Complicated vs. Complex

babel, via “Cabinet of Wonders” delightfully complex post on Borges

I can’t count how many times I’ve walked into an organization to work on a quality management system, and there are either no written procedures or the ones they do have are totally inadequate. And yet they believe they understand their business processes and how they work…

Clarity is worth more than you may think

Organizations may need to use complex systems to reflect the nature of the work they do, but there is nothing to prevent such systems being rational and logical, with clear, written procedures which have internal coherence and can be learned by everyone involved. The best organizations are also the most rational. Written procedures that everyone can understand are not only fairer than knowing who has the ear of the boss, they are also more effective. When the whiz-kid head of marketing leaves unexpectedly, it’s no comfort to learn that he or she had some complicated system in their head and never wrote it down.

Complication in organizations is almost always a sign that something is going wrong. Complicated organizations tend to fall apart sooner or later. Indeed, whether complications are designed deliberately to deceive, or are the products of incompetence and stupidity, they are are still no basis on which to run a successful organization.

via The Difference Between Complicated and Complex | Slow Leadership.

And from Casey at A Personal Tao

People like to make life complicated for many reasons.

Strangely for many it’s about challenge. People strive to make life interesting. Of course then all the layers seem to get added and then it seemingly becomes “too complicated” to have any simple answer. Also it appears that much of this complication is out of our control.

It isn’t.

This is why the Taoist path is so effective, as you release, you discover what matters and in that the answers become simple again. I teach people how to remove layers of fear, delusion and false obligations…

“The genius of you Americans is that you never make clear-cut stupid moves, only complicated stupid moves which make the rest of us wonder at the possibility that we might be missing something.”
— Gamal Abdel Nasser

I’m complicated, I get frustrated
Right or wrong, love or hate it
I’m complicated, you can’t sedate it
I heard that song but I won’t play it
It’s alright, it’s OK, you wouldn’t want me any other way
Momma, keep on praying cause I ain’t changin’
I’m complicated, yeah
I’m complicated, yeah

I’m smart enough to know what I don’t know
I’m fool enough to stay when I should go
You work, you work, you cry, you cry
You watch your whole life pass you by
Sometimes you’ve got to close your eyes to see

— Complicated, Bon Jovi

I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which, when you looked at it in the right way, did not become still more complicated. — Poul Anderson

Le vrai est trop simple, il faut y arriver toujours par le complique¤ . Truth is too simple; it must always be arrived at in a complicated manner. — Sir Sydney Samuelson