Book Pick: Evolution & Resilience

Systemic disruptions call for adaptive changes supported by shifts in representation paradigms
Excerpt from Enterprise Architecture Fundamentals:


As summarized by Eva Jablonka and Marion J. Lamb (cf. bibliography), the extended evolutionary synthesis defines the evolution of live organisms in four dimensions:

  1. Genetics: changes in phenotypes (the actual forms and capabilities of organisms) are carried out through the combination of genotypes (the coded parts of DNA).
  2. Epigenetics: changes in genotypes between generations (genetics) can also take place in transmission, induced by the non-coded (or perhaps still undeciphered) parts of the DNA (or epigenetics).
  3. Behavioral: changes occur through socially mediated non-symbolic learning (e.g., imitation).
  4. Symbolic: changes occur through socially mediated symbolic learning (e.g., political systems).

For enterprises, the equivalent dimensions of evolution would be:

  1. Corporate identity: changes in status, assets, and ownership
  2. Business model: changes in targeted markets, resources, and organization
  3. Business processes: changes in channels and operations
  4. Architecture: changes in symbolic representations

In line with the epigenetics metaphor, the evolution of enterprises would be governed by the double thread of information between data and knowledge, supporting both behavioral (emerging) and symbolic (planned) evolutions (figure 17-1).

Figure 17-1. Enterprise Evolution


(From Chapter 17)
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