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Coping with Complexity In Technology and Business

The pervasiveness of complexity within business and technology today has focused a lot of attention on Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS). CAS have many components that interact in multiple ways without central control. This behavior results in higher-order emergent properties that cannot be predicted by analyzing the parts of the system. CAS also adapt via learning or evolutionary processes, so they are very dynamic and unpredictable. Examples of CAS are common: technology diffusion through ecosystems; market dynamics; business relationships; and self-organized social structures such as communities of practice.  

The nature of CAS means that behaviors and practices that have served organizations well in the past can be counterproductive and even lead to failure. Today, learning to recognize and manage CAS is a critical competency for leaders at all levels. The contents of this course will help participants identify and work with complex adaptive systems by introducing effective methods and heuristics CAS development and management.



The course is relevant for anyone involved in managing or operating within CAS. It will be of particular interest to teams developing new products and services, managing ecosystems or projects involving large groups of people. Individuals who understand that the world is often dynamic and unpredictable will find the course and associated methods for particularly useful.

This course is frequently attended by leaders and managers, program managers, operations, product and project planners, product owners, lead engineers, and decision makers at all levels.





Four hours


Instructor Led, Online or Onsite

By the end of this course, participants should:

  • Be able to describe complexity and understand the important characteristics of Complex Adaptive Systems

  • Know how to differentiate between complicatedness and complexity, and understand why this distinction is important

  • Be able to describe and apply several effective approaches to manage and make decisions in complex environments

  • Know where to go for more information

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