I had the privilege of commenting on the initial hypotheses for this seminal piece of research. I also spoke to the author after the book's recent publication. Here is a short synopsis on the book:
Complex systems consist of many interacting parts, most of which are usually examined using intuition, case evidence and critical "systems" thinking. Systems, in general, have to optimize around business risks, technical decisions, marketplace taste, personnel management, and stakeholder commitments. The constituent elements of most systems are often scattered in multiple geographical and virtual locations.
We've all heard of the "Butterfly Effect" in Chaos Theory - a phenomenon whereby a geographical or time-based event ("butterfly flaps its wings in California today") can induce significant effects or outcomes in another location at a future period in time ("typhoons occur in the Philippines next month"). Metaphorically, the butterfly effect” alludes to the sensitivity of outcomes to initial conditions in nature.
This book posits the argument that many small product and service innovations ("innovation butterflies", the result of small mutually interacting creative and coordination tasks within any system) are disproportionately vital to organizational health. These innovation experiments, which may or may not be formally tracked, occur throughout most systems. Knowingly or unknowingly, they may, in the short run, take up significant amounts of effort, leading to sub-optimal efficiencies within leading-edge projects. However, in the long run, measured in one or more years, they often move the needle on effectiveness - making institution-level innovation portfolios more productive and the underlying institution or system more valuable. Interestingly, the institution in question could be a for-profit enterprise, a non-profit or a State/Federal government agency.
If you are trying out new paradigms or exercising original thinking, you probably know that precise planning is an oxymoron! But you do need a handle on your organization's innovation butterflies. This book explains several real-life examples - models and ideals - that show the disruptively disproportionate medium and long-term impact of innovation butterflies and how managers can take advantage of them. Agile planning, effective implementation of project portfolios, proactive big data tracking/analytics, plug-and-play processes, empowered organizational structures - some highly original, most time-tested - and other example cause-and-effect management breakthroughs are probed in detail in this original piece of business research.
Is your organization ready to leverage its innovation butterflies?
Contact Us for a deeper dive on how this management phenomenon can be used to influence better outcomes within the specific context of your Government Agency, Business Process or Enterprise-at-large.