The Pitfall of Simplifying Reality

Or why gut feeling isn’t that good anymore.

I meet a lot of people who oversimplify the complex world and that is really annoying. Strategists dig deep into any matter or market and when they come to a conclusion it is a simple conclusion, but with a very complex structure. It is important to understand the complex structure, in order to understand the conclusion. That is not based on gut feeling, it is based on knowledge.

Problem there is, that one either must take time to learn, or just trust the strategist and follow her or his conclusion. In a complex world you need to understand the complexity in order to make the right decision. If not a few things can happen:

1. Nothing happens at all and people keep talking without doing anything, holding on to the bits and pieces they understand. That is of course a way to keep busy, but generally just an expensive hobby. Thinking the same, doing the same and nothing happens

2. Wrong decisions are made and the results are more often bad then not. Just think about the number of new product introductions that are made every year and the number that is still on the shelves one year later (65% of all products won’t make it through the first year!). Most decisions are based on things people already know instead of based on new things or new insights.

Teams need to team up and build trust.
Everyone has a piece of knowledge or expertise, but the real power is in combining this power and trusting on the knowledge and expertise of the people in the team. In a complex world, more experts and knowledge is needed, so teams will become bigger.
The challenge will lie in managing the teams with this combined knowledge and expertise, drawing the right conclusions.

The Pitfall of Simplifying Reality

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