions--there is not space in this article to explain--some of the common ecological-systems models now popular in various academic fields of study. That does not mean these models are the best or even are true. It just means that people are finding it creative and insightful to examine familiar issues from the viewpoint of ecosystem, evolution, and non-linear system dynamics. For students it does mean that if you master systems simulation, gaming, and modeling, you will be able to make intellectual contributions to nearly any intellectual field.






New Age music (Harris, 1993)


Danced Composing of Music or Lightworks (Harris, 1993)

plastic arts

Interactive Populations of Exhibits; Agent Sculpture (Harris, 1993)



societies as niches in historical evolution (Back, 1994)



evolution of memes (Dennett, 1995)



genres as ecosystems (Dennett, 1995)



renormalization groups (Caudill and Butler, 1990)


self-catalyzing chemical sets (Kauffman, 1993)



theoretical biology of self-organizing systems (Wolters et al, 1995)



lock in and the evolution of technologies (Arthur, 1994; Waldrop, 1994)


social role sets as ecosystems (Dennett, 1995)


political science

elections as evolutionary interest competitions (Somit, 1992)


cultures as evolving ecosystems (Altman, 1984)



markets as ecosystems (Weibull, 1995; Casson, 1990; Costanza, 1991)


evolutionary dynamics of disease distribution (Dawkins, 1995)


justice as niche in ecosystem of imagined allocative preferences (Dennett, 1995)


social work

selves as dissipative structures; ecological modes of self change via affordance/attunement shifts (Klar et al, 1992)


public health

ecological disease reservoirs in populations

public administration/pol- icy studies

policy positions as niches in ecosystem of interest space (Sklair, 1991; Haas, 1990)

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Design Arts


occupant redesignable spaces (Treib and Herman, 1980)


path-complete garden design (Treib and Herman, 1980)


diversity banks (Hochberg et al, 1996)



social attention as genetic competition among drives/stimuli (Jackendoff, 1994)


messages/advertisements as niches in customer interest space; news & fad avalanche events (Kauffman, 1993)



indices as fitness peaks in attention space (Natarajan, 1995)



populations of nano machines as ecosystems (Dowla, 1995)


genetic optimization (Dowla, 1995)


cellular automata simulations of turbulent air flow (Chambers, 1995)



genetic logic gate arrays (Back, 1996)



evolving programs (Back, 1996)


network message traffic as ecosystem (Huberman, 1988)



OBVIOUS (Hochberg et al, 1996)

ary Sciences

urban planning

fractal growth of cities (Savitch, 1988; Suzuki et al, 1987)

international relations

power balances as niches in ecosystem of competing interests (Sklair, 1991)


Evolutionary Engineers contribute to any field of knowledge that they choose to concentrate on.

Some Intellectual Roots

There is no agreed on philosophy or intellectual history of systems concepts. So instead of trying to give form to something inherently formless, below I mention a few sources of philosophical and careful thinking about life and the world. These form, for me, a useful context for thinking about humans and the systems they live in.

Hannah Arendt contributes four key concepts to our understanding of systems. She distinguishes (Arendt, 1958) labor (expending energy for keeping alive) from work (erecting a sec- ond “artificial” world that humans live in instead of living in raw nature) and from action (disclosing oneself before peers in word and deeds that initiate into existence among humans the utterly new, setting into motion changes whose consequences are unpredictable). She shows how the risk and uncertainty, the unbounded responsibility of action scare people and human institutions so that they want and try to make all of life into work, removing the image, the dream, the memory of action. Since, however, action is an inherent part of the human condition, it cannot be effectively eliminated, and if not collectively inspired and influenced, terrible forms of it happen as if by chance.

In our desire to design, control, influence, and manage systems (that are non-linear), we are, in part, trying to turn action into work. That is always somewhat unrealistic--hoping to remove some permanent unpredictabilities from our world.

The second idea she introduces relative to systems (Arendt, 1958) is a certain process, recurrent in history, the revolution process. We liberate ourselves (from old ways of doing things that have become oppressive), experience the happiness of freedom (collectively with peers creating new power from nothing by making promises to each other that we carry out), which happiness creates in other people historic dreams (our actions here and now showing other people around the globe new possibilities for their lives), allowing us to found things, that is usher into human history the utterly new (which must be “conserved”--protected--from the forces of tradition and which is “liberal”--utterly new to human existence.

Most actions merely disclose their enactors as distinguished, glorious ones among us. A few of such actions change the imaginations and aspirations of people around the world. These are revolutionary actions. In the context of this paper, they are interventions into the non-linear systems that our world is that create spontaneous new patterns of overall order or immense collapsing avalanche events.

The third idea she contributes to understanding systems (Arendt, 1961) is the self-emergence of human freedom after or during wars of liberation throughout human history. Unfortu- nately, such spontaneous appearances of freedom were usually systematically destroyed by liberators. It appears that many liberators want to throw out old systems in order to impose their own imaginations on other people. Such pseudo-liberators do not embrace the spontaneous emergence of self-governing bodies after old orders fall. She showed how the fall of the Tsars in Russia was followed in hours by the emergence all over Russia of self-governing councils, called soviets, that Lenin spent the next six years eliminating in a war, no longer of liberation from the Tsars, but of liberation from the ideas and initiative of the Russian people themselves.

The self-organizing nature of complex systems, and the self-emergence of complex patterned behavior in systems, have been accepted in non-human systems much more than they have been accepted in human systems. There is a new way of leading that is appearing today. New leaders include people who can notice self-organizing forces in human organizations and strengthen them and build on them, instead of imposing the ideas of a few on other people.

Arendt’s fourth contribution to understanding systems (Arendt, 1961) is her criticism of how modern society, having given up being a community of peers speaking and acting before each other in political life, having instead dedicated itself to economic consumption, invented “childhood” as a separate world that young humans spend time in, separated from the world of labor, work, and action. The result, she says, is each new generation is educated about everything except effective acting in the actual world that humans create. Our failures to design and handle well the non-linear systems of our world in part come from keeping our young humans inhuman by separating them for years from the human condition, their only responsibility being to memorize verbal formulas about a world they are not allowed to participate in.

Talcott Parsons contributed a key concept for understanding systems. He presented action factors in society, huge impressive implementation machineries that got things done. He pointed out that their work and products were valueless unless the code factors they were based on were correct. Getting social codes correct before acting makes the difference between much result from little work and much work producing little result.

The code factors, that he mentions, correspond to knowing the dynamics of a non-linear system well enough to know when one of its variables is near, in value, to a magnitude that will cause general system avalanche events or spontaneous rearrangement of the entire system into a new order.

Ron Burt (Ron Burt, 1994) created the idea of structural holes in the network of human relationships that make up any group of people. Where one set or ideas, technologies, needs, or persons are well connected to several particular groups but not to others, bridging connections, over those holes, to those other groups can revolutionize relationships throughout the community. This is just the sociological network way of describing the code factors mentioned by Parsons above.

Finally, Varela, a Chilean philosopher, talked about fields making use of objects that come into them to enact certain behaviors inherent in those fields. Living things, from this view- point, are systems that maintain themselves actively by repair, reproduction, and learning new responses to their environments and how to find or create new environments (a process he called “autopoesis”). They are fields that use intruding objects and forces to maintain themselves. This viewpoint is the opposite of the usual one in science--reality is objects that passively get affected by forces transmitted by other objects. Things in usual science are objects; things in Varela’s science are fields that maintain themselves.

Japanese roots of systems thinking are impressive. First, article 10 of Prince Shotoku’s constitution for Japan describes Japanese society as a ring without end, to be undisturbed by personal opinions or feelings of rightness. Second, the collective responsibility system of Hideyoshi, made whole towns and villages responsible that no violations of laws took place. Populations were mutually responsible for designing, monitoring, and enforcing processes to conform to such laws. Responsibility was not fragmented by individual wrong-doer. Nishida Kitaro in his book Nihon Bunka No Mondai (Nishida, 1958) presented the manyness becomes one principle upon which Oriental culture was based. This referred to how many causes produce any one result, in contrast with Western culture’s interest in finding only one or two causes of any one result. Finally, Maruyama, Magoroh (Maruyama, 1992), at Aoyama Gakuin University, has, for 30 years, been one of the world’s most creative systems theorists. His typology of systems types, which he calls “mindscapes”, are still a good ini- tiation to systems theory.

The Evolutionary Engineering Process

1.Evolving Phenomena: Select Area of Interest The first step taken by Evolutionary Engineers is selecting a part of the world to influence, modify, change, or create. Evolutionary Engineers specialize in handling parts of the world that evolve reflexively. This rules out designing televisions, furniture, and the like. It rules in a great many phenomena: selves, families, communities, tools, fashions, technologies, media, cultures, landscapes, ecosystems, entertainment, welfare needs, policies, international relations, markets, consumer tastes, and cities, for example. 2.Environments: Select Relevant Environments The second step taken by Evolutionary Engineers is selecting which of the ten possible environments are most appropriate for understanding the part of the world chosen in the first

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step. Some problems will require only one environment to be considered; others will require several or all of the ten. 3.System Sciences: Understand System Dynamics

The third step of the Evolutionary Engineer is to apply the system sciences to understanding the dynamics of the part of the world and the environments chosen in steps one and two above. Here it is the behaviors that the whole system is capable of and the initial and final conditions that the system shifts among that are learned. Later, knowledge of specific vari- ables for influencing this system level behavior will be studied.

Non-linear systems theory includes such concepts as state-space, attractors, and trajectories through state spaces towards various kinds of attractors. Complexity theory includes such concepts as managing systems to the edge of chaos, finding order parameters that adjust a system between order and chaos, and avalanche events of spontaneous state change in a sys- tem. General systems theory includes concepts such as self-organizing systems, systems that spontaneously, without anyone planning ahead of time, shift everywhere into complex ordered patterned states. Evolution, ecology, and human ecology theory include concepts such as affordances, the uses for an organism offered by an environment, attunements, the abil- ity of an organism to find and recognize affordances, and effectivities, the benefits and capabilities an organism enjoys once it recognizes and uses affordances in its environment. The- oretical biology includes such concepts as Lamarkian inheritance--inheritance of learned behaviors from parent to child.

4.Algorithmic Sciences: Understand Information Dynamics

In this step the Evolutionary Engineer examines system dynamics for the role that messages and information play in sustaining and causing sequences of events and shifts of overall sys- tem state. Usually the understanding gained here of what information gets transferred when particular systems phenomena appear prepares the way for more precise determining of key variables in later steps of this process.

The algorithmic sciences include biological forms of information processing. This is the various computers that for millions of years have operated in the biological world, before man created machines that compute. For example, DNA is a program, read by a complicated computer in each egg, that computes the adult form of an animal. Similarly, the bees in a hive compute where nectar is from aspects of a dance done by honey bees inside the hive. Social information processing deals with the various computers that have existed for millions of years inside the social interactions among animals and persons. For example, animals compute the size and quality of personal territories for foraging or hunting via a social process of signs, signals, and fights. Adaptive computation is a human area of knowledge devoted to computations done by combining many thousands of small agents, each capable of pattern rec- ognition, learning, or adaptation. Genetic algorithms, evolving cellular automata, and evolving neural nets are three types of adaptive computation. Data gathering and analysis is usual linear statistics and the skills of gathering data for such statistical analysis: surveying, sampling, interviewing, measurement.

Gaming and simulation are an increasingly important part of the algorithmic sciences. A hierarchy of types of games that evolve gradually into simulations exists. This allows people to start out building simple games to understand a phenomenon, then add more players, intelligent agents against which those players play, then networked people and communities against which to play, till finally, no “game” aspects remain and whole communities of people are playing with each other to simulate a biological, social, or informational system and its dynamics.


one person against non-learning game environment

several non-cooperating persons against non-learning game environment

several cooperating persons against non-learning game environment

network connected cooperating persons against non-learning game environment

single person against single learning game agent

several non-cooperating persons against learning game agent

several cooperating persons against learning game agent

network connected cooperating persons against learning game agent

single person against several non-cooperating game agents

several non-cooperating persons against several non-cooperating game agents

several cooperating persons against several non-cooperating game agents

network connected cooperating persons against several non-cooperating game agents

single person against several cooperating game agents

several non-cooperating persons against several cooperating game agents

several cooperating persons against several cooperating game agents

network connected cooperating persons against cooperating game agents

single person against other person and learning game agent

several non-cooperating persons against other person and learning game agent

several cooperating persons against other person and learning game agent

network connected cooperating persons against other person and learning game agent

single person against non-cooperating other persons and learning game agents

several non-cooperating persons against non-cooperating other persons and learning game agents

several cooperating persons against non-cooperating other persons and learning game agents

several network connected persons against non-cooperating other persons and learning game agents

single person against cooperating persons and learning game agents

several non-cooperating persons against cooperating persons and learning game agents

several cooperating persons against cooperating persons and learning game agents

network connected persons against cooperating persons and learning game agents

Note that the last few levels in the progression above amount to groups of people, connected to each other with groupware software, doing real work together across computer networks. In other words simple games can be incrementally enhanced till they become real people doing work together. In this way gaming can evolve to simulations which then evolve into doing real work. This is a natural environment for educating people.

5.Arts and Sciences: Choose Key Variables

This was discussed earlier in this article. Evolutionary Engineers, after understanding system dynamics and the information flows within them, must search through the hundreds of variables in the system in order to find a few variables that have greater than average influence on the outcomes that the Evolutionary Engineer wants to create or influence. Finding key variables in a complex system generally requires deep knowledge of one or more academic disciplines. The arts and sciences have knowledge that directs the Evolutionary Engineer’s attention to some variables rather than others. Since the arts and sciences are well known parts of any college curriculum I will not explain them further here.

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6.Applied Sciences: Choose Key Variables

The Evolutionary Engineer, after selecting some key variables using knowledge from one or more of the arts and sciences, turns to the applied sciences to select other key variables. Generally a different type of key variable is found in the applied sciences than is found in the arts and sciences. The applied sciences include more of the real world, politics, limited budgets, persuading other people kinds of factors that help actually change the world. Key factors found here more the Evolutionary Engineer closer to being able to influence the key variables found in the arts and sciences. Since the applied sciences are well known parts of college curricula everywhere I will not explain them further here.

7.Implementation Sciences: Change Key Variables

The Evolutionary Engineer wants to influence a part of the world, modify it, improve it, stop it, or create a new part of the world. This requires knowledge of how to actually do things in the world. There are sciences that pertain to changing the world. Knowing the key variables from the previous two steps, in this step the Evolutionary Engineer constructs forces capable of implementing change in the real world by affecting those key variables’ values.

Design science (including parts of architecture, business, and the arts) teaches how to find and specify what customers want and how to combine resources in an efficient process to produce something that satisfies that want. Organization science teaches how to structure a group of humans into departments, processes, and events in such a way as to effectively perform design work. Management science teaches how to operate organizations that exist as well as how to bring new ones into existence, such as venture businesses, so as to get the departments, processes, and events that do design work, to work well. Cultivation science (including parts of human services, agriculture, biology, and psychology) teaches how to grow and nourish things that evolve and reproduce. It is equivalent to design science in some ways. It involves designing a nurturing process. Policy science involves design and nur- ture of the processes by which to manage how human communities find problems, recognize problems, reach decisions, implement solutions, change directions, and develop new capa- bilities.

8.Quality Sciences: Insure Customer Satisfaction The larger contexts of life and work--the meaning of life, fairness among people, justice, ethical values, spiritual depths to life--are essential in order for change in the world to last.

Unfair changes tend to be undone over time as people dislike them. Spiritually shallow ways of living tend to be rejected as people find them unfulfilling. Unethical deals tend to cre-

ate court cases and bad publicity when they are discovered.

So to make a change last, it has to be grounded in deep values and respect for all forms of life.

Evolutionary Engineers in this step apply Global Quality’s ten perspectives to three things: one, evaluate ends and means; two, create movements to implement change using Manage- ment as Movement Building techniques; and three, manage processes so that combinations of local actors produce un-designed patterns of great creativity using the Social Cellular Automata Process. Global Quality is a system for measuring customer satisfaction and identifying which steps of an implementation process produced the aspect of the output of that process that dissatisfied the customer. Management as Movement Building is a way of getting change to occur without requiring that existing bureaucratic organizations go away. It gives a new role to leaders, making them designers of procedures in mass workshop events, and it gives a new role to followers, making them designers of solutions using those proce- dures. The Social Cellular Automata Process is a democratic way of getting ordinary people to design solutions rather than getting them to merely implement elite leader ideas.


This step is an overall result of the previous 8 steps--the creation of new knowledge. Evolutionary Engineers discover the origins of complex systems and the precise dynamics by which they learn and evolve.

10. Action

Another overall result of the above 8 steps is action--changes in the world. There are four kinds of action produced by Evolutionary Engineers: design of evolving things like fashions, technologies, housing, communities, events, institutions; management of evolving processes like careers, parenting, lifecourses of people and populations; organization of cities, inter- national institutions and relations, ecosystems; and cultivation of health, nutrition, human service, and well being.

A Note on Using the Evolutionary Engineering Process

When a person or group wishes to solve a problem or create something new in society, that is itself reflexively evolving or that is in something that reflexively evolves, the Evolution- ary Engineering process should be used. Evolutionary Engineering differs from Ecological Engineering in that all ten environment types of human ecology pertain, whereas ecological engineering restricts itself to the 4 natural environment types. Hence, Evolutionary Engineering adds algorithmic, implementation, quality, and applied sciences that are omitted from nearly all ecological engineering work.

There are two or three ways Evolutionary Engineering can be used. First, you can apply it to designing a solution; second you can apply it to building a policy coalition that supports that solution; and third you can apply it to implement that solution. However, properly understood, it is a new way of mobilizing many people to do work that formerly was done by only a few. Understood that way, proper use of it eliminates the need for three separate and sequential applications of it. Done properly it needs to be applied only once. In such uses, enough different parties, interest groups, and stakeholders are engaged early enough in the ten steps of the process that implementors, policy supporters, and idea creators/refiners all work together from the start applying the Evolutionary Engineering process. Failure to include the right people early on, leads to using the process three times as mentioned above.

A Provisional 200 Concept Knowledgebase for Human Ecology

Below, I present several of the ten concepts in each body of knowledge shown in the corresponding figure. I know very well that there are more than ten key concepts in each body of knowledge. However, space limits what I can present in this brief article. To understand how these concepts are used, refer to the section above on the Evolutionary Engineering pro- cess.

EVOLUTIONARY ENGINEERING. Populations of computer programs that mutate and compete to reproduce are a way of Evolutionarily Engineering software systems. Chemicals that randomly combine and reproduce via self-catalyzing reactions are a way of Evolutionarily Engineering new chemical traits. People that offer products and services and bid for products and services in markets are a way of Evolutionarily Engineering economic growth. Organizations that make all employees business unit managers or venture business founders at age 40 in a “silicon valley” around their firm are a way of Evolutionarily Engineering innovation. In this way Evolutionary Engineering creates innovation quite generally.

GAMING. (Weibull, 1995; Sigmund, 1993) There are new types of games including the following. In one type, the moves that players make are changing how populations evolve. Several populations compete with each other and players adjust mutation rates, genetic cross-over rates, and other foundations of the evolution process. There are also games in which human players select one or more of several pre-built roles to play. Also people invent new roles. These role-play games teach by helping people experience the systems effects that are responsible for other people’s views and values. Cellular automata games teach a new way to manage systems, by adjusting local unit capabilities rather than imposing leader ideas. Such games have grids of squares, like a checkerboard, that allow human players to define various things--a distribution of types of agent on certain squares, states those agents can have, neighboring regions affected by those states, and ways the state of one agent on one square affects the states of other agents on neighboring regions.

COMPLEXITY THEORY. (Kauffman, 1993; Waldrop, 1994; Emmeche, 1994; Holland, 1996; Mittenthal et al, 1992) The butterfly effect refers to sensitivity of non-linear systems to initial conditions, so that a butterfly in Brazil flapping its wings once upward, changes the weather in Japan, a month later. Optimal diversity (how many types of population suffice to make a system’s overall patterns stable), optimal patchings (how many local centers of initiative make a system’s overall ability to find an optimum state for all its members optimal), and optimal order (how many things can any one thing in the system be connected to in order to optimize the complexity of overall system behavior) refer to the degree of connected- ness between items in a system. As the number of other items any one item is connected to increases, the system’s overall behavior does not change smoothly, but suddenly jumps from one overall pattern into entirely different ones. Finding just the right amount of connectedness is hard--too little connectedness and one action here and now affects nearly nothing else in the system, too much connectedness and any one action here and now changes nearly everything in the system so total chaos ensues.

ENVIRONMENT TYPES. These are the three personal environment types (self, family, society), media types (artifacts and tools, information and language, and memes and cultures), and the 4 natural types (man-made nature, nature-made nature--gaia, wild nature, and the cosmos).

BIOLOGICAL INFORMATION PROCESSING. (Chambers, 1995) People wrongly assume that only computers process information. Biological organisms have been processing information for millions of years. Sets of chemicals that catalyze the formation of themselves form a self-reproduction chemical computer. Sets of chemicals that catalyze the forma- tion of themselves and that have the ability to react to their environments and remember environment encounters constitute life itself. Life is a kind of self-reproducing computer. Get- ting adult plant forms out of DNA plus the computer for reading DNA that is in a plant’s seeds is a form of biological information processing. Species that enter an ecosystem and find other species that they can eat and other species that they can hide behind is a biological way of computing niches from species needs.

SOCIAL INFORMATION PROCESSING. (Swedberg, 1993; Wellman and Berkowitz, 1988; Wrong, 1994) People wrongly assume that computers are single entities. Societies of organisms have been processing information for millions of years. The computation each individual in a species makes about whom to mate is social information processing. Treating every member of a human workforce as a computer by assigning processing procedures to sets of people and designing whom such sets of people hand the results of their processing to for further processing creates a social form of computation among people. Combining companies from different industries to examine human needs no one industry can deal with, results in social computation of new product types, like automobile navigation. It is a form of social computation.

TYPES OF SIMULATION. (Emmeche, 1994) Creating in computers entities that have all the characteristics we use to define “life” means creating artificial worlds populated by new kinds of living system, having sensation, intelligence, and purpose. This field is called artificial life research. Social simulations are different. In them people study a system to find all the key roles in it, the interaction of which, produces its major dynamics. Then, instead of using computers, individual people or groups of people play those roles. This allows social simulation of how a system looks and feels to people who occupy different roles in it. Virtual sociality is the construction of societies on the internet with housing, jobs, events invented by members electronically; social virtuality is devising new kinds of human interaction, possible across the internet that are not possible face to face.

The reader, here, must not confuse the process of systems modeling with the Evolutionary Engineering process. Systems modeling is done in step 3 of the evolutionary engineering process. It is a part of the overall process (a significant part). So readers will clearly see the difference between the two processes I outline a common form of the systems modeling process below. Compare it with the ten step Evolutionary Engineering process presented earlier in this article (modified from Sims, et al, 1986; and Maruyama, 1992).

1.Subjective cognitive causal modeling

Create a matrix: rows = what works (type of action or speech) around here and what does not work around here; col-

umns = what gets done around here and what does not get done around here

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Find inputs that influence strongly the outputs in that matrix. Mark outputs that have no strong influence from inputs as

needing further research.

Create a second, more refined matrix: rows = variables we easily manipulate around here, variables we inexpensively

manipulate around here, variables we manipulate only with great effort or difficulty, and variables we influence only at

great expense; columns = outcomes we usually get around here, outcomes we sometimes get around here, outcomes we

try but usually fail to get, and outcomes we never get.

Find inputs that influence strongly the outputs in that matrix. Mark outputs that have no strong influence from any of

the inputs as needing further research

2.Quality root cause analysis

List all the key outputs of the system

Measure how well each aspect of each output satisfies the needs of the current customers who receive that output

For outputs with large gaps between what customers want and are now getting do the following steps

Build a model of the process by which the output is produced

Find the key steps in that process model which strongly influence the output having the characteristic that now dis-

pleases customers

Perform root cause analysis of why that step in the process has the characteristic that it now has that causes the output of

the process to have the characteristics that it now has that displeases customers

3.Make a matrix from the above types of analysis with all key variables found being lists as both rows and columns.

Show key strong influencing relationships at the intersections of that matrix.

4.Turn the results of step 3 into a cellular, systems dynamics, or social simulation model of the system’s dynamics

5.Put initial conditions and inputs typical of the system into the model built in step 4. Compare outputs from the model

at intermediate stages and final outputs with real outputs of the system.

6.Where there are gaps between the model’s behavior and outputs and the real system’s behavior and outputs, redo steps

1 through 4, till no large gaps are left.

7.Perform sensitivity analysis on all key variables of the system to see which can be varied considerably without moving

outputs into regions of value that are not good.

8.Design control interventions or practices that influence key variables of the system so that all key variables of the sys-

tem maintain value ranges that assure the outputs please customers.

DISCIPLINARY CONTRIBUTIONS. These are concepts, from particular academic disciplines, that assist the Evolutionary Engineering process. Business has contributed industrial ecosystems, such as the Dutch coastal communities where the wastes of one company are the resource inputs to another. Law has contributed animal and plant rights laws that protect the environment from harm. Economics has contributed total costing--a way of charging to products produced the cost of harm that their production has done to the environment and the harm that using and getting rid of those products does to the environment. Philosophy has contributed animal consciousness studies showing that whales, monkeys, and many other creatures have a sense of self and family and suffer much as humans do, when harmed by humans.

APPLICATION CONCEPTS. Applying Evolutionary Engineering requires new thinking. Fractal citizenship is the idea that each person on the planet has more than one kind of citi- zenship, from small size scales to large global size scales. National citizenship becomes just one of several types: local community citizenship, region-of-nations citizenship, and global- community citizenship. Taxes, laws, and voting for all these forms of citizenship are just now being tested on the internet (Gamst, 1995). Value meshing practices are a way that differ- ent quality related movements, such as quality of life and the quality-of-the-earth environment movement, can get together and invent practical methods for implementing the values of both movements at the same time. For example, poor villagers who shot elephants to get money to feed their families (quality of life fighting with quality of the earth) were trained as wardens to protect the elephants. They earned money by guiding tourists to the elephants that they used to shoot.

POLICY CONCEPTS. (Schon and Rein, 1994) Most policy processes have never been modeled, measured, and improved. Most policy processes assume a linearity that is false about our world. Most policy processes are executed by narrowly trained professionals. Such professionals do not care about or know how to model human reactions and evolutionary dynam- ics in the systems that they build and affect. Responsibility for the side-effects of intended actions is the defining quality of Evolutionary Engineers. Self-emergent “biological” policy formation is allowing policies to self-organize and self-emerge from disciplined interactions of all involved in a system, using mass workshop events from Management by Events the- ory. Most policies are implemented in systems without knowledge of the major system level variables, hence, most policies have side-effects much larger and more powerful than their intended planned effects.

ECOLOGY CONCEPTS. (Pickett et al, 1994; Brockman et al, 1995) There is a conflict in most living systems between the unpredictability caused by the non-linear nature of interac- tions within the system, and the stability given the system from the diversity and complexity of what interacts. Co-evolution of species on fitness landscapes has recently been modeled on computers. It is teaching us the optimal size and number of niches and landscape patches. The optimal such numbers make all members of the ecosystem “fit” (Darwin’s type of fit- ness) and make populations stable and when disasters or major system changes occur.

EVOLUTION CONCEPTS. (Pickett et al, 1994; Brockman et al 1995; Brandon, 1996) We initially thought that DNA was a computer that calculated what adult animal form and fea- tures would be. Now we know that DNA is a program, read by the egg, which is a complex computer that uses the DNA to calculate an adult animal. There are genes that, when read by the egg’s computer, generate an animal’s feature, and other genes that, when read, determine what other genes to ignore or emphasize. Mutation in the first type of gene, changes an animal as Charles Darwin assumed mutation would. Mutation in the second type of gene, can change the mutation rate in the first type of gene, not at all what Charles Darwin assumed. It appears that mutation in the first type of gene explains evolution of individual organisms and mutation in the second explains evolution of species. It also appears that important fea- tures of new species do not help them adapt to the world, but are there because of internal “attractors” that are highly stable. That is individual organisms are themselves non-linear sys- tems having developmental state spaces, trajectories, and attractors. Some of those attractors determine what parts of the organism’s environment it adapts to.

HUMAN ECOLOGY CONCEPTS. (Hawley, 1986; Baron et al, 1992; Suzuki et al, 1991 and 1987) Human communities, when looked at as if they were animal species, exhibit certain regularities of system behavior. Over time any human community increases in specialization of roles--for example creating more types of family, jobs, professions, and neighborhoods. Also, increased contact between different communities always results in increasing similarity of basic systems in the communities. Changes seem to have two sources--external environ- ments and non-linear dynamics within the community itself. New niches create other new niches. For example, new technologies increase chances for further new technologies, and new styles of clothing increase chances for further changes of style. This process continues till communities reach a state of supercriticallity. Supercriticality means tiny additional actions change the phase (ice to water, water to steam) of the entire community.

NON-LINEAR SYSTEM DYNAMICS. (Scheinerman, 1996) Many items above referred to the concepts here. Systems have unimaginably large numbers of possible future states they may be in. We could imagine most systems wandering aimlessly in such immense state spaces; instead, most systems converge, quickly and continually, to small parts of their overall state space. Such wanderings are called trajectories, and such favored parts of state spaces are called attractors. There are types of attractors: point attractors, the system holds one value and stops changing; periodic attractors, the system alternates among a few point values; chaotic attractors, the system appear random but each future state is actually precisely determined; saddle attractors, the system has a stable region but small changes can throw it into irregular unpredictable highly different states; and unstable attractors, the system achieves a stable pattern but any tiny action loses that stability.

GLOBAL QUALITY. This is extension of the problem solving, human involvement, measurement, and organization change techniques of any one quality-related movements for use by other quality-related movements. This involves: ethical and spiritual methods found in the spirit movement, concerned with Quality of Mind; aesthetic methods found in the fad and fashion movements, concerned with Quality of Taste; cognitive methods of analyzing ideas found in the intellectual movements, concerned with Quality of Learning; lifestyles found in

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the consumer movement, concerned with Quality of Life; publicity and pressure methods found in human rights movements, concerned with Quality of Conflict; political and power change methods found in liberation movements, concerned with Quality of Representation; human growth and work system enrichment methods found in QWL movement, concerned with Quality of Worklife; system preservation and development methods found in environment movements, concerned with Quality of the Earth; standardization of value, measure- ment, and practice methods found in standards and morality movements, concerned with Quality of Care; and finally, improvement and mobilization methods, found in total quality movements, concerned with Quality of Production.

Global Quality evaluates overall system states and the particulars of how systems change from the viewpoint of satisfying the customers of the system’s outputs. This reduces or elim- inates the usual system problem of building systems for the sake of implementors, not those who have to live with the final system result.

THE ETHICAL, SPIRITUAL, AND WELFARE DIMENSION. Quality of Mind, Quality of Life, Quality of Conflict, as well as other components of Global Quality bring the spiri- tual and ethical dimensions into Evolutionary Engineering. To achieve Global Quality a process and its outcome have to meet conflicting requirements from many value perspectives (that are here expressed as quality). Quality here does not mean simple commercial satisfaction but life, mind, social, and spiritual satisfaction with the outcome of a design process. The temptation in our age is for administrative procedures to be used as excuses to justify horrible consequences years later suffered by innocent people. Design rationality that does not include serious ethical and spiritual values, creates not small errors, but horrible, career destroying errors. This type of administration-by-procedure-excuse is becoming increas- ingly impractical, arrogant, and generally condemned, as the news media uncover how casual everyday procedures allow leaders to overlook the health and fate of tens of thousands of other people.

THE SOCIAL CELLULAR AUTOMATA PROCESS. (Greene, 1996) This is a way to get systems to design themselves self-emergently rather than imposing leader ideas on complex systems that will inevitably undermine or resist them. You select or create basic units. Then you select or create states that those units can be in (if the units are humans, this can be done by education, standardizing skill sets across workforces, or similar actions). You select or create which basic units or types of basic unit are connected with which others to create abstract sorts of neighborhoods (if the units are human, this can include which units are physically adjacent, which have network connections, which broadcast to others, and the like). You then select or create types of interaction that occur when basic units in one state connect to basic units in particular other states. The workshops of Managing by Events are one type of such interaction when the basic units are human. You then select or create ways for basic units to evaluate and recognize the complexity of any overall patterns that emerge from their interactions. You then select or create ways for basic units to choose overall emergent patterns to optimally achieve some overall system goal that the basic units agree on. You then iteratively apply all these rules to all basic units in the system. You manage the system of interactions to the edge of chaos by modifying basic units, their states, neighbor- hoods, or interaction types.

FOUR ACTIONS. (Cornell, 1996) Evolutionary engineers cultivate health, nutrition, and human services; manage lifecourses, careers, and parenting; design fashions, housing, interi- ors, communities, and events; and organize urban systems, environment systems, and international systems.

FOUR KNOWLEDGE AREAS. Knowledge of the origins and evolutionary dynamics of nature, civilization, the human mind, and the cosmos is the result of Evolutionary Engineer- ing.

Evolutionary Engineering of Policy Processes and What Such Processes Implement

Policy processes are a type of coalition building activity. More exactly speaking, they involve two coalitions: one that is built when forming policies; another built when implementing them. Elsewhere I have presented steps in creating policy design coalitions: one, battleground preparation (selecting what jurisdiction to give a policy issue to); two, problem analysis (finding what each stakeholder in a policy want, usual policy analysis scenario building); three, mobilization and alignment of interested parties; four, a private dialog of threats, pres- suring, influence trading; five, a public dialog of announced support, countering opponent arguments; and six, institutionalizing the policy issues and opportunities that emerge during the policy process. Evolutionary Engineers have two roles to play in policy making. First, they study and improve policy making processes in three ways. One way is re-framing positions of parties in policy processes so common ground emerges. A second way is total quality modeling of particular policy processes, followed by re-engineering them on the basis of new basic assumptions about how work can get done, and that followed by continuous improvement of them by the parties involved. The third way is replacing the usual top- down done-by-elites policy making process with a self-emergent one using the Social Cellular Automata process:

ground preparation

problem analysis: select basic units, states, neighborhoods, and interactions

mobilize and align: manage to edge of chaos, butterfly effect, genetic competition among basic units

private dialog: edit out remnants of central control, make final customer satisfaction the primary success criterion

public dialog: create cascade processes across levels and functions among organizations and organization units till pat-

terns spontaneously emerge; select emergent patterns that optimally satisfy final customers; allow basic units to select

their own neighborhoods and exchange information

institutionalizing emergence: create libraries of best practice states, neighborhoods, and interactions; create social and

software automation of above functions; allow SWAT assembly of social cellular automata in response to broadcast


Second, Evolutionary Engineers make, what policies propose to implement, into processes of evolutionarily engineering particular outcomes. society so that more and more of the actions that societies take are done in an evolutionary engineering manner.

That is Evolutionary Engineers change

To understand what this means the reader will no doubt need examples. Below I present simple examples from college student life, that all readers can identify with and understand easily.

Toward a New Kind of Leadership: The Evolutionary Engineer as Leader

An Evolutionary Engineering Approach to Creating Student Governments on Campus

Some students recently approached me about their effort to create a student government on campus. Their problem was they needed a vote by 2/3s of all students on campus in order to create such a student government but most students showed little or no interest in having a student government. I asked them what process they were using to respond to this prob- lem. They were persuading students, in small conversations that student government was important. Their method assumed: some leaders have an idea for student government, they persuade ten people to support that idea, those ten people persuade 100 people to support that idea, those 100 people persuade 1000 people to support that idea. This is the usual top- down method of dictatorships (Graumann et al, 1986). To be fair to these students, their experience in previous schooling was largely being dictated to by teachers and being given lit- tle or no opportunity to self-organize as students and develop democratic cognitive habits.

  • I suggested a different process, based on cultivating evolutionary dynamics within the situation. It was an evolutionary engineering approach to creating a coalition in support of stu-

dent government. This method assumed: five people create a proposal for student government containing description of the mission, the methods, and the structures of that govern- ment; those five show that proposal to 50 students for them to evaluate what is positive, what is negative and what is questionable about it. From that feedback the five create a new proposal and join with the 50 in showing it to 100 students to evaluate what is positive, negative, and questionable about it. The 50 then incorporate that feedback into a third proposal shown to 500 students, who note what is positive, negative, and questionable about it. That feedback is incorporated into a fourth proposal.

Notice that in the first process, an elite group has “right” ideas and when other people do not support those ideas they are accused of being wrong or bad minded. Notice that in the first process, persuasion means making 500 people accept the idea of 5 people. In the second process, an elite group uses the feedback from others to create a new proposal, different than the elite group wants. They then show that to larger groups and use that larger feedback to create another proposal. Each proposal is created by interaction of more and more people. Each proposal is the result of evaluation by many people. The proposal in the first process does not evolve. The proposal in the second process evolves. This is one way that Evolu- tionary Engineers build coalitions in support of a new idea.

An Evolutionary Engineering Approach to Leading Groups

Recently at a weekend conference, organized by students, I noticed how students lead meetings. One person gets up and tells everyone else what to do. This is the first tiny step on the way to dictatorships like Hitler’s Germany, Mao’s China, and Stalin’s Soviet Union (Haas, 1990). I suggested an Evolutionary Engineering approach to leading groups instead (Weimann, 1994).

In the usual meeting an elite group decides on a list of items to cover in a meeting. That becomes the agenda of the meeting and members of the meeting interested in anything else are criticized for being off the topic. The leader then leads the group in doing this agenda with the leader being the only one responsible for everything. The problem is this method makes members more and more quiet, passive, sleepy, bored, or angry, and the group gets smaller and smaller.

  • I suggested instead the following procedure. The leader lists possible agenda items on the board. As each member enters the room they add agenda items that they want covered in the

meeting. The first task in the meeting is designing a meeting. This is done by organizing all suggested agenda items. Similar items are grouped, those groups named (this is called list management). Then the group (not the leader) discusses and chooses the proper method of treating those sets of topics, the time that that particular method would take, and an appro- priate person in the meeting for leading the applying of that treatment to that topic. This produces a list of topic groups with each group having a different treatment leader assigned to it. Finally, the groups of items are put in order, by what the meeting will do first, second, and so on. Then the leader of the design process stops work and the leader of the treatment of

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the first set of topics takes leadership. In this way one meeting has six or seven leaders--one who leads designing the meeting and closing it and several others who lead how each topic in the meeting is treated.

The first meeting method imposes one person’s ideas on many other people; the second method imposes many people’s ideas on each other. The first leader leads by telling people answers; the second style of leader leads by asking people questions (for example: what other agenda ideas they have, what treatment is good for this first set of topics, how much time should we spend on handling this topic, and so forth). The first meeting deals with all topics by general discussion; the second style of meeting deals with each topic in a different way. That way evolves as groups learn what treatment works well with particular types of topics. This is an Evolutionary Engineering style of meeting.

Some Social Methods that Support Evolutionary Engineering Style of Leadership

Management as Movement Building

This is a technique for implementing change in large organizations or sets of interacting organizations. There are two kinds of movements that can today be built. One is the familiar top-down movement, led by elites. This is the one Marxists like. The other is a bottom-up self-organizing movement of masses of people who, by adding up many hundreds of local events and interaction types, create overall movement patterns, practices, and beliefs that no leader designs. Management as Movement Building is a technique for creating the latter type of movement.

It involves applying the Social Cellular Automata process, presented earlier in this article, to those you want to mobilize into a movement or new institution.

Management by Balancing

Once you have applied the Evolutionary Engineering process to create a system or modify a system, you can identify the key variables, found during that work. You can then create a

regularized fractal model of those key variables and their inter-relationships.

That regularized model can then be used to monitor the health of the entire system. Because it is regular-

ized, it is easy to teach, learn, and remember. That means you can teach it to thousands of people in the system and they all can use it to measure system health. When key variables become out of balance with countervailing variables, actions to rebalance the system’s variables can be invented and implemented.

Managing by Events

These are a new kind of leadership. Leaders, instead of giving solutions, design processes. These are a new kind of following. Followers, instead of obeying leader ideas, design solu- tions of their own, using mass workshops designed by leaders and world experts. These events change leaders into servants of the cognitive enrichment of followers. These events change followers into initiative takers and inventors.

Many of Japan’s current problems as an economy come from an old style of leadership by bureaucratic elites. There are simply too few of such minds to handle the amount of policy, creation, and direction setting needed today. If those bureaucratic elites removed themselves from making answers themselves and instead designed procedures for thousands of others to use to come up with their own solutions, then social cohesion would flourish and the amount of work done by the same number of people would increase ten-fold, with reduction in cost in both time and money spent. Some leaders in Japan’s bureaucracy are now experimenting with Managing by Events methods for transforming leaders from answer-givers to pro- cess-designers.

A few such events include the following. Participatory Town Meetings bring 200 to 500 people together for one or two days of workshopping challenges facing their community and responses needed. Research Assemblies bring 500 to 1000 people together for 5 to 7 days to entirely redesign organization missions and processes once every year or two, or to survey thousands of books or other sources and build new businesses, processes, or initiatives based on the results of that research. Problem Finding Work Outs bring 50 to 200 people together for two days to survey all the problems, opportunities, and challenges facing a group or process and to figure out which of them to pay attention to and handle now. Problem Solving Work Outs bring 50 to 200 people together for two days to survey all possible solutions to problems found in Problem Finding Work Outs, and design the implementation of the best of the solutions found. Solution Implementation Work Outs are two day events that bring together 200 to 500 people to actually implement in full solutions decided on in Problem Solving Work Outs. Quality Weimar Cabarets bring 50 to 200 people together to analyze the spiritual, cognitive, emotive, and social challenges facing a community and design comedy, dance, drama, songs, festival games, prize awarding. These participant-designed arts are combined into a two-hour show that is given all the employees of a company, all the members of a community, all the customers and suppliers of an effort or company, and so forth. This show moves those attending from one set of values and one commonsense to a new set of values and new commonsense. It makes heroes of kinds of action though unimportant in the past. It shows new roles that people can aspire to. It moves a group’s emotions into the future.

Managing by Virtualizing

This is choosing then creating one of several new ways to have community among people. The Internet means people who have not met face-to-face can meet each other and work together on projects. That means that people are not required to be geographically together in order to think and work together.

For Evolutionary Engineers this means inexpensive ways for thousands of people to participate in electronic workshops exist. This extends, dramatically, the number of people who can be included in the process of designing or implementing a policy. Political candidates are already mobilizing electronic campaign managers, who meet and organize people over the internet, and physical campaign managers, who meet people in some geographic community. Figuring out what functions in building a new movement or organization to virtualize takes care. It is easy to be enthusiastic about technology without finding your customer at all enthusiastic. Only careful introduction of technology along with social tactics, such as Managing by Events, will work well.

A Note on Some Other Skills Needed by Evolutionary Engineering Process Leaders

Fund Raising

My first job out of college was fund raising for an NGO. I flew to a different city every week and had to raise $2000 cash donations within 4 days and $6000 in pledges. In some cities, my NGO had a list of people it had already trained. I used their advice about services to offer in that city that would allow me to meet wealthy people so as to interest them in the pro- grams of our NGO. In cities without such people, I visited the local art museum. I looked at the gold plaque on the wall listing important families who had donated the money for the museum. I then went to the local library. I found the names on the plaque in the society section of old newspapers. I read about those people and found what clubs and organizations they belonged to and what their values were. Where our NGO had work that matched those values, I marked the person as a good person to visit. In this way I developed funding ;sup- port for my NGO. In four years I visited 160 different cities.

Many students do not realize that NGOs are less financially strong than corporations. They underestimate how much time and effort NGOs spend getting money. It is paradoxical. If you work for a big corporation, you spend no time talking about making money, because strong systems for making profit are already established and working well. If you work for a non-profit agency, however, you can be disappointed to find that you spend all day, every day worrying about money, because there is little of it and good systems for getting it are not working well.

Recently, in the US management programs for training NGO leaders in how to create profit-making services within their NGO have become popular. I recommend these programs to students. Without knowing how to make money for your NGO well, you can find NGO work very hard. With proper training, you can do two creative things. One is you can create a way of raising donated funds that also trains outsiders in your NGO’s values and involves them in working with your NGO’s program. The other is you can design profit-making ser- vices that your NGO uses to fund the charitable parts of its mission. Being good at these two things makes you very popular with NGO’s in hiring interviews.

Building Chapter Organizations and Networks

Many NGO’s have a headquarters. However, many of them also have widely dispersed local chapters. These partially self-governing local groups do the work of the NGO in local com- munities. There are two networks of these local groups. One is a network of support and supply groups. These tend to be in wealthy countries or among well-educated populations. They seek to influence policy in those nations and direct resources from those nations to others. The other network is a network of application. These are NGO groups in nations receiving NGO services. They tend to mobilize people needing services and organize local distribution of resources from the NGOs.

Students wanting to become human ecologists who do Evolutionary Engineering may need not only to raise funds, but to create such local chapter organizations and networks among them. The skills of creating new social institutions from scratch are important to such students. Fortunately, my experience has been that creating the events in Management by Events, is an excellent way to build local support for new ideas or initiatives.

When, many years ago, I introduced artificial intelligence computing to General Motors, my approach was to not do that work myself. Instead, my small staff and I created Artificial Intelligence Workshop Fairs. These were one day workshops where the top 400 managers of each GM division were invited for one day to see, in the morning, artificial intelligence project proposals from their own division’s engineers, and in the afternoon, to respond to demonstrations of applications of working systems developed by technology vendors, carefully chosen to match the engineer proposals. Knowing human nature, when GM upper managers, seeing how successful these high technology workshop fairs were becoming, wanted to take this project over for themselves, I was ready. My staff and I trained them and willingly gave the project over to them. We had already developed a new project to invent. By freely giv- ing our first project to others, we turned our success into a movement broadened and expanded by others. In this way, human ecologists can create movements that they give away to others.

Transplanting Business Practices Across Cultures or Reinventing Practices in Various Cultures

Within any particular society there are professions, ministries, regions, generations, and industries--each having different cultures. Many nations want to believe they are one culture, but actual observation of behaviors shows large variations, even in nations that claim to be homogeneous. For example, Japanese and Koreans both claim their cultures are very homo- geneous, yet they have greater differences in culture between the genders, males and females, than less homogeneous Western cultures. They also have greater differences in culture between professions (doctors and patients, for example) and sectors of the economy (big company workers versus owners of restaurants and drinking bars) than Western cultures. More- over, each nation’s various cultures evolve, so that statements like “Japanese management is productive” are non-sense if you talk about 1900 to 1910 and true if you talk about 1970 to 1980 but less true if you talk about 1990 to 2000. This phenomenon of different sub-cultures by social cleavage and by time, when added to national differences in culture, makes oper-

Managing Complexity


Copyright 2006 by Richard Tabor Greene, All Rights Reserved, US Government Registered

ating globally a challenge. Global operation involves within nation culture variety and between nations culture variety.

Human ecologists, because they deal with many global phenomena, must master how to deal effectively with cultural diversity. First, they must be able to transplant practices from one culture to another. This requires modeling the first culture, modeling the second culture, and modeling the culture of the practices themselves. Synergies and conflicts between the cul- ture of origin of a set of practice and the culture of the practices themselves can be determined. Synergies and conflicts between the culture of the practices and the culture they are being transplanted to can be determined. Then particular tactics to enhance and use synergies while blocking or redirecting conflicts can be invented.

Second, human ecologists must be able to reinvent practices in different cultures. Things like banking and how banking is done by bankers, large businesses, small businesses, and individual consumers, have been reinvented. They were reinvented after trying to transplant banking practices from large rich countries to developing countries failed. Instead, people in poor countries invented forms of banking that poor people could use. Islamic people invented forms of banking consistent with their religious prohibition against interest payments. Human ecologists cannot themselves reinvent practices for cultures new to them. They can, however, design procedures that local people use to reinvent practices from their own cul- tural imagination.

  • I remember my first trip to Japan, twenty years ago. I had created the largest Participatory Town Meeting in the US. That was an accident--my partner, a banker in Kansas City, was

wonderful. He had organized Kansas City leaders into a powerful coalition--I only advised. However, the leaders of my organization mistakenly thought my own talents, not his, had produced a good result. So, they sent me to fix a Participatory Town Meeting program in Japan that was not working. I found the same workshop procedures, that were used in the US, being used in Japan. Knowing nothing about Japan, I organized a committee of Japanese academics, government civil servants, and businessmen to advise me. They examined the workshop procedures and pointed out what was difficult about doing each step in Japan. I redesigned the procedures, merely following their advice. The result was 42 successful Par- ticipatory Town Meetings in a row, each in a different social club, town, or corporation. One corporation, Seibu Department Stores, put all 1200 of its headquarters personnel, through this Participatory Town Meeting process as a result. In this case, deliberately involving local people in redesigning a set of practices, resulted in changing failure to success. Human ecologists must be good at such transfers of practices among cultures.

At the University of Chicago, Graduate School of Business, where I taught courses in transplanting business practices across cultures, I found that Japanese company workers had less experience of initiating projects than European workers or US workers of the same age. That is because Japanese managers gave them less freedom of action and imagination than US and European managers. That meant that they had less experience of tailoring a program for different cultures. I had to change my courses to teach them how to initiate new business proposals, then, how to transplant those proposed business practices from one culture to another.

Revisiting the Seven Stories Using Evolutionary Engineering to Solve Their Problems

  • I began this article with seven stories illustrating particular typical ways that systems fail today. It is useful to note here briefly how Evolutionary Engineering approaches prevent or

solve such problems. Oxymoron systems, like the Yemen damn, produce the opposite of what they plan. In Yemen, human responses to the damn by the Yemen population were not

modeled. Also, ecological responses to the lake the dam produced were not modeled. This is typical of World Bank planning. Only technical and economic factors are modeled. What happened was young people left their traditional hillside farms. Their parents, being old, could not repair these hillside fields well, therefore the soil washed off the mountains when it rained. This washed down soil made the land below too salty with minerals to grow food, hence Yemen became a food importer. Evolutionary Engineering’s step 5, finding key psychological variables, and step 8, checking quality of life variables would have spotted hillside youth motives and likely reactions. Step 2’s selection of man-made nature as a relevant environment would have noticed the lake created by the dam and all the minerals washed into it.

Inhuman systems, like US urban housing, would be handled by step 8’s inclusion of final customers in the design process, Global Quality. Orphan systems, like global warming, or mass media inspiring child violence, would have been handled by step 7’s creation of new institutions and movements to own homeless problems. Also, the movements in step 8’s Global Quality function take ownership of orphan problems. Missed systems like inadequate diagnosis are handled by the inclusion of many different disciplines in steps 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. Moving systems, like the Japanese HDTV project, are helped by step 3’s modeling of the system dynamics of the system that the Japanese TV industry is in. Also, step 8’s use of the Social Cellular Automata process to engage the world-wide media industry in specifying a new TV system would have prevented HDTV system failure. Conflicted systems, such as re-engineering projects in companies, are handled by switching from elite-led, top-down redesign to Social Cellular Automata processes of design, step 8. Diverse systems, like the corporation having 8 employees on 3 continents, are handled by the Managing by Events tactics of the Social Cellular Automata process in step 8. In sum, the Evolutionary Engineering process does have specific features that handle the typical ways that systems fail today. No process is perfect but this one is a good one, at present.

The perspicacious reader will have noticed in the above that step 8 solves more of the basic systems problems than any other step. The combination of Global Quality, Management as Movement Building, Managing by Events, and the Social Cellular Automata process that is found there solves these systems problems. That is because these 4 items were invented to extend systems science, by generalizing then most successful form of systems science--total quality--then applying that generalization to achieve things beyond just quality of produc- tion, like quality of the earth, quality of life, and so forth.

How to Educate Human Ecologists

Cross-Discipline “College”

This article derived a specification for the skills of Evolutionary Engineers by examining problems in designing and implementing systems. The result was six components to the edu- cation of Evolutionary Engineers. All of these should be learned to the level of competent practice except the first of the General Foundations, 18 bodies of knowledge, which should be learned to the level of conversancy:

mastery of one disciplinary skill area,

mastery of one application area

competence with four General Foundations:

18 bodies of knowledge,

ten steps of the Evolutionary Engineering process,

gaming and simulation literacy,

mastery of a foreign language.

The first two fit well junior and senior years at college while the four General Foundations fit well the first two years of college.

System Design Practicuums

It is not enough for students to absorb concepts and methods, they must gain the confidence and savvy that come from actual practice of skills. Special practicuums in which students identify problems and apply the Evolutionary Engineering process to them will be needed.

Graduation Portfolio

Students of human ecology related departments should graduate with a portfolio containing documents on the various problems they solved in college using the Evolutionary Engineer- ing process. Employers can then concretely know what capabilities they are getting from hiring these graduates.

Masters of Surprise

Graduates who have mastered the Evolutionary Engineering process are masters of non-linear systems dynamics. They are not surprised by them as are others who live in linear sim- plifications of our world. What is more, they surprise others, by being able to produce non-linear systems phenomena that others, living in linear simplifications of the world, cannot produce.

This article is one person’s model of the defining skill of a new field, human ecology. I do not expect agreement with its contents. I do expect to stimulate better models by others. The university department where I currently work, Kwansei Gakuin University’s Policy Studies School, is structured to produce Evolutionary Engineers. In a few years we will all know what they are capable of concretely. I expect we will be pleasantly surprised.


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Managing Complexity


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Baron, R., Kerr, N., Miller, N. 1992. Group Process, Group Decision, Group Action. Pacific Grove, California: Brooks/Grove Publishing Co. Bock, K. 1994. Human Nature Mythology. Chicago: Univ. of Illinois Press. Boulding, K. A New Theory of Societal Evolution. Beverley Hills, California: SAGE Publishing. Brandon, R. 1996. Concepts and Methods in Evolutionary Biology. New York City: Cambridge Univ. Press. Brockman, J. and Matson, K. Editors. 1995. How Things Are: A Science Tool-Kit for the Mind. New York City: William Morrow and Company. Burt, R. 1995. Structural Holes. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press. Casson, M. 1990. Enterprise and Competitiveness: A Systems View of International Business. Oxford, England: the Clarendon Press, Oxford. Caudill, M. and Butler, C. 1990. Naturally Intelligent Systems. Cambrigdge, Mass.: MIT Press. Chambers, L. Editor. 1995. Practical Handbook of Genetic Algorithms, Applications Vol. 1. New York City: CRC Press. Choi, C. and Kelemen, M. 1995. Cultural Competences: Managing Co-Operatively Across Cultures. Brookfield, US: Dartmouth Publishing Co. Cooper, R. 1995. When Lean Enterprises Collide. Cambridge Mass.: Harvard Business School Press. Cornell Univ., 1996. Human Ecology Department, Internet Homepage. Costanza. R. 1991. Ecological Economics. New York City: Columbia Univ. Press. Dawkins, R. 1995. River Out of Eden. New York City: Basic Books. Dennett, D. 1995. Darwin’s Dangerous Idea. New York City: Simon and Schuster. Dowla, F. and Rogers, L. 1995. Solving Problems in Environmental Engineering and Geosciences with Artificial Neural Networks. Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press. Emmeche, C. 1994. The Garden in the Machine: The Emerging Science of Artificial Life. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press. England, R. Editor. 1994. Evolutionary Concepts in Contemporary Economics. Ann Arbor, MI: Univ. of Michigan Press. Freeman, J. 1994. Simulating Neural Networks with Mathematica. Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley Publishing.

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Hardin, G. and Baden, J. 1977. Managing the Commons. New York City: W. H. Freeman and Company. Harris, C. editor. 1993. The Leonardo Almanac. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. Hawley, A. 1986. Human Ecology: A Theoretical Essay. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press. Hochberg, M., Clobert, J., Barbault, R., Editors. 1996. Aspects of the Genesis and Maintenance of Biological Diversity. New York City: Oxford Science Publications. Holland, J. 1992. Adaptation in Natural and Artificial Systems. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. Huberman, B. editor. 1988. The Ecology of Computation. New York City: Springer-Verlag Jackendoff, R. 1994. Patterns in the Mind. New York City: Basic Books Kauffman, S. 1993. The Origins of Order. New York City: Oxford Univ. Press. Klar, Y.; Fisher, J.; Chinsky, J.; Nadler, A. Editors. 1992. Self Change. New York City: Springer-Verlag Mandelbrot, 1977. The Fractal Geometry of Nature. San Francisco: W. H. Freeman and Company. Maruyama, M. Editor. 1992. Context and Complexity. New York City: Springer-Verlag. McKenzie, R. D. 1926. The Scope of Human Ecology. in Theodorson, G. A. editor. Urban Patterns: Studies in Human Ecology. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press. McKenzie, R. D. 1924. The Ecological Approach to the Study of the Human Community. American Journal of Sociology 30:287-301. Mitsch, W. J. and Jorgensen, S. E. editors. 1989. Ecological Engineering: An Introduction to Ecotechnology. New York: Wiley. Mittenthal, J. and Baskin.A. Editors. 1992. The Principles of Organization in Organisms. Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley Publishing, Proceedings of Santa Fe Institute Studies in the Sciences of Complexity. Morin, E. The Concept of System and the Paradigm of Complexity in Maruyama, M. Editor. Context and Complexity. New York City: Springer-Verlag. Morris, W. 1989. Mood, the Frame of Mind. New York City: Springer-Verlag. Natarajan, S., Editor. 1995. Imprecise and Approximate Computation. New York City: Kluwer Academic Publishers. National Research Council. 1995. Keeping the US Computer and Communications Industry Competitive. Washington D.C.: National Academy Press. Nishida, Kitaro. 1958. The Problem of Japanese Culture in Tsunoda, de Bary, and Keene, Editors. Sources of Japanese Tradition, Vol. II. New York City: Columbia Univ. Press. Obloj, K., Cushman, D., Kozminski, A. 1995. Winning: Continuous Improvement Theory in High Performance Organizations. New York City: State Univ. of New York Press. Park. R. E. 1926. The Concept of Position in Sociology. in Burgess, E. W. editor. The City: papers and Proceedings of the Twentieth Annual Meeting of the American Socilogical Soci- ety. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press. Park, R. E., and Burgess, E. W. 1921. Introduction to the Science of Sociology. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press. Pickett. S., Kolasa, J., Jones, C. 1994. Ecological Understanding. New York City: Academic Press. Real, L. Editor. 1994. Behavioral Mechanisms in Evolutionary Ecology. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press. Savitch, H. 1988. Post-Industrial Cities. Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press. Scheinerman. E., 1996. Invitation to Dynamical Systems. New York City: Prentice-Hall. Schon, D. and Rein, M. 1994. Frame Reflection: Toward the Resolution of Intractable Policy Controversies. New York City: Basic Books. Senge, P. 1990. The Fifth Discipline. New York City: Doubleday-Currency Sigmund, K. 1993. Games of Life. New York City: Oxford Univ. Press. Sims, H. ; Gioia, D.; and Associates. 1986. The Thinking Organization. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Sklair, L. 1991. Sociology of the Global System. Baltimore, Maryland: The John Hopkins Univ. Press. Smith, T. 1992. Strong Interaction. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press. Somit, A. 1992. Crossing Intellectual Boundaries: Biology and Politics, Problems and Lessons in Maruyama, M. Editor. Context and Complexity. New York City: Springer-Verlag. Sternberg, R. and Kolligian, J. Editors. 1990. Competence Considered. London: Yale Univ. Press. Swanson, T. Editor. 1995. The Economics and Ecology of Biodiversity Decline: The Forces Driving Global Change. Cambridge, England: Cambridge Univ. Press. Swedberg, R. editor. 1993. Explorations in Economic Sociology. New York City: Russel Sage Foundation. Suzuki, S., Borden, R., Hens, L., Editors. 1991. Human Ecology--Coming of Age: An International Overview. Tokyo: Univ. of Tokyo Press. Suzuki, T. and Ohtsuka, R., Editors. 1987. Human Ecology of Health and Survival in Asia and the South Pacific. Tokyo: Univ. of Tokyo Press. Thompson, M., Ellis, R., Wildavsky, A. 1990. Cultural Theory. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, Political Cultures Series. Treib, M. and Herman, R. 1990. A Guide to the Gardens of Kyoto. Tokyo: Shufunotomo Publishers. Weibull, J. 1995. Evolutionary Game Theory. Cambridge, Mass.: the MIT Press. Weimann, G. 1994. The Influentials: People Who Influence People. New York City: State Univ. of New York Press. Wellman, B. and Berkowitz. S. Editors. 1988. Social Structures, A Network Approach. New York City: Cambridge Univ. Press. Wolfram, S. 1994. Cellular Automata Complexity. Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley Publishing Co. Wolters, G. and Lennox, J. with McLaughlin, P., Editors. 1995. Concepts, Theories, and Rationality in the Biological Sciences. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: the Univ. of Pittsburgh Press. Wrong, D. 1994. The Problem of Order. Cambridge, Mass.: The Free Press. Xerox, 1992. High Performance Work Center Brochure. Stamford, Connecticut: Xerox Press.

Tool 1:

54 System Effects

Managing Complexity


Copyright 2006 by Richard Tabor Greene, All Rights Reserved, US Government Registered

Instructions: Either name a different problem, that you have experienced, for each of the 54 items below or name a different aspect of one significant problem, that you presently are

experiencing, for each of the 54 items below.

Since each of the 54 items below refers to a distinct, different type of system effect, a different non-linearity phenomenon in math terms,

it is surprising to most of us to find that many of them pertain to any one significant problem we have.

It is less surprising that we face 54 problems, one for each of them--that is to be

expected, we live in a non-linear world but out minds are filled with linear simplifications of life from our educations, cultures, and personal habits.


54 Systems Effects


Identifying System Problems (Gaps Between Professions)

Effect Name


System Effect Type Description

Unplanned Effects


Name a problem of some note caused by people not taking responsibility for the unplanned second order effects of planned actions.

Producer Customers


Name a problem of some note caused by the producers of a product becoming the final customers rather than the intended end-users of product.

Ownerless Problems


Name a problem of some note caused by problems that fall between the cracks so that no one owns enough of them to make it worth their while to deal with them.

Omitted Professions


Name a problem of some note caused by a few professions planning things then aspects of the situation only a different un-included profession could understand undermine the

planned on outcome.


User Omission


Name a problem of some note caused by a few remote expert professionals designing something instead of the myriad people finally to use and be involved with the outcome getting

engaged in the design process.


Unsupported Emergents


Name a problem of some note caused by patterns spontaneously emerging from myriad local intelligent actors interacting but, because those patterns were unplanned by professionals,

they are unsupported or casually counter-acted by professional actions unwittingly.

Plural Goods


Name a problem of some note caused by various professions involved in them not agreeing on what excellence, productivity, and good outcome mean.

Changed Components


Name a problem of some note caused by the components of a design changing as the design process evolves.

Claimed Components


Name a problem of some note caused by the components of a design becoming unavailable to the design project because other projects notice them, (often due to the design project

itself) and make claims on them.


Changed Requirements

  • 10. Name a problem of some note caused by the people receiving the output of the design changing their requirements during (and often due to) the design process.

Overwhelming Side-effects

  • 11. Name a problem of some note caused by the side-effects of an action completely countering the intended purpose of the action.

Solution Interactions

  • 12. Name a problem of some note caused by combinations of appropriate actions interacting in such a way that they result in something unacceptably different than they intended.

Process Overwhelms Result

  • 13. Name a problem of some note caused by the particular way that a design was produced counteracting the value or support for or interest in the design that results.

Launch Overwhelms Result

  • 14. Name a problem of some note caused by the way an effort is launched counteracting the intended results of the effort.

Human Combination Counter-effects

  • 15. Name a problem of some note caused by particular humans combined by a design in such a way that their combination undoes the intended result of the design.

Unwanted Wants

  • 16. Name a problem of some note caused by humans wanting a result but when presented with it finding they dislike it and reject it.

Experienced Solution Non-solving

  • 17. Name a problem of some note caused by humans accepting a result but after living with it a while, tiring of it.

Process Expectations Overwhelm

  • 18. Name a problem of some note caused by human expectations being raised so high by the process of achieving a result that the humans reject the result of that process by the time it




Components as Component Environ- ment

  • 19. Name a problem of some note caused by the environment that all other components are for each component undoing the functioning intended/needed of that component.


Identifying Systems Solutions

Intercomponent Consideration

  • 20. Name a problem of some note solved by getting all the components to do their role in such a way that leeway is allowed for helping nearby components achieve their intended roles.

Causal Depth

  • 21. Name a problem solved by finding causes deeper than those humans quickly first assume for problems around them.



  • 22. Name a problem solved by finding causes in various aspects of the system the problem appears in rather than in just the place where the problem appears.

Intercleavage Proposing

  • 23. Name a problem solved by mobilizing all social ranks, levels, classes in a system exchanging and editing each other’s proposals.

Customer Directed Systems

  • 24. Name a problem solved by mobilizing all departments, functions, or firms in a system exchanging how they will play roles that help final customers of their overall effort.

Customer Defined System

  • 25. Name a problem solved by having the final customers of the output of a process define what “good quality” “good performance” and “good product” mean.

Implementor Pluralization

  • 26. Name a problem solved by allowing groups of companies/organizations to implement systems hithertofore implemented by single companies/organizations.

Root Cause Analysis

  • 27. Name a problem solved by identifying the cause of most of the other causes assumed about the problem.

Common vs Special Causes of Varia-

  • 28. Name a problem solved by distinguishing variation in a process inherent in the way the process is designed and set up from variations resulting from accidental factors influencing


steps in the process.


Non-Linearity Effects

Butterfly Effect

  • 29. Name a problem caused by inputting a similar input but finding an enormously different output results

Edge of Chaos

  • 30. Name a problem caused by too much order preventing inter-component mixing, interaction, and overall pattern emergence; or conversely, too much chaos not reducing interactions

enough for interactions to add up to some change worth having

Avalanche Effect

  • 31. Name a problem caused by similar, usual, typical inputs suddenly radically changing overall system state

Building Block Effect

  • 32. Name a problem caused by solution processes and solution-produced results getting hijacked by other forces that use them as components in a different process

Credit Allocation

  • 33. Name a problem caused by inappropriate allocation of reward and credit to components contributing to a solution state

Taking Credit for Luck

  • 34. Name a problem caused by severe environment caused component failure getting confused with component weakness caused failure; or, conversely, easy environment caused suc-

cess causing weak components to be wrongly assessed as strong


Identify Surprise Caused Problems

Delayed Feedbacks

  • 35. Name a problem of some note caused by delayed feedback--people take immediate positive results and all the results, then get surprised by delayed feedback.

Self Reinforcing Growth Plateau

  • 36. Name a problem of some note caused by self-reinforcing growth--initial actions that are small produce small positive increases in results, larger actions produce larger increases in

positive results, but at some increment the next step produces strongly negative results.

Solving Symptoms

  • 37. Name a problem of some note caused by solving symptoms--initial actions that handle well the symptoms of a problem leave untouched the fundamental cause of the problem so that

after more such initial actions are taken, suddenly the problem reappears greatly enlarged because its fundamental cause has been un-countered, and in the mean time capabilities of han-


dling the real cause have atrophied.


Help Dependency

  • 38. Name a problem of some note caused by people seeking outside help to solve it, again and again, till their own capability to solve atrophies, then, suddenly or gradually, the outside

source of help becomes unavailable.


Self Reinforcing Partial Solutions

  • 39. Name a problem of some note caused by people attempting a do-able solution, that only partially works, then the people lower their standards of success, till the partial solution sat-

isfies them, causing atrophy of their capability of fully solving the problem.

Price War

  • 40. Name a problem of some note caused by a price war wherein one party reduces prices, causing a competitor to reduce prices, which causes the first party to reduce prices still more,

till finally both parties go bankrupt.


Rich Get Richer

  • 41. Name a problem of some note caused by the rich getting richer, where the first party to do something gains disproportionate advantages making second and third parties attempting it

unable to compete, all gains going to the already bigger first party.


  • 42. Name a problem of some note caused by overfishing, wherein one party, seeing less of something, tries hard to catch it, followed by its competitors trying even harder to catch it, till

the resource being caught dwindles to zero for all parties.


Delayed Cost

  • 43. Name a problem of some note caused by a solution to another problem having a delayed cost that turns out, by being bigger than the original problem being solved, making a new

problem bigger than the one the solution first solved.


Timid Solutions

  • 44. Name a problem of some note caused by attempting moderate solutions that are not too effective, then giving up, when a little bigger attempted solution would have been enough, if

done promptly and at first to solve the entire issue.


Managing Complexity



Copyright 2006 by Richard Tabor Greene, All Rights Reserved, US Government Registered


54 Systems Effects

Fatalist Under-effort


Name a problem of some note caused by a fatalist response to challenges--assuming human interventions do little good.

Equalitarian Disagreement Rejection


Name aproblem of some note caused by an egalitarian response to challenges--the world is untrustable, we have to stick together at all costs, people disagreeing with the group are


Individualist Error Tolerance


Name a problem of some note caused by the individualist response to challenges--the world is trustable, small errors are okay, till errors become so usual and comfortable that they

grow to catastrophic size.

Hierachist Boundary Enforcement


Name a problem of some note caused by the hierarchist response to challenges--there is an important boundary within which action is safe, beyond which action is dangerous, punish

people acting beyond traditional boundaries.

Hermetic Withdrawal


Name a problem of some note caused by the hermit response to challenges--the world and human systems in their entirety are unreliable, withdraw and do not get involved.


Component Change and Scope

Fat Components


Name a problem caused by components being too big to be readily recombined to handle new situations

Thin Components


Name a problem caused by components being too small to come to the attention and be recombined to handle new situations

Fixed Component Relations


Name a problem caused by past inter-component structure being used without adequate modification to handle successive new situations

Unfixed Component Relations


Name a problem caused by past inter-component structure being unpreserved as totally new configurations get used to handle new situations till past problems keep being repeated as

the organization does not preserve working parts/experiences of its past

Adding the Future


Name a problem caused by handling new situations by adding new components rather than re-configuring relations among past components


Tool 2:

128 Fault Types Caused by System Effects

There may be 54 or so distinct types of non-linearities we encounter as system effects in our work and lives, but the number of types of error and fault that they cause is larger. model below organizes 128 distinct types of fault caused by non-linearities of the 54 sorts of Tool 1, above.


Instructions for Use: There are many uses of the below model.

First, and most obvious, is listing where in your past or present experience you experience each one of the 128 fault

types below.

Second is seeing in a significant present problem you face, an aspect that comes from each or many of the 128 fault types below.

Third is building an interaction matrix

of subsets of the 128 below that pertain to some present significant problem you face--put the subset of the below as both rows and columns of the matrix and at each intersection note

how interactions of some of the below 128 cause problems for what you are undertaking.

Note that there are quite a few businesses and NGO persons for whom working at levels of detail like 54 and 128 is not normal. Such people will resist listing 54 examples or 54 aspects,

much less 128 examples or aspects.

Readers need to be assured that people who handle 54 not five or six, and 128 not ten or twelve, outperform normal people by factors like 80 to 100

or more times. It is a matter of being more comprehensive in parts of the world covered, more detailed and specific in what you look for and respond to, and doing much more work--

handling 54 things not five or ten things.

Our lifelong habits of doing only five or six things at a time are merely products of rural elements in the backgrounds of the cultures we come


Such habits are not good ways to behave but merely easy ways to behave because of two factors--we learned how to operate these ways in childhood automatically by just grow-

ing up in a particular culture and everyone else in our cultures behaves similarly so it feels “alright” to do what they do, to lower ourselves continually to their standards.

This book, an

all my books, demand more comprehensiveness than others, more detail and specificity than others, and more work than others do--my books try to entice you into higher standards of performance.

Managing Complexity


Copyright 2006 by Richard Tabor Greene, All Rights Reserved, US Government Registered

43 parts hijacked during production RESPONSE TO PRODUCTION production way 41 42‘ kills interest during producers
production way
kills interest
or requirements
consumers become
factors from
more complex
price war
than problem
so hate
envy isolate
on basics
of customer’s
spec are
when live with
rich get richer
when get what
want, dislike it
result, hate it
fatalist &
too big
problems of
single solver
result side-effects
much worse
for situation
than result benefits
pushed to heroics
cuz alone
too weak to last
overkill solutions
or vital waste
intended result
great gets enemies solution
firms or
once is itself really not done
solution bad so
ranks block
credit &
cuz supports of who
outside help
feedback flows
feedback flows
growth becomes
rewards not to
used till own
miss good from
larger solution
those who solved
capability atrophies
component config
solution too
lost in responding
perfectly suited
to present
usual input
similar input
so problems
enough order
culture of
enough chaos
local cannot actions
whole system
very different
local actions
effect goes
has delayed
system caused
than culture
giant cost
of customers
changes during
from interactions
conteracts of humans intent
variation “solved”
without system changes
new parts added
delayed negative
sequence of solvings
rather than
feedback after
exacerbate user
partial solution
manner launch of
severe environmt.
reconfig old
solution so
faster good
caused failure
lack of
particular to
cause where
blamed on
1 environment
second order effects
leeway in
other cause causes of
problem seen
be used
not addressed
undoes function 1 part’s
of counteract main action it
counteract intent
only is attacked
stifles other 1 part’s components function
128 System
Thinking Fault Types
From Greene, Prietula, Senge, Wildavski, Kano, Tagu chi, Ishikawa, Morishima, Boulding, Kauffman, Arthu r, Gladwell
leaders remote &
ignorant, do not like
nuts and bolts
no incentives for
team members no
many changes of
long cycle times
giant greenfield
long cycle times
needed behaviors:
management causes
allow many outside
initiatives that
allow time for
no personal,
building reliable
social, knowledge
waits for many
sign offs
co-located; global
suppliers jerked
market changes
don’t on past build
tradition of
basis for inter-
reviews distort
projects when all
specs that
manager agreement,
hiding slack time
know competition
actual capabilities
so solutions are political
ignore capabilities
and no one covering
“no mind” state
will instantly respond
resouces adequate
for others on teams;
no pain sharing system
is ideal consciousness
only at project end
waiting till problems
huge then killing
entire project
travel, are waiting, most reporting of
marketers “know”
career system rewards
customers but don’t
distinguishing self
creativity valued
and don’t see
subsystem team
mastery & auto-
from others not
preferred as it
work time
engineers as
mation of
no building
building on
escalate cuz
routines =
on success/failure
group wrongs
no manager
action till
of previous teams
are better than
action ideal
often cancelled
problems are huge
people interrupting
discussing =
unity feeling by
repeating elders’opinions
being right
managers force symp-
tom only solving by
tacit intimidation
managers lack social
long cycle times
one manages old generation so younger
skills to guide without
allow many
issue preventing
perfecting every-
early phases
changes of
no consensus
= garbage
shut except out
day life =
building process
unrealistic schedules
on product strategies
long standing
irrational situation
is natural = not issue
of handling trivialities
establishing a
from remote leaders
thing called a
solution = solving
promotions not based
unfunded capability
slight disturbance of
on actual problems
faced and solved
development so
“no mind” dailylife
must invent
super direct
pay money to all
state intensely
product &
solutions, by-
= solving
cost of issues
repetition is
is lost focus on
responded to as
work, not
coopted early
issue handling
unity of group
admit issue =
create issue
roles assigned by
consulting =
ignore = solve
precedent not
changes in
fact outweighs
interpreted as
before an issue
already found
inside group
agreement all