The following terms, which are used in describing our approach to consulting, are briefly explained here and cross references offered to sites with more detailed information.
Dynamic Systems Theory/Strategy Dynamics
Based on Jay Forresters pionering work, this approach to business looks at the way complex systems evolve over time under the impact of simple rules. In the UK Kim Warren has been one of the leaders in the application of this discipline to business problems
Based in Santa Fe, complexity theorists have been looking for the last 10 years or so at the way complex behaviour emerges from simple rules.
Agent Based Models
One of the areas of complexity research is the study of the way the beahiour of multiple agents varies as the rules they follow vary. Aspects of insect behaviour have been found such rules which it appears can be applied to both crowd dynamics and some types of logistical problem.
Pioneeerd by Arie de Guis at Shell in the 70s, this approach gave Shell an enormous advantage when the global oil industry was faced with the previously unexpected behaviour of OPEC. The same disinclination to face up to and plan responses to unpleasant possibilities is illustrated by the dire state of the UK governments crisis management systems and the lack of effort to create a coordinated reponse
Monte Carlo/the Bootstrap
These are simply tools to enable the statistical properties of an outcome to be determined by multiple runs of a system with inputs chosen at random from pre-defined ditributions. When combined with optimising tools they can provide very powerful tools for better reposnes to crises or change management
Competence based strategy
One of the many approaches to formulating startegy, this approach looks at what we can do given what we have and the opportunities open in the chosen markets
Game theory/rational behaviour/behavioural economics
Nobel prizes are now being awarded for what was until recently regarded as heresy. Simple psychological experiments are beginning to show that people frequently behave in ways that are far removed from the classical rational consumer assumed by classical ecomists.