What are complex adaptive systems?

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  • Organizations aren’t just organizations—they’re complex adaptive systems. Thinking of them this way, says Nathan Rosenberg, founding partner of management consulting firm Insigniam, can give your organization a competitive advantage.
  • In complex adaptive systems, there is no cause and effect. Rules, or laws, have no causal efficacy. The system is constantly changing and adapting. But patterns in behaviors and relationships do begin to emerge.
  • You cannot control a complex adaptive system but you can influence it. You’re an independent agent in the system and your choices make a difference.

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