We Selected the Simple Solution. The Complex Solution Became a Worldwide Standard – Part I


A solution that has been designed in an environment with low levels of complexity can be the cause of failure when:

  • the solution is implemented in an environment with high levels of complexity;
  • the solution itself is extended and becomes too complex; or
  • the solution remains the same but the surrounding environment exceeds a certain level of complexity

Leading in a Complex Environment

Does this sound familiar? You have an effective solution to a complex challenge. But when you try to get it accepted, you find that it differs too much from the way solutions are expected to look. Creating openness to the unconventional solution seems an insurmountable challenge. Here is an example that may help you.

My quest for solutions to complex challenges started around 1988 while I was working for a data centre. Management recognized that, with increasing complexity, we were losing the overview: With every change we made, and every problem we tried to solve, we were in danger of creating new problems. I was asked to investigate a solution.

At the time, we used a software tool for problem and change management. The tool worked well. It had an unused module and it looked the solution to our challenge was a matter of bringing the module in production. This…

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John Seddon [video]:: Target Obsession Disorder laid bare.


John Seddon explains why targets make organisations worse and controlling costs makes costs higher. If you’re in management or in executive leadership you desperately need to watch this and know it, understand it and listen to it. For the benefit of yourself, those around you and those that interact with you business.

John breaks out why targets make organisations worse and controlling, or managing costs, actually makes them higher. He explains, in a rather entertaining way, why the public sector along with the private sector is doing horribly compared to what they should be doing…a bi-product of  ‘conventional ignorance’.

This elegant dissection of the organisational madness that pervades our culture was given at the 2009 conference of the Human Givens Institute.

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A Fish Rots From the Head:: a commentary on Corporate culture


Is it any wonder that, when you glimpse “behind the curtain” of many institutions, trust is at an all time low!? It also explains why TRANSPARENCY is viewed as a threat rather than as an opportunity.

We know bankers are easy targets but they are not alone. What about their poor relations in the good old insurance industry? Despite the usual TALK about professionalism and the need for change the stench of insincerity serves as a warning that extends far beyond the reaches of enormous marketing budgets and relentless sales campaigns!!!

I am sure that readers will be readily able to attribute some of the characteristics to organisations past and, more worryingly, present. I can think of some individuals and firms within the insurance about whom this could have been written…but there is no need to name names, is there?

What I want to hear about are the insurance leaders with a burning desire to be the best that they can be for ALL of their stakeholders and aren’t afraid to demonstrate belief in their core values. If this is you, or if you know of someone about who this could be said, I would delight in creating the Operational Structure to deliver far greater, sustainable, returns than will be achieved by an army of soulless salespeople. Read more of this post

Organize for Complexity:: business change [presentation]


Dance of silosPlease, please, PLEASE take the time to view this excellent presentation. Even if you only view it at “surface level” it may explain nagging doubts you may have had about the effectiveness of hierarchical business structures. It may help you to visualise your own organisation in a radically different (silo free) manner.

More importantly it may be the “spark” that is required to re-ignite a passion amongst co-workers who have had similar thoughts about the operational structure, misaligned or ill-conceived strategies and all the other "issues" that affect motivation and performance!

There are more levels (or layers) to be considered and that aren’t really covered by the presentation. But I suggest you view the presentation first…

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Success For Organizations Comes From The Ability To Drive The Strategic Transformation At The Most Critical Points. “Business As Usual” Is A Very Dangerous Expression These Days


Freefall“Transformation” may sound a bit OTT but, if the Culture and Operational Structure are not aligned to the goals of the organisation “change” simply does not convey the scale of the challenge.

If “leaders” prefer to overlook even the most glaring changes in the economic environment in which they exist, preferring what they are familiar with and a belief that they will “turn the corner” they may not be worth following.

In the multitude of voices and noises, strategic and organizational paradoxes, CEOs and their executive team need to learn to navigate, transition and lead their organizations into a new future. Companies that failed to transform their organizations because they put too much emphasis on tools and technology and not enough on foresights, mental mindsets and leadership behaviours. Their leaders failed to develop the shared visions, values and beliefs that serve as foundation for dynamic culture and to engage all employees to co-create the new culture and to provide opportunities for them to initiate and participate in a shared destiny.

via Success For Organizations Comes From The Ability To Drive The Strategic Transformation At The Most Critical Points. “Business As Usual” Is A Very Dangerous Expression These Days. – innovation playground Idris Mootee.