Today's businesses are constantly under pressure to innovateto develop new products, processes, and even organizational structuresin order to remain vibrant and healthy. But many businesses fall into the trap of doing more of the same, only faster. How can they break free of old patterns without overextending their resources or losing sight of their core goals and capabilities? In Open Boundaries, Howard Sherman and Ron Schultz bring fresh, new insights from the field of complexity thinkingthe study of dynamic evolving systemsto unleash creativity and innovation throughout the organization. Drawing from their groundbreaking research at the Santa Fe Center for Emergent Strategies, the authors challenge readers to explore the underlying principles, cognitive models, and rules that govern their decisions and actions to revealand, more importantly, overcomeobstacles to innovation and growth.Open Boundaries introduces a practical vocabulary to help managers understand, analyze, and nurture the creative process by eschewing linear ”cause-and-effect” approaches to decision making in favor of an approach that thrives on ambiguity and unpredictability. Showcasing the pioneering efforts of such organizations as Xerox-PARC, Applied Biosystems, Patagonia, and the United States Marine Corps, the authors vividly illustrate the power of complexity thinking in actionfrom creating new markets to establishing new ways of spreading emerging knowledge throughout the company.Ultimately, Open Boundaries is about ideas, the most powerful of which is realizing that organizations are not mechanical entities, but living systems that are constantly adjusting and adapting to both internal and external forces of change. By embracing this perspective, businesses can become far more creative, innovative, and profitable than they might have ever thought possible.
About the Author
Howard Sherman is a managing director of the Santa Fe Center for Emergent Strategies, a leader in the application of complexity thinking to business. A former member of the Santa Fe Institute's Business Network, he has also served as an executive at Midas Inc. and president of Dion Corporation. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Ron Schultz is a director at Senn-Delaney Leadership Consulting Group. Formerly a senior consultant to the Santa Fe Center for Emergent Strategies and a contributor to Omni magazine, he is a founding partner in Learning Arts Publications and has written and cowritten eleven books on business management. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.