3 ways to deal with complexity

2 mins read


In many areas of business, the world spins quicker than ever. You might view this as a big challenge. A challenge of added complexity.

How can you keep your world in order, if external drivers ridicule your fundamental pillars?

For many organizations, it feels like stormy weather without much hope for a clearing up. Daily requests are pressing, it is impossible to find enough time to reflect on the situation.

Here are some quick thoughts to shortcut your reflection:

What are your options to master complexity?

1: Reframe to change your perception of the situation

Many of those things are happening anyway. You might ask yourself how you can leverage those effects to the benefit of your organization? Can you capture some gusts of the stormy weather as consistent tailwind? Can you partner with new players to improve the value creation for your customers? Are new markets arising for you due to the new externalities?

2: Reduce complexity

You might remember Steve Jobs coming back to Apple. He stopped parallel developments and pushed the organization toward the development of the IPod.

But even without those drastic moves, there might be other virtues that will simplify corporate life. These are factors that instill the hoards of stability in a turbulent environment.

What are your islands of stability that will withstand any storm? Can you introduce new areas or enlarge existing ones? Some hints are given here.

3: Become more agile

To react to major external influences accept reality and adapt. Flex the agile muscle by investing in the competencies of your employees. Employees who know best what to do, how to do it. And if they are at the same time autonomous enough they will not only act in line with the companies purpose, they will also develop mastery in this. In this sense becoming agile means leveraging the full potential of your employees. Your employees will decide on adequate methods. They might opt for methods like Scrum, Kanban, or design thinking, but they might also perform well without. How can you make this happen? By building trust, giving encouragement, and providing access to all keys of the piano. Building up these competencies will pay off.

What is the best option for you?

#1 is the quickest, but it can also be the quickest to be abandoned. It is more tactical and helps in the short term.

#2 is tough and not always possible. The decision maker must be a powerful leader. He puts a lot of weight on his own shoulders.

#3 is the hardest, it will take a while (1-2 years are common). But it will be sustainable, it will distribute the weights on many shoulders.

Certainly, #3 is what you will need to do anyway. The new (exponential) technologies force your organization to reinvent itself over and over. It sets up the organization with an adequate engine to master complexity.

So, if you would like to hear more about these options, stay tuned and sign up for the newsletter. Get in touch!

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