Complexity Is Uncomfortable to Any Organisation →


Dave Snowden, writes:

Now complexity is uncomfortable to any organisation (which in fact means more or less all organisations) as it challenges several key assumptions. In particular the assumption that you get set clear objectives for a desired future state, that things that work once will repeat as is, that cases from the past provide recipes for future action and so on. In a complex system we:

1 - start journeys with a general sense of direction but without precise targets.
2 - have to be comfortable with what is inherent and unavoidable uncertainty
3 - need real time feedback, with the flexibility to respond and change quickly
4 - can’t avoid some understanding of theory, which has to act as a enabling constraint on action
5 - are ethically responsible for the unintended consequence of any intervention

Some interesting thoughts from Dave, and a nice reminder of some of the key principles for working in complexity.