In this paper ideas and insights from John Bennett's Systematics1 are combined and blended with insights and discoveries developed in my studies of chaos and complexity theory. In about 1990 I discovered that Systematics provided the models and language for working in the new sciences of chaos and complexity. When two independent bodies of knowledge come together I pay very close attention. I am also intensely focused on the practical applications of this work and have developed ways to work with the people who want to move their organizations to levels of business excellence and build better safety performance, as well as more humane, considerate, productive workplaces at the same time.
I have worked in several hundred organizations using this work; the results are impressive and sustainable. These ideas focus on how people have decided to work together, and not on the specific kinds work that they do. Therefore they apply to all sorts of organizations ranging from children's homes, to city government, to chemical plants, to sugar mills, steel mills, for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. These ideas also work effectively across cultures revealing the deeper patterns and processes that seem to be common to just about everyone. They work in China, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, the US, the UK, Italy and in parts of Africa.
Total business performance requires many dimensions of expertise: finance, sales, marketing, customer service, IT, research and produce innovation, manufacturing, human resources, shipping and distribution, and workplace safety and health are some examples. All of these areas are in constant flux and change. Whenever people come together to accomplish something there are complex interactions and dynamics. All organizations are Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS) in that all are experiencing these dynamics, learning and adapting as they go.
1 Bennett, John G. 1966 and 1985. The Dramatic Universe, Vol.3 Man and His Nature. Coombe Springs and Claymont Communications. Charles Town, W.V.