Shared practice: detail and dynamic complexity

In the management of companies, managers become faced with situations where they have to find solutions to major problems that arise. In such cases, there are a number of interventions that can be applied, including system thinking (Wolstenholme, 2003). But to use system thinking very effectively in such a situation, the need to understand both what causes problems and the effect of problems is very important (Olson, van Bever and Verry, 2008). This need is what brings to force the issue of complexity of problems. In terms of complexity, two major types that can be found, which are detail complexity and dynamic complexity. Detail complexity has been described to be a situation where the cause and effect together have a great number of different parts (Senge, 2006). A typical example of this was found in the case of Wal-Mart when in 2009 the company experienced series of legal actions from its employees. Eventually, it was found that the problem was due to complex situations that arose from both internal and external factors. Blackberry also experienced a similar situation with the introduction of the Blackberry bold, which simply refused to sell. The second type is dynamic complexity. With this type of situation, the cause and effect are said to be subtle and that the effects that are produced over time of intervention are not very obvious. A company I used to work in used dynamic complexity to actually identify a growth retardation problem and also to solve the problem. The intervention was to increase prices and at the same time introduce a promotion to customers. Because of the promotion, customers embraced the price increase without realising it.
Olson, M. S., van Bever, D., & Verry, S. (2008). When growth stalls. Harvard Business Review, 86(3), 50–61.
Senge, P. M. (2006). The fifth discipline: The art & practice of the learning organization. New York, NY: Doubleday.
Wolstenholme, E. F. (2003). Towards the definition and use of a core set of archetypal structures in system dynamics. System Dynamics Review, 19(1), 7–26.