Watching BP’s inability to stop the hemorrhaging of oil into the Gulf reminds us how difficult it is for any organization to predict, prevent, and to deal with complex problems. Yet the number of complex issues that are on our collective radar continues to increase. Has living in the world become more complex? Or do we perceive it that way because we have so much more information and communication?
We Have Urgent, Complex Issues to Address and Opportunities to Innovate
Complex issues abound. We need to cap an oil leak under tremendous pressure. We need to slow the rate of global climate change. We want to provide affordable wellness and healthcare to everyone. We want to be able to avoid, or at least moderate, the next global recession. In our businesses, we want to improve our organization’s ability to spot opportunities, take responsible actions, and reap rewards. We want to anticipate customers’ needs and deliver exceptional experiences that will turn them into happy and loyal fans.
We Need to Accelerate Our Abilities to Innovate—as Individuals, Organizations, and Ecosystems
There’s a real thirst for tools and approaches that will accelerate our ability as groups of people to tackle these (and many other) complex issues. Every business executive I interview talks about the need for more flexibility to be able spot opportunities and to move quickly. These executives seem genuinely puzzled by how easy it is to sense and detect patterns, yet how hard it seems to be to take actions in the physical world that won’t backfire in some way or where the time delay from conception to execution is just too long. People in many industries want to accelerate their abilities to solve complex problems, to seize opportunities, to innovate, and to reap rewards.