Capitalizing on Complexity

Complexity has now superseded change as the most pressing challenge according to the 2010 IBM CEO Study titled Capitalizing on Complexity. The study covered over 1500 CEO’s from around the world and is a fascinating study.

While the CEO’s say that complexity is the most pressing challenge, most of them also say that their organizations are not prepared to deal with that complexity, much less take advantage of the opportunities afforded in that complexity.

The key characteristic, according to the study, that leaders now need to deal with complexity is creativity.

The study found the following three ways to deal with complexity and I believe that they are highly relevant to churches and non-profits.

Embody creative leadership.
CEOs now realize that creativity trumps other leadership characteristics. Creative leaders are comfortable with ambiguity and experimentation. To connect with and inspire a new generation, they lead and interact in entirely new ways.

Reinvent customer relationships.
Customers have never had so much information or so many options. CEOs are making “getting connected” to customers their highest priority to better predict and provide customers with what they really want.

Build operational dexterity.
CEOs are mastering complexity in countless ways. They are redesigning operating strategies for ultimate speed and flexibility. They embed complexity that creates value in elegantly simple products, services and customer interactions.

The study is fascinating and there is some excellent information on their website.  I would recommend you taking the time to read the study.

My question for you – how are you dealing with the ever increasing complexity of life?  Do you fear it or do you embrace it seeing the many opportunities for advancing the cause of Christ?

Is your organization prepared to deal with this complexity?  If not, what do you need to do to prepare your team?

Peace & Grace,


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