7 Ways to Defeat Complexity

The simplest way to get something done is do it yourself. Don’t depend on anyone. But, that’s not leadership.

New connections expand potential and increase complexity.

The result of unchallenged complexity, within organizations, is instability.

the result of unchallenged complextity is instability.png

7 ways to defeat complexity:

#1. Develop shared language. Diversity is dangerous when one word means different things to people on the same team. For example, I help organizations develop coaching cultures. Success requires they have the same definition of “coaching” and “culture.”

What do you mean when you say:

  1. High performance.
  2. Initiative.
  3. Respect.
  4. Reward.
  5. Winning.

#2. Build diverse teams. Bring customers, front-line, and top-tier people together to solve problems, create solutions, and map the path forward. You’re out of touch if everyone around the table has a “C” in their title.

#3. Pursue clarity by giving feedback.

  1. Rephrase what you hear to clarify what you think you heard.
  2. Declare what you see to be sure people see the same thing.
  3. Evaluate priorities to establish what matters now and focus energy.  

#4. Build predictability with shared competencies. Suppose you aspire to more innovation. What are the core competencies that everyone in the organization needs to have? If it’s a coaching culture, what are the top 5 behaviors of an internal coach?

#5. Define environments in behavioral terms. How will we treat each other while we do the work? What will we do when people violate our values? Too often, culture is the result of tolerance. Passive leaders build negative cultures by tolerating bad behaviors.

Culture building requires intolerance.

#6. Connect leaders with other internal and external leaders. Elevate capacity by sharing stories of success and failure. What are we learning?

#7. Align around mission and vision. What are we doing? What aren’t we doing? Where are we going? Successful leaders lift teams out of confusion-by-complexity to reconnect with mission and vision.

What might leaders do to face escalating complexity today?