The Economist, Schumpeter, Complicated, 23 Nov 13

The Schumpeter column in The Economist got it wrong: "It's complicated. Management thinkers disagree on how to manage complexity." The column comments on the recent 5th Global Drucker Forum – Managing Complexity and describes organizations as having two choices, deal with complexity or simplify.

Those that deal with complexity "may look complex and unwieldy but they have an inner logic and powers of self-organisation." In contrast, "the second, rival solution to dealing with complexity is to impose simplicity."

But to present the situation as 'either / or' is simply misleading, and I think it comes down to a failure to appreciate the critical difference between complexity and complication, a difference that must be well understood when redesigning the way your organisation works. Read more