Complication vs. complexity

Admittedly, for a long time I have used complexity and complicatedness, or in linguistic usage rather than complex or complicated, synonymously in each case. Similar to effective or efficient or emotion vs. feeling. Basically it doesn’t matter, because the other person often doesn’t differentiate and understands what should be meant anyways.

The exact definition of a term is nevertheless exciting if you have a problem and are looking for solutions. For example, who do I ask if the hard drive on my company PC fails? Right, a computer expert. He solves, if still possible, complicated problems, which are rarely complicated for him.

This makes it easy to record for complicatedness:

All that one or more specialized experts can solve is complicated.

But if there is a worm in a company, who do you need? Which specialist should be consulted to find the solution? If at all, then experienced managers, coaches and consultants, who think networked, can help. Keeping an eye on the company as a system, not on its individual parts and silos, is a complex task. There will never be a best solution. Unlike the PC hard drive, which is repaired or replaced for a functional device, it is almost impossible to guarantee a solution for a non-working business.

In summary, it can be said for complexity:

Everything that not even top experts can guarantee or predict is complex.

More examples

Each trained watchmaker can reassemble or repair a watch consisting of a thousand parts. It is of course possible that a watchmaker alone does not have the know-how. However, he can call in other specialists or use certain procedures to ensure that the watch ultimately works. The expert is therefore the master of complicatedness.

On the other hand, a simple-looking football game is complex. Nobody knows exactly how it ends. There is no guarantee. Cup games prove this impressively. Even a Jürgen Klopp as one of the best coaches in the world can and will never predict the course and outcome of a game. Circumstances like weather, referees, spectators, players, turf, football air pressure, tactics, etc. are too blurred to press them into an exact mathematical model.

Complex is also the human body. Consisting of organs, fluids, nervous system, etc.. No one can look into the other’s head and determine exactly who he is, how he will behave in situations or who this person will be in years to come. There are too many factors at play that influence each other cybernetically.

Complexity Needs Cybernetics

To be able to predict or sometimes influence a complex system like the human body, football games, climate, etc., you need a cybernetic, networked thinking.

Only when the relevant components, i.e. the decisive influencing variables, of a system are known and modelled, can the magic of a system be discovered. Every good and interdisciplinary doctor is, so to speak, a cyberneticist. He does not try to find symptoms, but causes in the entire body and in the patient’s environment. In the optimal outcome, the doctor steers the disease to recovery. But he cannot guarantee anything. But if he thinks in cybernetics, then he will succeed more often in healing people.

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