Six Simple Rules: How to Manage Complexity without Getting Complicated

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sixBy Yves Morieux, Peter Tollman | Harvard Business Review Press, 2014

Does your organization manage complexity by making things more complicated? If so, you are not alone. According to The Boston Consulting Group’s fascinating Complexity Index, business complexity has increased six fold during the past sixty years. And, all the while, organizational complicatedness – that is, the number of structures, processes, committees, decision-making forums, and systems – has increased by a whopping factor of thirty-five.

In their attempt to respond to the increasingly complex performance requirements they face, company leaders have created an organizational labyrinth that makes it more and more difficult to improve productivity and to pursue innovation. It also disengages and de-motivates the workforce. Clearly it’s time for leaders to stop trying to manage complexity with their traditional tools and instead better leverage employees’ intelligence.