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Complicated or Complex?

In business, we run into all sorts of situations. A majority are complicated, some are complex.

The way we need to deal with both is completely different.

Complicated problems typically involve many moving pieces, but ultimately can be tackled by using common problem solving skills. In essence, it becomes a question of looking to past examples of problems, making minor adjustments to deal with this new problem, and moving forward. In the end, the most important thing is to identify the solution as efficiently as possible.

Complex problems might be deceptively simple looking, but typically involve something beyond just logic. And, perhaps the worst thing we can do is try to apply a previous solution to the current problem. Instead of focusing on the solution, the focus needs to instead be on the process. Complex problems require active listening, sympathy, many perspectives, and uniting behind common goals and visions.

Not every problem is complicated. Not every problem is complex. But being able to distinguish and appropriately handle each will set you miles ahead.


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