#pmngt-016 Business change is the transition of a complex adaptive system (CAS) from one state to another

#pm_ngt-016 Business change is the transition of a complex adaptive system (CAS) from one state to another.

A system is the sum total of set of interacting elements. At one extreme this is the whole universe. Within that extreme are smaller systems such as the effect of gravity maintaining the Earth orbiting the sun and governments, economies, companies, brands and projects.

All these systems of economies, products, market places, companies and brands interact in ways that are constantly shifting but never the less describable as patterns and cycles. To consider a business as anything other than a system within a system is missing an insight. Once recognised it is a short step to realising that a project is also a system.

A project is a system whose purpose is to change the elements of another system.

When conducted in-house the project changes its containing system. When sold to a customer the project changes an external system.

A business system uses, involves or is comprised of: staff, structure, standards, supervision, style, sales, money, machines, materials, management and much more. These are the elements that can be change by a ‘project’


‘agile’ isn’t new. It is how nature has operated for at least 450 million years. It isn’t new in terms of how people have operated for 4 million or more years either but in IT they forgot it for 50 years and making the rediscovery ‘new’ seemed a nice label.

With a 450m year track record complex adaptive system memes (sic) are obviously powerful concepts. Any discussion of how organisations behave and evolve which does not explore mimetics and CAS must be either wrong or missing a trick.

#pmngt is based on the premise that CAS and memes rules and mechanisms that govern both business as usual (bau) and transition between stable bau states. #pmngt training explores how to leverage the 450m year heritage of nature and the best of modern management thinking from Henry Fayol onwards (including the Johnny come-latelys J)

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