A complex world demands …
#1. Complex Thinking
It comprises two parts:
- Understanding the gap between our default ways of thinking about the world (including other people and ourselves) and how it actually works.
- Then closing the gap with more sophisticated mental strategies.
One simple example is our default way of thinking about causal relationships, which looks like this:
But causality actually works more like this:
#2. Complex Leadership
The need for high quality conversation that dissects complexity is more pressing than ever. But deep, productive discussion is not self-generating. So today’s leader must be a strong facilitator of dialogue: a Chief Conversation Facilitator.
Leader as Chief Conversation Facilitator is able to:
- Leverage cognitive diversity, and
- Avoid the discussion traps that teams are vulnerable to.
For example, complex leaders are always on the lookout for the “wicked three”: group polarization, group think, and path dependence.
Complex leadership uses tools to foster constructive dissent in order to deepen and synthesizes different perspectives and tackle complex problems in non-superficial ways.