Edge of chaos
The "edge of chaos" is originally a phase coined by mathematician Doyne Farmer. In the sciences, the phrase is used as a metaphor that some physical, biological, economic and social systems operate in a region between order and either complete randomness or chaos, where the complexity is maximal. When describing the organzational behaviour, we see that sometimes the organisation is thrown into an out-of-equilibrium zone purposefully and this is a special zone between order and disorder, where the emergence of new qualitative states may take place, and transformation of the organisation as a whole may occur. The Edge of Chaos is an important place for any organisation. One step further and the organisation falls into a deep chaos in which it may be overwhelmed with change. One step back and organisation is in the region of order. Being in order, the organisation is not able to adapt sufficiently to remain viable. It is just on the frontier between these two regions - at the Edge of Chaos - where a delicate, dynamic balance between random chaos and rigid order can emerge. This state of balance is impregnated with the seeds of innovative transformations.
Figure 1: Edge of curiosity
"In a recursive, complexly interwoven world, whatever one does propagates outward, returns, recycles and comes back in a completely unpredictable form. We can never fully know to what results our action leads. We take action, the action can have a very potent shaping effect. Then we relax the drive to control and allow the process to unfold - the process learns, shapes and changes itself through all its inseparable components, not under the direction of one of them only. Together with overall changes in the process, we also change, almost unnoticeably, without any strain"... (Goerner, 1994).
- Vladimir Dimitrov and Lloyd Fell (2007). "Autopoiesis in organizations"
- Goerner, Sally J. (1994), Chaos and the Evolving Ecological Universe (World Futures General Evolution Studies, Vol 7)