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Complexity thinking can change how you think about problems in your organisation

Posted by  Andrew Rixon —February 1, 2006
Filed in Collaboration

Inspired by Kurt Richardson’s work exploring the parallels between systems thinking and complexity thinking I couldn’t help myself but to take a few of his gems and add my own angle.

The complementary law: A complex system is a system that has two or more potentially contradictory descriptions.

There is no right person, right answer, right perspective, right description.

System holism principle: The whole is greater than the sum of its parts

You’re not going to be able to get an outcome you want through control.

Incompressibility (Darkness principle): The best representation of a complex system is the system itself

When organisational issues and problems arise, it is a common mindset to want to dive into analysis mode. More and more analysis. Lets strive towards a description and understanding of this problem. The only problem is that it won’t happen. As this principle suggests, we will always be in the shadow the whole, and of course, the whole is greater than the parts. Couple this with the first principle and what do you do with all those contradictory descriptions and findings anyway?!

About  Andrew Rixon

One Response to “Complexity thinking can change how you think about problems in your organisation”

  1. Broadband and Me Says:

    Complexity

    Anecdote: Complexity thinking can change how you think about problems in your organisation I have been reading aboout complexity since Stuart started lecturing me on it back in 2001. His enthusiasm led me to buying numerous books and attending a…

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