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Author Applies Chaos Theory To Leadership Issues, Business

first_img Published: May 10, 1999 Share Share via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via LinkedInShare via E-mail If you think business is chaotic, you’re right.”The world may appear to be disorderly, but beneath the apparent disorder there is actually order,” says Irene Sanders, director of the Business Network at CU-Boulder’s Center for Chaos and Complexity. “Once business leaders learn to understand that, they can interpret, anticipate and even influence change.”Sanders, author of “Strategic Thinking and the New Science: Planning in the Midst of Chaos, Complexity and Change,” applies chaos theory to management and strategic thinking. By following the seven principles of strategic thinking as defined by the new science, Sanders says managers will be able to see, understand and influence change before crisis arises.In essence, Sanders says business leaders who look at whole systems, not just parts, and who understand that a small event in one sector can cause tremendous turbulence in another, will be more effective leaders. Also, using visual images, non-linear thinking and understanding the importance of perspective when viewing chaotic events can make a difference in the success of an organization.Much of the leadership research shows that what distinguishes stars from average leaders is “big-picture” thinking and pattern recognition, and Sanders says that’s exactly what the new science offers.The Center for Chaos and Complexity is organizing an executive education program titled “Leadership Survival Skills for the 21st Century: Understanding and Using the New Science” to address leadership issues. The workshop will teach participants how to think visually and develop foresight in their fields.”Foresight gives managers the ability to influence the future by responding to and influencing what is emerging,” Sanders said.o New thinking for the new millennium is a two-day course for managers interested in developing strong leadership skills. The program, which costs $850, will be held July 8-9. Registration for the class closes June 30.The Colorado Center for Chaos and Complexity’s Business Network expects to draw participants from local and national companies, government agencies and non-profit organizations.Based at the University of Colorado at Boulder’s Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, the interdisciplinary center has applications for real-world problems ranging from earthquakes, landslides and weather to climate systems, superconductors and the stock market.For further information or to register for a seminar, please contact the Center at 303-492-5743. Information is also available online at http://cires.colorado.edu/c4/.last_img read more