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September 30, 2003

Applying Interactive Planning at DuPont

The Case of Transforming a Safety, Health, and Environmental Function to Deliver Business Value to Corporate safety, health, and environmental (SHE) functions continue to be under increasing pressure to reduce costs (e.g., downsizing) and deliver business value (e.g., moving the SHE function into the business, with little attention given to integrating the work).

Using an alternative approach to traditional reengineering grounded in systems thinking as the strategic planning initiative, Jim Leemann led the complete organizational transformation of the SHE functions in DuPont Specialty Chemicals.

This paper discusses the outcome of this experiment, which included a vast improvement in SHE performance along with a significant reduction in costs. Specifically, the implementation of Interactive Planning, with its focus on participation and personal commitment, resulted in:
- transformation of SHE professionals from independent to interdependent knowledge workers
- improvement of SHE performance by almost 50%
- flourishing of organizational learning among SHE professionals.
To read the article, click on the link Applying Interactive Planning at DuPont. Copies of the article are available by accessing the following website: Systemic Practice and Action Research.

Posted by ACASA on September 30, 2003 at 12:44 PM in Systems Articles | Permalink | Comments (0)

September 17, 2003

Business Model Warfare

If your business model is obsolete, your company may be destined for failure. Such is the premise of this white paper, which examines competitive change in the marketplace, outlines the underlying patterns of success and failure, and offers a framework for strategic reflection and decision making. In a market where only one quarter of today's S&P 500 companies are expected to be part of the index by 2020, trends must be better understood. By examining the broader patterns of change across entire industries and the whole of the economy, the authors demonstrate that Business Model innovation is essential if a company is to survive. To read the white paper by Langdon Morris, click on link Business Model Warfare.

Posted by ACASA on September 17, 2003 at 12:40 PM in White Paper | Permalink | Comments (6)

September 09, 2003

Movies Demonstrating Emotional Agent Architecture

Dr. Barry Silverman and his team at Ackoff Center for Advancement of Systems Approaches (ACASA) have just completed a series of movies demonstrating their emotional agent architecture, PMFserv, running in a 3D video game environment. The videos are available online (see below).

Dr. Silverman’s group has been researching and modeling the impact of stress and emotion upon rationality over the past several years. Their approach draws together facets of subjective expected utility theory, social decision conflict theory, somatic marker theory, stress and fatigue models, and cognitive complexity theory to create agents that make realistic decisions based on their physical and emotional state. For this demonstration, they embedded their PMFserv agents into characters in a video game environment designed to represent Mogadishu during American support of the UN’s Somalian relief mission of 1993. This agent modeling approach involves no scripting. Instead, each PMFserv agent can choose what behaviors satisfy their internal objectives (e.g., observe, flee, swarm, flock, attack, loot, blow themselves up, act as human shields, etc.). As the world around these agents evolves and as a US Ranger (controlled by the player) and his companions take actions in this world, one can observe how agent micro-decisions effect other agents and ripple across to macro-behaviors and new crowd equilibria. The player’s goal is to leave his/her Humvee, advance to the crash site, secure and destroy a helicopter, and return safely without making tactical errors that arouse the mobs and incur the wrath of the locals - Somalian male, female, and militia agents controlled by PMFserv agents.

The result of their work is summarized in six video clips just completed and viewable at the bottom of the page on the ACASA website. A further output of this effort is a toolset for studying complex adaptive systems behaviors where humans are involved.

Posted by ACASA on September 9, 2003 at 01:33 PM in ACASA News | Permalink | Comments (0)