Open Boundaries: Creating Business Innovation Through Complexity
Today’s businesses are constantly under pressure to innovate—to develop new products, processes, and even organizational structures—in order to remain vibrant and healthy. But many businesses fall into the trap of doing more of the same, only faster. How can they break free of old patterns without overextending their resources or losing sight of their core goals and capabilities?In Open Boundaries, Howard Sherman and Ron Schultz bring fresh, new insights from the field of complexity thinking—the study of dynamic evolving systems—to unleash creativity and innovation throughout the organization. Drawing from their groundbreaking research at the Santa Fe Center for Emergent Strategies, the authors challenge readers to explore the underlying principles, cognitive models, and rules that govern their decisions and actions to reveal—and, more importantly, overcome—obstacles to innovation and growth.Open Boundaries introduces a practical vocabulary to help managers understand, analyze, and nurture the creative process by eschewing linear ”cause-and-effect” approaches to decision making in favor of an approach that thrives on ambiguity and unpredictability. Showcasing the pioneering efforts of such organizations as Xerox-PARC, Applied Biosystems, Patagonia, and the United States Marine Corps, the authors vividly illustrate the power of complexity thinking in action—from creating new markets to establishing new ways of spreading emerging knowledge throughout the company.Ultimately, Open Boundaries is about ideas, the most powerful of which is realizing that organizations are not mechanical entities, but living systems that are constantly adjusting and adapting to both internal and external forces of change. By embracing this perspective, businesses can become far more creative, innovative, and profitable than they might have ever thought possible.
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A New Way of Thinking
Principles Models Rules and Behaviors
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abstract adjacent possibilities agents Alfred North Whitehead assumptions become behaviors called chaos closed system coevolution coevolving complex adaptive system complexity thinking concepts context continue create creative Doyne Farmer Einstein employees ence entity environment example exist experience feedback formulations franchise franchisor going happen ideas increasing returns Industrial Age information to infrastructure innovation interac interactions John Seely Brown language linear locked look marketplace McDonald's means mechanistic metaphors methodologies Midas models mufflers nature ness NONLINEAR INVESTIGATION object occur operations organization organizational patterns postindustrial postmodern pragmatic predict Prediction Company principles problem profit purposeful complex adaptive question ratio of information recognize relation relationship ROLM rules Santa Fe Institute sense shape simulations stories structure Stuart Kauffman success Supercuts takes place tech reps theory things tion understanding VeriFone Xerox PARC