Howard Thomas, Principal, TAM Consultants

Workforce Transformation and Digital Disruption – Clarity in the Century of Complexity


Stephen Hawking described the 21st Century as the century of complexity.

Despite no underlying improvement in productivity, industry in general, has become an increasingly complex field. There is a clear need to identify when the value of complexity turns negative, and to act before companies experience deterioration in performance or worse, collapse. Failure to recognise complexity inevitably leads to a state of reactivity.

The overall trend towards the addition of numerous initiatives in the name of innovation, collaboration and digital disruption illustrates that our decision making process is not only reactive and heavily influenced by group think and not sufficiently sensitised to complexity.

We need to seek a balance between complexity and the cognitive capacity of an organisation to produce sustainable improvement in performance.

This paper discusses good decision making and the use of digital tools in complex environments.


Howard has advocated practical approaches to operational excellence for over 20 years.  He has a unique ability to make the complex simple for his clients and audiences. He combines an in depth technical background with a wide ranging business experience but is probably best known for his engaging style of presentation. He is formally technically accredited as a Fellow of Engineers Australia and a Chartered Professional Chemical Engineer and has worked on hydrocarbon installations all over the world, from roles as a technician to executive consultancy.