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.
Project management is all about planning and control. Plan the work, and work the plan. The problem is, this only works well when you know exactly what you are producing, and can fully define the process of getting there. While this is possible for many projects, it is not possible for all. This is not […]
I started this series as an exploration into why so many of us—theoretically well intentioned and intelligent professionals that we are—seem to manage to maintain a state of being overwhelmed most of the time. As I close out, the inescapable conclusion is the one I suggested at the outset: that, for the most part, this […]