speaking complexity


speaking is...

  • hearing an audience laugh
  • talking to individuals in an audience from around the world after giving a presentation on teamwork and co-operation
  • facing an audience of three hundred people and my mind going blank
  • telling it how it is
  • listening to great storytellers
  • feeling wobbly before a big presentation and over the moon after it
  • re-living experiences and being able to put them into words
  • communicating emotion in the stories I'm telling
  • having fun with slides and music
Gombu speaking

emergence of valuable behaviours

Working with a complexity framework allows many important properties to emerge in a business.

They include innovation, organisational learning, flexible responses to ever changing business environments, new and better ways of doing things, pro-activity and leadership throughout the organisation, personal ownership and responsibility for results, healthier working environments that value trust and respect for difference, of co-operation as well as competition.

how has complexity science evolved?

Complexity science studies the relationship of one thing to another and their relationships to the whole.

It is an inter-disciplinary framework that identifies patterns of relationships which reveal deep principles of organisation across many different areas; from the way cells work to how consciousness emerges within the structure of the brain; from fluctuations in economics to how network structure is fundamental to all living systems.

emerging consciousness

creating complexity science

Complexity science has been created by some of the world's leading researchers and scientists such as Nobel prize winners Murray Gell-Man and Phil Anderson in physics, Kenneth Arrow in economics and Ilya Prigogine in chemistry. Leaders in their field include Brian Goodwin in biology, John Holland in computer science and Stuart Kauffman in molecular biology.

the edge of chaos

In the 1980's Chaos theory was developed as a mathematical language to understand and describe non-linear systems. The application of these mathematical concepts to real world problems became the study of complexity. Of particular interest was the study of the area termed the 'edge of chaos' where life seemed to flourish and from which innovation and creativity emerged.

a coherent scientific framework

This theory now provides a coherent scientific framework within which all observations of complex organisation make sense. It transforms the chaotic and difficult into something simple and understandable. It has helped to make work more enriching, challenging, interesting and rewarding for everyone.

Just before the year 2000 the physicist Stephen Hawking is famously quoted as saying, "I think the next century will be the century of complexity"


some of our major long term projects:

Integration of the Intellectual Property Department

Creative thinking
Caroden Gent Ltd

The office of the future

20% of the business sell off
Scottish & Newcastle Retail

Inspiring Customer Service
Scottish & Newcastle Retail

Organisational development and Customer focus
Kier Group plc

Advertising and Marketing
Sprayway Ltd

examples of shorter projects and talks:

Team-working and diversity
Langdons Ltd, Ireland

Keynote speech: Learning to learn and complexity
Metronet conference, London

Complexity and adaptability, team-working event
Det Norske Veritas, South Africa

Managing uncertainty
Unilever, Holland

Exploration and improvisation
Outward Bound, Hong Kong

Organisational development
Probusiness Bank, Russia