Complex systems, by their nature, generate a tangled web of connecting causes and effects. So it’s surprising how often solutions aimed at fixing root-cause issues come down to a binary choice: do ‘X’, or don’t do ‘X’. Both can seem necessary—the classic dilemma. So what’s the way out?
All models are wrong. By definition, they simplify reality. The map is not the territory, but sometimes it’s exactly what you need. Imagine if you could isolate the root causes of problems in your organisation and map their connections on a single page.
Many organisations confuse their goal with their vision, mission or purpose. When I help my clients define their goal, I specifically ask for an answer of at least how much by no later than when? It’s not a target, but rather a bearing with two coordinates. If you can make more, sooner, then why not?
How structured is your thinking? No less a figure than W Edwards Deming made the theory of knowledge one of four pillars in his System of Profound Knowledge. And yet, in my experience, very little structured thinking goes on in our modern workplaces.
Despite the disruption brought about by the pandemic, we already know some aspects of our future. Regardless of when and how we reboot our economy, it will no longer be in our national interest to rely on China for the manufacture of products critical to our lives and livelihoods.