Most of us are not fans of complexity. We may like to tackle difficult challenges as part of our work. But the closer that complexity comes to home, the less comfortable and confident that we feel. The natural reaction to that is to exert control. We try to impose structure and manage work and force our way through to the finish line. Research and experience have shown—time and time again—that this is more often than not a recipe for failure. That is not to say that there aren’t strategies to navigate complexity. They are just different than our normal impulses suggest.
Some of our hardest questions are hard simply because the situation is complex and the possible outcomes are fuzzy and abstract. Knowing how to make a good decision, and how to sustain one, is hard. But it doesn’t have to be. There is a way to be able to sort through the fuzziness and get to the heart of what matters.
Transitioning From Planning To Emergence
Last week’s post about planned and emergent projects was both a continuation and a departure for me. It was a continuation, in that it speaks to project management and outlines concepts that I have been endeavouring to work with and introduce to customers for some time. It is a bit of a departure, however, because […]
Acknowledging The Planned, Embracing The Emergent
For some years now, the work I have done as a consultant has consciously tried to help customers recognize the difference between ‘planned’ and ’emergent’ in the work that they do, and particularly in the projects that they undertake. While the ideas have resonance, and people quickly appreciate the differences, gaining acceptance that they require […]