Do you remember the television advertisment for Mc Cain’s French fries in the early 1990s? The slogan was “Those who talk the least, eat the most”.

For years now, we’ve been talking about a VUCA world

  • Volatile
  • Uncertain
  • Complex
  • Ambiguous

We’re often aware of complexity. It’s even often discussed here on social networks. But it’s often left untapped in our organizations.

In my opinion, the reason why we find it hard to work with complexity is because we haven’t mastered the tools at our disposal to manage it: We find ourselves, by definition, facing the unknown, with no clear direction. This can have catastrophic consequences for the organization or its teams. I’ve seen many examples of drastic cost-cutting in response to poorly managed complexity. The company suffers, as do its employees and subcontractors, and the underlying problem is not addressed.

What I’m often told is that I have a knack for starting from unclear, ill-defined, chaotic situations to bring out clarity, with appropriate tools.

In this way, I can help you adapt to the level of complexity you are facing: I can sometimes use simple tools, go in search of technical expertise, or go back through the whole organizational chain, and corporate environment, to gather overlooked data and information and help make sense of what is happening.

Often, the companies I work with have a preferred methodology that they apply universally. My job in this case is to provide them with a framework, so that everyone can see where they stand in relation to the level of complexity, and to introduce complementary tools to increase their capacity for resilience. Together we can create emergent strategies for action.

So, is this complexity, like French fries, something we just talk about or something we can taste and experience?