The challenges we face every day in our world of work can basically be distinguished as complicated or complex tasks. A task is complicated if it is influenced by a large number of factors but they have a clearly describable dependence on each other and develop predictably. With knowledge, intelligence and experience, these complicated structures can be comprehended and solved. Benchmarks and best practices can be consulted by experts. You can agree on a correct solution and you can define rules and processes that will lead to the right solution. This also means that these tasks are suitable for digitalisation and the use of artificial intelligence because computers can be programmed to use rules. It also means that sooner or later, as humans, we will be replaced by computers that make zero errors in following rules and processes and can calculate things faster.
When we speak of complex challenges, we mean challenges where many factors play a role but their interdependencies are ambiguous and constantly changing. New factors crop up suddenly and significantly influence the task. The core insight of a complex challenge is that you cannot find a correct and universally valid solution and that there is no best practice to look for. And so there are no rules and processes that allow error-free processing. And, unfortunately, we have to say that complexity cannot be reduced or controlled. There is no "Keep it simple!"
We have to accept
that there is no ONE
correct perception of
Rather, there are other crucial ways of resolving complexity and dealing with it.
An important insight is that we can never grasp complexity alone. Everyone only ever sees part of the complexity. So we need many perspectives, many people, to get a clear picture of complexity. We call that "multiple-brain thinking". And we have to accept that there are these many perspectives and no one correct perception of the situation. Another important insight is that we need new methods to deal with complexity. Long-term planning with milestones, fixed goals, well-defined roles and responsibilities makes no sense if you do not know how the complexity and thus the task will evolve in the next step. What is helpful is a process that repeatedly puts the complexity back on the agenda and moves the task to the meta-level or the helicopter perspective so that changes in complexity are an ongoing topic and can therefore be worked on consciously. And this also means that continuous learning from experience, reflection and constructive handling of mistakes are essential. There is no right and wrong. In contrast to clear rules, principles of work and decision-making must therefore be defined in complex environments, as guardrails between which there is room to move. This keeps people and organisations mobile and able to meet the reality of complexity.
At Movendo, we see ourselves as experts in empowering people and organisations in dealing with complexity, working together to develop the principles we describe and implementing the new approach. We make people and organisations mobile. BE MOVENDO!