Headline, February10, 2014



THERE can be few better places to talk about complexity than !WOW! and Vienna.

While  !WOW!  is the  ''cyber capital''  of the students of the world, Vienna was the capital of the most complicated political organisation yet seen; the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

And then Vienna was also the centre of some of the most convoluted cold-war spy games the world has ever known. But on November 14th and 15th, last year,  hundreds of management enthusiasts converged on the Austrian capital to :

Get preoccupied by two points : that business is more complicated than ever before; and that managing complexity is at the top of businesspeople's agenda.

Whether they were right about the first point is debatable. In the 18th century it took six months for letters to travel from East India House in London to Calcutta and back.

Today, supply chains can be managed in real time, and masses of data can be crunched instantly at the touch of a button. But they were right about the second. Businesspeople are confronted by more of everything than ever before:

Last years Global Electronic's Forum in Shanghai featured  22,000  new products. They have to make decisions at a faster pace: roughly 60% of Apple's revenues generated by products that are less than four years old. Therefore, they have a more uncertain future:

The Vienna conference  -the fifth in an annual series to celebrate Peter Drucker's work   -produced two starkly different solutions to the ''complexity problem''.

The first is to recognise and accept that complexity is just a misnomer for a new sort of order. Don Tapscott, of  ''Wikinomics''   fame, argued that the information revolution is replacing one kind of management   ''command-and-control''   - with another based on  ''self-organising-networks''.  John Hagel of Deloitte talked about the growing disconnect between:

''Linear institutions and the non-linear world that is developing around us''.

Organisations built for this new world may look complex and unwieldy but they have an inner logic and powers of self-organisation.

Global networks such as Kiva, a crowdfunding website. and CrisisCommons, which musters tech volunteers to help out in disasters like the Philippines typhoon, can mobilise thousands of people little top-down direction.

Accelerate, a call-centre company, employs 20,000 people but has no call centres; they work from home. Such outfits suffer from complexity only when managers apply  command-and-control  techniques to them.

The second, rival solution to dealing with complexity is to impose simplicity. The bosses of Tupperware Brands and Tata Consultancy Services could hardly face more different challenges.

Tupperware has 3m freelance salespeople, working everywhere from plush Austrian suburbs to Indian slums.

TCS employs almost  300,000  people to solve complex technological problems. Rick Goings of Tupperware and Natarajan Chandrasekaran of TCS agreed that the only way to avoid being blindfolded by complexity:

 Is to concentrate on the few simple things that can give their businesses focus and their workers direction.

The Great Honour of the Post continues. But in the meantime back to the last part of the ASER survey of Pakistan's educational infrastructure:

With regard to the availability of libraries in primary schools and functional computer labs in high schools, Punjab's 13.8% and 82.1% schools have these facilities respectively.

KP, GB, Sindh and Balochistan's  23.3, 11.9. 2.2 and  0.6  per cent  primary schools have libraries, while  71.9, 38.9, 37.5 and 23.3 per cent high schools have functional computer labs, respectively

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of Bulgaria, Peru and Algeria. See Ya all on !WOW!  -the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

''' Infused With Imagination '''

Good Night & God Bless!

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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