The Complexity Theory sees environments as complex adaptive systems, which consist of parts, which are dynamically and individually constantly adapting to the changes within their proximity. As their changes are individual and dynamic on a sub-level, knowledge over parts of the system, does not give you knowledge over the system as a whole.

In that sense, every organization from a small team to a big company are all complex adaptive systems. In the past, changes within the reach of those systems were manageable by a few. But with increase in complexity through technical advancements, changes are becoming more and more dynamic within being able to be controlled. This makes the system less and less predictable.

As an example, a team of 2 friends, who know each other for a long time, is a less complex system as they probably can predict part of the reaction and response of the individuals to them. A team of 20 people just being assembled for a new project is a much more complex system, as they do not know each other and probably will struggle to predict each other's outcome.

Resilience (and also Agile) describes the ability of organizations to be able to make sense of unpredictable behavior and therefore being able to fast to respond to the constant changes in complex adaptive systems.

But how can we build the needed resilience for organizations today?

Empiricism helps you to identify what to do to make sense of the constant changes, as it describes decision-making based on prior sensory experiences. Generally, by learning from the past, we will make improved decisions in the future. Therefore, in resilient and Agile environments, we shorten the feedback cycle, in which we review our past sensory experiences and then make new decisions for the future.

Secondly, Emergence comes into place, if pall parts of the system contribute together to create something bigger than they would do individually. This is how we improve our decision-making in resilient/Agile teams. As each individually part of the system (individuals in a team) can make better decisions based on their intermediate environment, their sense-making is probably better, than one person leading the hierarchy ever could be.

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