Development, Relationships, Complexity
How does a system, with ever more complexity in its environment, find its way? If it simply grows and thus generates more elements, it could pick up more phenomena in the environment, but it increases the inner complexity in equal measure. In this way, the outer complexity would merely be replaced by the inner, and the problem would simply be deferred. Therefore, it requires an increase in the inner structure, which selects more sharply and, thus, excludes more – but then, what is excluded? Links between elements are disabled or reduced. Fewer relationships between the elements are permitted or information, which must be processed, is more restrictively selected: Once upon a time everything could be found in the local papers, today everything has its own specialist journal (garden, horoscope, interior decoration, sport etc.).
In order to handle more complexity, it also requires a concentration of much on little. This little then becomes more important and at the same time, in this way, ‘history’ arises. The dependence of the system on what once was, increases. The chosen specialisations cannot so easily be undone. The more developed people, teams or organisations are, the more attached they are to their past.
Because, at the same time, the inner structure could also always be different (contingent), highly developed systems are exposed to constant decision-making requirements, to constant processes which must be adjusted and to possible criticisms at all times. Nothing ‘must’ be as it has become.
Complexity initiates development and development processes complexity by shaping relationships. Systems therefore transform environmental complexity into relationship complexity. This is of enormous importance for the understanding of change, as, in this way, every system is able to change by changing inner relations.