quarta-feira, abril 23, 2008

Um país como um "complex adaptive system"

Este artigo da revista Long Range Planning: "Strategy as Order Emerging from Chaos: A Public Sector Experience" de Elizabeth McMillan e Ysanne Carlisle, descreve bem o que sinto sobre a vida dos sistemas complexos, nomeadamente dos países e das empresas:
"human organisations are dynamic feedback systems, and that research about the nature of these systems should be applicable to organisations"
"Self-organising principles drive the creation of complex dynamical systems whether physical, biological, ecological, social or economic. If they also adapt and learn from their experiences then
they become complex adaptive systems
. A laser beam, for instance, is a self-organising dynamic system, which adapts in response to physical changes, but it does not learn from this process. Complex adaptive systems that learn from their experiences actively seek to be opportunistic, trying to use their own internal dynamic models of the world to anticipate the future. These models are highly active and changing as the system constantly tries them out and tests them as part of an ongoing process."
"First, organisations are non-linear webs of human interactions and feedback loops, and are capable of stable, chaotic and highly unstable behaviours. If an organisation is too stable it can ossify, but if it is too unstable it can disintegrate. Successful organisations work between these two conditions or states, in what Stacey called ‘the chaos zone’. This has implications for managers seeking to sustain competitiveness in changing environments. Rather than seeking to control their organisations to maintain equilibrium coupled with incremental change and innovation, they need to adopt a non equilibrium approach that interacts with their internal and external environments and embraces more flexible and adaptive models of change and innovation.
Second, Stacey defines chaos as ‘in its scientific sense an irregular pattern of behaviour generated by well-defined nonlinear feedback rules commonly found in nature and human society’. Systems in a chaos state are very sensitive to small changes and differences can be amplified over time, and it is thus impossible to predict their long term future. This challenges the notion that the future is to some extent predictable or amenable to long term planning systems.
Third, while chaos may be unpredictable, it has recognisable patterns which we can learn to understand and work with. Thus managers need to think differently about how they understand their organisations, seeking for patterning and using qualitative rather than quantitative data for business interpretation.
Finally, chaos and contention, along with self-organising processes of political interaction and complex learning, create new adaptive strategic directions. The implication is that being too committed to top down visions of the future carries the risk of inhibiting this complex learning and political interaction.

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