Posts Tagged ‘ complexity ’

Eschew Simple

We are faced with a world of complexity. We also have a craving for simple and easy. Our brains and our psyches would really prefer to avoid the messy realities of the world and the inherent difficulty of trying to solve persistent and intractable problems. When faced with a complex problem, we will very often substitute a much simpler answer and pretend that is true. This is where simple gets very complex indeed.



Embrace Complexity

Many of us find the complexity of the world difficult to manage. Particularly now, we want simple answers and easy solutions. We would like to take all the mess and awkwardness and shove it under a large enough carpet that it won’t see the light of day any time soon. That doesn’t work, sadly, and simple solutions expressed confidently aren’t a substitute for the messy, difficult work of muddling through and persevering. Embracing complexity requires work and effort; that starts with recognizing complexity for what it is.



Where To: Planning Our Organizational Next Steps

As we respond to the chaos around us, it can be tempting to look forward to when we are past this and “things are normal again.” Our current environment feels overwhelming and uncertain. The most appealing thing is to hide under a blanket. The most strategically important thing might be to take action. The key challenge lies in defining the action to take, and figuring out how best to coordinate and lead in a time where nothing feels certain.



The Power Of Simplicity

There are times that I marvel at the value that a simple model provides. And yet we often go out of our way to make things difficult, to be as detailed and comprehensive as we can. Rather than looking for what is essential, we ask for everything. Yet simple models can have surprising depth behind them. And they can be extraordinarily powerful in helping to make sense of complex situations.



The Decisions Sponsors Have To Make

Being successful as a sponsor requires being attentive. We need to show up, pay attention and provide active support. Where this doesn’t happen, projects fail. Sadly, every once in a while, projects fail anyway. The challenge for sponsors is determining what to do next.



The Myth of Best Practices

I’m a process geek. You might safely assume, then, that I would be a fan of “best practices.” You would be very wrong. Best practices generally aren’t. Unlike the promised intent, there is usually more than one best way to proceed in a given situation. We ignore that at our peril.



Doing The Work We Were Meant To Do

We want to do good work. We aspire to do amazing, transcendent work. That doesn’t happen very often. When it does happen, it is very good indeed. What is critical is recognizing what allows us to actually do it.



Simple Is Hard. It Is Also Essential.

How we deal with complex problems is challenging. Our minds evolved to take shortcuts and make things easy. There is a lot of danger in doing so when we confront truly difficult situations. We need to find simple—but not simplistic—ways of communicating complex and complicated relationships and information.



Process Can’t Compensate For Culture

Process is appealing. It provides structure and guidance and rules and boundaries. The challenge is that organizations are messy and complex. Projects are difficult. They require work and adaptation. You can’t just take process from one place, apply it to another, and expect it to work properly. You need to do something else.



Wrestling With Strategy & Change

Virtually my entire career has been, in one way or another, focussed on the creation of change. I am not a status-quo kind of guy. What I’ve learned about realizing strategy and managing change in organizations.



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