Natural systems
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Power& tradition holding back progress
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The constraints are described. 
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Representations of natural

Summary
Through the operation of three different food chains Michael Pollan explores their relative merits.  The application of complex adaptive system (
This page introduces the complex adaptive system (CAS) theory frame.  The theory is positioned relative to the natural sciences.  It catalogs the laws and strategies which underpin the operation of systems that are based on the interaction of emergent agents. 
John Holland's framework for representing complexity is outlined.  Links to other key aspects of CAS theory discussed at the site are presented. 
CAS
) theory highlights the value of
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
evolutionary
testing of the food chain. 
The Omnivore's Dilemma
In Michael Pollan's book "The Omnivore's Dilemma" he portrays how three different food chains operate:
  1. "Industrial" - Corn based, oil leveraged, mass production provides huge quantities of cheap meat based products.
  2. "Organic" Grass fed animals, where management aims to control the return of the outputs of production to the grass. 
  3. "Hunter-gatherer" - Catching and killing wild animals and plants that expert hunter-gatherers identify as good to eat. 
The ability of an omnivore is an animal which can live on a mixed diet of plants and animals. 
to consume any of the outputs from the three food chains begs comparison of the food chains relative merits.  However, it is not an easy task.  Complex adaptive system
This page introduces the complex adaptive system (CAS) theory frame.  The theory is positioned relative to the natural sciences.  It catalogs the laws and strategies which underpin the operation of systems that are based on the interaction of emergent agents. 
John Holland's framework for representing complexity is outlined.  Links to other key aspects of CAS theory discussed at the site are presented. 
(CAS) principles
indicate that the food chains have epistatic properties which limit easy comparison. 

However, when viewed as a CAS, it is evident that 'natural' foods are essentially attractive because they have been evolved over many generations via competitive selection as effectively tested in supporting our existence, and
This page reviews the strategy of setting up an arms race.  At its core this strategy depends on being able to alter, or take advantage of an alteration in, the genome or equivalent.  The situation is illustrated with examples from biology, high tech and politics. 
provide many
of the
Agents use sensors to detect events in their environment.  This page reviews how these events become signals associated with beneficial responses in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  CAS signals emerge from the Darwinian information model.  Signals can indicate decision summaries and level of uncertainty. 
signals that we have evolved sensors
to use in choosing foods allowing us to remain healthy.  

Biologically
This page discusses the mechanisms and effects of emergence underpinning any complex adaptive system (CAS).  Key research is reviewed. 
emergent
food chains are also likely to be
This web page reviews opportunities to find and capture new niches based on studying fitness landscapes using complex adaptive system (CAS) theory. 
efficient, using building blocks
that are easily operated on by both producers and consumers.   However, they are unlikely to have included significant leverage of fossil fuels and
Tools and the businesses that produce them have evolved dramatically.  W Brian Arthur shows how this occurred.
tools
which can extend the reach and effectiveness of the food chain. 

Pollan discusses how fire's integration into the processing of foods expanded the range of potential nutrients in man's diet.  The complex adaptive nature of the food chain means that the testing process should be re-applied after this change.  The widespread adoption of cooking illustrates the success of that change.  Change is inherent in adaptive strategies and hence so is risk.  The interconnected nature of the system means that changes can have subtle effects that can compound.  But that is the nature of CASs.  Natural cannot mean unchanging.  

Pollan describes Earl Butts' actions in attempting to ensure that the US is the United States of America.   food system could guarantee that there were enough supplies of staples to avoid hunger in the general population.  His solution augmented the Sun's provision of energy to drive the process with the energy of fossil fuels.  It also provided financial incentives to farmers to sustain production.  Pollan notes 'a naturalist's way of looking at it is that industrial agriculture has introduced a vast new stock of biomass to the environment, creating what amounts to an imbalance-a kind of vacuum in reverse'.  Since any adaptation in evolutionary biology is a trait that increased the number of surviving offspring in an organism's ancestral lineage.  In Deacon's conception of evolution an adaptation is the realization of a set of constraints on candidate mechanisms, and so long as these constraints are maintained, other features are arbitrary. 
in any CAS may have this effect, the argument seems emotive. 

Still when an
This page reviews the catalytic impact of infrastructure on the expression of phenotypic effects by an agent.  The infrastructure reduces the cost the agent must pay to perform the selected action.  The catalysis is enhanced by positive returns. 
infrastructure amplifier
such as the subsidized, fertilized, corn production process, replaces traditional sources of carbon with untested alternatives the products should be treated with some skepticism.  Instead with a need to ensure its revenue stream, and the uncertainties is when a factor is hard to measure because it is dependent on many interconnected agents and may be affected by infrastructure and evolved amplifiers.  This is different from Risk.   to the economy of a public avoiding such low cost high volume food sources offered to them, the industrial food chain limits the
Agents use sensors to detect events in their environment.  This page reviews how these events become signals associated with beneficial responses in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  CAS signals emerge from the Darwinian information model.  Signals can indicate decision summaries and level of uncertainty. 
signals
that could identify such changes in the test status is a publically accepted, signal that one possesses assets: wealth, beauty, talent, expertise, access & trust of powerful people; to be able to help others. 
of their products as much as possible. 

The introduction of prions is a protein with the unusual property of having two highly stable configurations.  DNA generally encodes only one of the stable configurations of the prion.  The other form once present converts the rest of the local prion to its configuration which is very stable.  The generation of prions and their configuration shifts are used by neurons to represent long term state. 
into the food chain of cattle described by Schwartz in "How the Cows turned mad" demonstrates how the fear can reflect a dangerous reality. 

CAS principles show that 'Natural foods' can be defined to mean '
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
evolutionarily tested
as providing a benefit when eaten in the quantities obtainable during the evolutionary period'.  


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This page looks at schematic structures and their uses.  It discusses a number of examples:
  • Schematic ideas are recombined in creativity. 
  • Similarly designers take ideas and rules about materials and components and combine them. 
  • Schematic Recipes help to standardize operations. 
  • Modular components are combined into strategies for use in business plans and business models. 

As a working example it presents part of the contents and schematic details from the Adaptive Web Framework (AWF)'s operational plan. 

Finally it includes a section presenting our formal representation of schematic goals. 
Each goal has a series of associated complex adaptive system (CAS) strategy strings. 
These goals plus strings are detailed for various chess and business examples. 
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  • A business can gain focus from targeting key customers,
  • Business planning activities performed by the whole organization can build awareness, empowerment and coherence. 
  • A program approach can ensure strategic alignment. 
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