How self-organisation works: An example

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In my first attempt at video blogging I talk about self-organisation, which is a property of complex adaptive systems and explains how organisation and order can arise spontaneously. In self-organisation, individual entities form structures based upon simple, inherent properties that govern their interactions. For example, human social systems all operate under various guidelines such as morals … [Read more...]

On designing organisations

As I was doing the literature review for my MSc thesis this summer, reading about uncertainty, I got in my head the idea that I probably should check what has been written about complexity, as those two things seemed related. Little did I know what I was getting myself into. The result was some very exciting ideas and profound changes in my thinking. Getting myself familiar with articles by … [Read more...]

How to manage uncertainty in innovative projects

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A week ago I finished the first full draft of my MSc thesis. The title is Managing uncertainty in innovative projects: The experimentation-driven approach. My basic argument is that uncertainty is essential for innovation - the more uncertain your project outcome is from the get-go, the more chances you have for creating something truly novel. Contrast this to a project where the outcome is a … [Read more...]

Positive psychology and public policy

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In recent days there has been talk in Finland about whether or not the unemployed should be forced to take a 1.5 hour commute if that's what it takes to get a job. I find this to be a fantastic example of short-sightedness. It's hard to believe that those kinds of jobs would pay that well, which means that if this policy is adopted the resulting increase in GDP will be minuscule at best. The … [Read more...]

What 12-year old kids can teach you about innovation

Local kids playing ball at Lake Toba, Indonesia.

This spring I have been taking couple university courses on the Coursera online education platform. One was about gamification, or how to use concepts that are more familiar to us from different kinds of games in non-game contexts, in order to e.g. improve business performance or job satisfaction. The other course was about innovation, and one of the reading materials included this gem of a list … [Read more...]