The problem is that we use the wrong tools

wrong tools

Dealing with complex questions and decisions requires using the right tools. Even if we are aware that our question or our context is complex in nature, we still often deal with it using the wrong tools, as if it was just a simple or a complicated issue.

Let’s get back to the beginning by differentiating the spaces we operate in. A simple question, problem or context is one in which only a handful of variables are directly linked to one another. Very much like a set of balls on a billiard table. Solving the question about the future movement of the balls is simple because it is predictable and it follows a linear causality.

If we scale up simple problems, they do not become automatically complex. For example, assembling a car, with it’s 30,000 parts or so, is not simple but is not complex either. It is complicated. The same goes if we even get bigger, and try to assemble a Boeing 747 with it’s 6,000,000 parts. It is still complicated, which means the result could be expected and follows a predictable, repeatable plan.

Build your own DeLorean

However, traveling through time or for that matter even just educating our children, is already complex. It cannot follow a manual, as complicated and detailed as it may be. Indeed, most of our everyday problems and contexts are complex.

The weather and climate change are complex issues, moving through traffic is complex, health care, migration and refugees issues, global security and terror and pretty much everything that involves humans and their diverse motivations, preferences and decision making processes.

This makes many of our business related dilemmas, policy related debates and most relationships complex in nature and therefore in need for the right set of tools to help us manage them.

In the following posts we’ll start to make sense of these complex problems and build the right set of tools to deal with them, so if you like this line of thinking then stay in touch and you’ll get to harness complexity for your own playground (see here how complexity is playing out in the kids playground).

You are also very welcome to visit my website at


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