INSIGHT Dilemmas

How do we figure out what’s happening?
And why?

Organizational systems are a little like spaghetti.  If you try to untangle a problem by dealing with a single strand, it quickly becomes apparent you’re actually dealing with a tightly tangled knot of interconnected factors.  Not only are organizations complex, but our brains are not designed to interpret why a complex phenomenon is happening.  So it's not surprising that not only do we often misdiagnose what's causing a problem, but that we're also not particularly good at predicting what will happen in the future.

Yet, as leaders, we have to be able to understand what's going on - and why - if we are going to intervene effectively.  How can we make sense of what’s going on in our uncertain environment?  And how can we anticipate what’s going to happen over, say, the next 18 months?