In this chapter Ron Schultz applies the concept of complex adaptive systems to human systems.In such systems, behavior, whether routine or innovative, emerges when individual people, as adaptive agents, interact according to their personal mental models.
If you will, imagine yourself in an audience of about one hundred people. The speaker begins:
If you can, please stand up for a moment. Now, how long do you think it would take for each of you to shake hands with every other participant in this room and introduce yourself? There are about 100 people in the room. [Answers come from around the room, ranging from 12 minutes to 2 days!] I’m going to give you 30 seconds. In those 30 seconds, I want you to shake the hand of everybody in this room and introduce yourself. Ready? Go! [The audience attempts the task.] Time’s up!
This experiment illustrates what complexity is all about. It’s a series of predictable, continuous events during which complex adaptive agents interact. As audience members at the meeting, we all knew we were ready for people to sit up front and talk to us, and we were going to