and Transformation Require a Taste for Complexity
science is often invoked when trying to explain the changes in
healthcare delivery and healthcare business.
Complexity theory can also help us through personal
transformation and leadership development.
Here are five principles of complexity theory to consider as you
make your way along your path:
View your system through the lens of complexity, in addition to
the metaphor of a machine or a military organization---uncover and work
with paradox and tension, rather than shying away from them as if they
Build a good-enough vision and provide minimum specifications,
rather than trying to plan out every little detail.
When life is far from certain, lead from the edge; that is,
balance data and intuition, planning and acting, safety and risk, giving
due honor to each.
Go for multiple actions at the fringes, letting direction arise,
rather than believing that you must be sure before proceeding with
Grow complex systems by chunking---allowing complex systems to
emerge out of the links among simple systems that work well and are
capable of operating independently.
For more on
Complexity Theory, read: Edgeware:
insights from complexity science for healthcare leaders, by
Zimmerman, Lindberg and Plsek
Francine R. Gaillour,
MD, Business Consultant and Executive Coach for Healthcare