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Navigating Through Complexity Systems Thinking Guide
Navigating Through Complexity Systems Thinking Guide Author:Marilyn Herasymowych & Henry Senko Without question, increasing change and complexity are creating a storm that few organizations are able to weather. As the storm gains momentum, it lashes out in unpredictable ways, leaving many problems in its wake. You may deal with the resulting problems by trying to control what you can, or by trying to nullify the effects by keeping your no... more »se down to get your work done. You may use tried-and-true methods to cope with the problems and opportunities that the storm brings, only to find that your efforts create little or no change in the situation, and may, in fact, make matters worse. You may notice that almost every tack you take works less and less well, making you feel less competent to be effective. As change accelerates, it creates even more complexity, thus further eroding your sense of competency, until all you have left are feelings of anger, hopelessness and despair.
When you start feeling out of control, you can easily become a victim of forces that you do not understand. It is a vicious cycle: change and complexity feed off each other to create even more change and complexity! The end result can be an exhausted workforce, unable to deal with the overwhelming problems that change and complexity bring.
We believe that people are tired of dealing with the constant storm of complexity and its after-effects. This tiredness is a symptom of something we call "complexity overload". We find symptoms of "complexity overload" in every corner of the organization--it's only a question of degree. To cope with complexity overload, people navigate through the storm by using current skills and knowledge, which may help them to reach the eye of the storm, but not to clear the storm altogether. There is another way to navigate out of the storm, and to be prepared for other storms. This other way is called "systems thinking".« less