The C-Level Job for Everyone: Reducing Complexity [Harvard Business Review]


Ron regularly writes on this topic but he, like IBM, have very little in the way of practical solutions…perhaps not too surprising when one considers that a clear definition is as hard to come by as a means of measuring (and therefore) managing what is, quite correctly, identified as a threat to business profitability, stability and resilience.

Managing complexity has always been part of the leader’s job — be it sorting out the variables involved in strategic decisions, orchestrating the interaction of different functions or responding to unanticipated events. But today, coping with complexity is an even bigger part of the manager’s responsibilities. In fact, a 2010 study of over 1,500 chief executive officers by IBM’s Institute for Business Value identified “the rapid escalation of complexity” as the number one challenge facing CEOs. Furthermore, while 80% of those interviewed predicted even greater complexity ahead, less than 50% felt adequately prepared to deal with it.

Ron Ashkenas: The C-Level Job for Everyone: Reducing Complexity.

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