In this book David and Alex Bennet propose a new model for organizations that enables them to react more quickly and fluidly to today's fast-changing, dynamic business environment: the Intelligent Complex Adaptive System (ICAS). ICAS is a new organic model of the firm based on recent research in complexity and neuroscience, and incorporating networking theory and knowledge management, and turns the living system metaphor into a reality for organizations. This book synthesizes new thinking about organizational structure from the fields listed above into ICAS, a new systems model for the successful organization of the future designed to help leaders and managers of knowledge organizations succeed in a non-linear, complex, fast-changing and turbulent environment. Technology enables connectivity, and the ICAS model takes advantage of that connectivity by fostering the development of dynamic, effective and trusting relationships in a new organizational structure.
This book outlines the model in chapter four, and then breaks down the model into its components in the next two chapters. This is a benefit to readers since different components of the model can be implemented at different times, so the book can guide implementation of one or all of the components as a manager sees fit. There are eight characteristics of the ICAS: organizational intelligence, unity and shared purpose, optimum complexity, selectivity, knowledge centricity, flow, permeable boundaries, and multi-dimensionality.