Addressing the challenges of increasing complexity in high-tech systems

Are you a Complexitect?

Intense competition, an ongoing battle for talent, new technologies, shifting business models; the high-tech industry faces many extrinsic challenges. A major challenge however, comes from the inside: how to manage (and make good use of) the ever-increasing complexity?
High-tech companies need to develop professionals that are able to look and think beyond the borders of a discipline, department or even the company itself. As a trusted partner in an open innovation eco-system, ESI supports companies with the development and deployment of strategic knowledge for design and engineering of complex high-tech systems and applications. Moreover, we have a range of activities to accelerate the competence development of talented engineers.

complexitect accelerate career

We need Complexitects!

Mechatronics, software, photonics, AI, … staying on edge in one discipline is a challenge by itself, let alone covering the integration of all disciplines into one comprehensive system. The successful development of high-tech systems and applications relies on the ability to perform state-of-the-art engineering within a rapidly changing market, business, and technology environment. Companies increasingly need Complexitects, engineers that are capable of managing multiple levels of abstraction.

Addressing key challenges

Complexitects add value to the development process by addressing one or more of the following key challenges of today’s high-tech industry:

  • Track down the true customer-requirements
  • Create alignment between stakeholders & project team
  • Identify relationships between disciplines and help team members understand & respect those relationships
  • Balance technical risks & opportunities with the desired end resultcomplexitect high tech industry
  • Provide the big picture perspective
  • Translate technical jargon into business and operational terms & vice versa
  • Manage emergence in both project and system
  • Rise ‘above the noise’ and anticipate on potential pitfalls
  • Support the business case for the system
  • In short: Being a Complexitect is challenging! It requires engineers that are able to transcend their discipline, and have sufficient knowledge of market, business, and technology in order to manage the ever-increasing complexity.

Accelerate your career

Reaching this new, elevated, system-thinking level in engineering requires a special approach. As you can imagine, becoming a Complexitect does not take place in a traditional classroom setting. It is all about experiencing how (increased) levels of complexity can be managed. Developing architectural concepts, decision making, getting co-workers aboard of the mission and much more.

ESI creates intense training experiences using work forms such as:

  • Heat Assignments – Students get a huge task that involves risk for the company: how does the student perform within the energy and dynamics of such a challenge?
  • Multiple perspectives – Students are stimulated to develop new ways of thinking/perceiving problems and projects by placing themselves in the shoes of someone else, the client for example. What would the client want, appreciate, depreciate?
  • Elevator Sensemaking – Students get sharp reflections on their strategies, solutions and decisions by senior mentors in the field.

With these experiences, students are encouraged to connect the dots of engineering proficiency, system-thinking and leadership skills.

Pick your favourite way of learning

Next to in-depth acceleration programmes as described above, ESI offers a broad set of activities supporting engineers to work towards Complexitect level, varying from sharing your story and learn from others’ stories at network events, to micro-learnings providing small but crucial understandings for engineering in the new economy. Together the activities form the ESI environment for continuous competence development. It is up to you how you would like to enter and use the environment by picking your favourite way of learning:


A complete approach to competence development

Good to know: the ESI competence development activities stem from a complete approach to competence development in the field of system engineering / system architecture, comprising three pillars:

1. Engineering proficiency

  • State-of-the-art engineering methodologies and practices based on applied systems engineering research.
  • System Domain & Context – Principal and relevant systems within a certain business and operational context.

2. Systems proficiencycomplexitect challenges

  • Systems Engineering Methodologies and Lifecycle thinking, systems engineering methods, tools and management
  • Systems Mindset – Big picture thinking, adaptability, abstraction, paradoxal mindset

3.    Professional proficiency

  • Social Intelligence – Interpersonal skills, building and using a social network.
  • Tech Leadership – Orchestrating diverse teams, balanced decision making, guiding
  • Stakeholders, technical strategies.

For every candidate we can make a gap analysis and compile a relevant and accurate competence development programme.

Want to learn more about our competence development opportunities?

Let’s discuss what ESI can do for you and your company! 

read more: I am a Complexitect


Joris van den Aker

+31 (0)88 866 54 14

“Passionate about competence development and innovative learning concepts in high-tech industry.”