Thriving at the edge of chaos



The pandemic has thrown the world into something very close to chaos.

The question becomes – how do you thrive at the edge of chaos as an organization?

The term “edge of chaos” comes from Complex Adaptive System (CAS) theory, and describes the space between complete order, where nothing changes, and complete chaos, where everything is changing all the time.

The term itself suggests something has gone wrong, but surprisingly, operating at the edge of chaos is actually healthy; scientists have shown that all large and complex systems tend to adapt this way. Whether in nature, society or economics, systems must find the right balance between order and flexibility. This is because their survival and success depend on being able to constantly sense and adapt to changes in the environment they operate within. In a business context, operating at the edge of chaos opens up avenues for disruptive innovation, cultural overhaul and process evolution, all of which help organizations adapt to changing market environments. Or crises like a pandemic.

If you want to learn more about this topic, take a look at a new book called Thriving on the edge of chaos. The first half of the book provides an introduction to CAS, and the second half applies CAS concepts to project management.

Understanding CAS goes a long way to helping you to ensure that the solutions you choose to implement have a chance of succeeding. In today’s environment, understanding CAS is more important than ever.


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