In an article in Harvard Business Review, “The Biology of Corporate Survival*” the authors lay out some principles for managing complex adaptive systems. While framed for a business audience, these principles could be applicable to the complex adaptive system (or, perhaps more aptly, the “complexicated” system) of a school.
The authors delineate a set of principles for robustness into structural features, and managerial levers:
- Heterogeneity (Diversity)
- Expect surprise, but reduce uncertainty
- Create feedback loops and adaptive mechanisms
- Foster trust and reciprocity
How might these principles apply in a school?
I’ll leave that to you to contemplate, but for the record, I’ll note that most public school managers typically do quite poorly in reducing uncertainty and in fostering trust.
* “The Biology of Corporate Survival – Harvard Business Review.” 2015. 15 Apr. 2016 <https://hbr.org/2016/01/the-biology-of-corporate-survival>