The world is full of ‘complex dynamic change’ arising from well-understood underlying principles. For example, at their heart all types of social media, such as viral marketing, crowdsourcing, flashmobs and so on work in the same way – networks of relations are made with highly-connected ‘hub’ individuals in the key role of opinion formers. As messages pass through the networks their dynamics change in ways that create the buzz with which we are all familiar. There have been many examples of this in 2011 – such as in the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movements and the so-called ‘Arab Spring’.
So, how easy is it to purposefully influence the dynamics of such networks and what kinds of capabilities are required to do this? A recently published book ‘Complexity Demystified – a Guide for Practitioners‘ has a case study showing how the UK Government dealt with the nationwide fuel protests in 2000. The case study shows that influencing large numbers of people in radical ways is perfectly feasible – if it is done at appropriate levels.
(c) 2011. The abaci Partnership LLP