How to better deal with complexity – Part 5: Emergence

Emergence is one of the attributes that can be added to any organization or group to improve its ability to deal with complexity.

You might be more familiar with the saying that The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. This is a good way to describe the result of emergence. 

Emergence happens when people in an organization interact spontaneously and create skills, competencies, or exhibit behaviors that the organization collectively possesses, but individuals in the organization may be missing them or have a reduced level of them. 

A good example is creativity. An individual may have some level of creativity, but a group of people would collectively have a much higher level. 

Emergence is not the result of any planned or controlled effort. It’s a bottom-up activity that might be initiate in different ways. Emergent is a conducive condition for complexity. 

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