Complexity is the new normal

Complexity is the new normal

yet managers and leaders are required to use tools and methods designed for a predictable, linear ‘cause and effect’ environment.

Take the annual strategic planning, budgeting and performance management cycle..

  • it consumes huge amounts of time, energy and angst,

  • requiring predictive and futuring capabilities to detail a world that ‘everyone knows’ will not happen

  • finally financial and other performance targets are set against the unknowable and unachievable

Over the year, many meetings and reports…

  • why did the predictions not come true?

  • how to account for the inevitably unexpected?

  • how to explain why the predictions and the measures did not work…

and then it is done all over again.

The alternative?

  • Be fixed and clear about those things that are fixed clear and able to be managed in the traditional way

  • Build in flexibility to meet the unexpected, with maybe 20% of the money and other resources unallocated and actively managed on an ‘as needed’ basis

  • Have a direction, not prescriptive targets, have a Charter rather than a detailed Plan

  • Read everything you can on the Beyond Budgeting Movement.. and take from it some of the principles you can apply in your place.. without losing your job.