Dealing with complexity

Our world and our lives are complex and seem to grow more so every hour.  How can you better deal with complexity and even prosper?  I believe if you change the way you observe the complexity you encounter, you can.

Complexity brings bigger, more knotty problems.  First step is to describe the big problem and then break it down into smaller problems.  Once you’re pulled out the threads of smaller problems you can brainstorm solutions to the ones that have immediate answers.  And reduce the risk for those that don’t.  See, the big knotty problem is already smaller.

Here’s an example.  I have to get back home by 5 pm after a long weekend in the country, but there is roadwork.  What are the sub-problems?  The 5 pm deadline: – can it be changed so that I can drive when the highway is freer?  The slow drive – are there alternate modes of transportation such as a train?  The highway itself – what are the alternate routings?

Just breaking the bigger knot down into smaller problems takes some of the emotional frustration out of it.  And it focuses you on rational solutions.  Try it.

by Dr Sabra Brock, co-founder of Idea Spies

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