Complexity Concepts

Complexity can manifest itself in many practical forms, these may include;

Complex Systems Phenomenon #1

The Butterfly Effect

States that a complex system is a highly inter-connected entity and so any change in one systemic relationship can potentially ripple and compound to create momentous, possibly even uncontrollable, impacts in all the other system relationships

Complex Systems Phenomenon #2

The Edge of Chaos

States that a complex system is a highly energised entity which is no more than a transition or two away from descending into wild disorder (chaos) and thus should at all times be considered to be potentially chaotic

Complex Systems Phenomenon #3

Sum of Parts

States that a complex system comprises of an advanced number of internal contributing agents whose total integrated behaviour is so much more momentous and impactful than the sum of the individual parts

Complex Systems Phenomenon #4


States that a complex adaptive system is continually transitioning, so will create new emergent behaviours, properties and characteristics that are not an intended outcome of design

Complex Systems Phenomenon #5

Strange Attractors

States that the primary contributing agents of a complex system, will not necessarily engage with each other through logical means of attraction (e.g. cause & effect)

Complex Systems Phenomenon #6


States that although numerous recognisable patterns and relationships may exist within a complex system, their behavioural outcomes will rarely be consistent, logical nor repeatable

Complex Systems Phenomenon #7


States that a highly complex system is dynamic, evolutionary and unpredictable entity and thus past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance

Complex Systems Phenomenon #8


States that complex adaptive systems are highly responsive entities whose behaviours are driven by signals generated from the internal contributing agents continually interacting with and adapting to both each other, and their surrounding environment

Complex Systems Phenomenon #9


States that a Complex Systems’ contributing components will continually adjust in response to emergent signals & feedback, as a means to seek out its’ most balanced, ordered or efficient state

So What?

Highly complex systems (such as major organisations and large projects) simply do not behave in the same manner as rational ordered systems and for this reason, conventional management practices need to evolve so as to meet the challenges of a significantly more complex world. But in order to control Complexity, one first needs to understand it.

Welcome to the world of Complexus