Our Tendency to Make the Simple Complex

Our Tendency to Make the Simple Complex

Live comments lead to actions and the blossoming of new ideas. Lately, I exchanged comments with @Sara Jacobovici on my buzz "Simple Values Interactions". In her first comment Sara wrote in part " You highlight the need for simplicity that, unfortunately, our human nature finds difficult to accept; that is the human way, to complicate the simple. I think it's because we need to break things down to intellectually understand how things work. Yes, it's practical but we lose the trust of our ability to take in the whole and understand the "simple" fact. So when we identify the multiplicity of interactions that characterizes self-organizing systems, and stop the process there, we lose sight of the fact that such systems are dynamic and require continual interactions"

Part of my response to the above comment reads as follows "I may also add the pride that an intellectual finds in dealing with issues that aren't easy. This is a false pride. Your next statement is so powerful "... and stop the process there, we lose sight of the fact that such systems are dynamic and require continual interactions". This is the result of false pride. Is this a new paradox "The queen of paradoxes"? We say we are intellectual, but then this intellectualism that leads us far from understanding"?

I know Sara is going to discuss the above-mentioned paradox. My intention in writing this buzz is to further study our tendency to make the simple complicated or complex. The framework that masterfully encompasses these relationships is the cynefin created by Dan Snowden. We complicate life by adding too many details that turn the simple complex or complicated. I resembled this tendency in a presentation titled "A Creative Metaphor for Complexity". The slide below summarizes the main points of the presentation.

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"Apparently humans tend not only towards more disorder, but also to more confusion".
Ali Anani, PhD

We make the simple process of finding the right key for the lock complicated, complex or even chaotic. We complain later that we have no time to sort things out. We are all guilty of doing this and including intellectuals.

The idea of applying the Blue Ocean Strategy on our lives to simplify them crossed my mind. I even went a step further by rearranging the building blocks of this strategy into a cynefin. We need to consider this for our way of living, our thoughts and behaviors accordingly if we aren't to lose the keys to our lives.

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We need the BOS analysis of our lives to remove and stop irrelevant idea, thoughts and actions and increase positive one so that we are free to interact with other agents and possible create new solutions. Likewise, we need to consider creating new values to guide us in our life, to raise certain values and thoughts and to eliminate negative thoughts that complicate our lives. The alternative is to accept living confused lives ending up in chaos. We need to eliminate negative thoughts or at least reducing them with the support of raising positive thoughts and creating new ones. We need to stop practices that make it difficult for us to find the keys to the locked problems.

It is surprising that we make the simple complicated or complex and then insist on making plans that never succeed. This is a paradox and is an extension of the paradox that Sara and I discussed. Intellectuals still plan for complex issues that were simple because of their actions and still dream of having successful plans.

It is unfortunate that we make a simple life so complex and still hope that our plans would work. We aren't trying to shoot a bird while flying; more we are making the bird fly chaotically and still hope for shooting the bird.
Ali Anani, PhD

To be continued


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Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

Thsnk you dear Franci\ud83d\udc1dEugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador for this sharing. You make the complex simple

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#45
Thank you so much Judy Olbrych for your extraction of two main focal points of the buzz. Keep buzzing and again welcome you on beBee. I have just commented on your mixed metaphor buzz and you are an established author.

Judy Olbrych

Judy Olbrych

4 years ago #36

Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee, it's so easy to unnecessarily complicate things in both personal and business life. I appreciate your insights connecting this to intellectual pride and am now thinking about which practices make it difficult for me to "find the keys to the locked problems."

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#43
Is it enough to say that your commentis a piece of my heart dear Franci\ud83d\udc1dEugenia Hoffman, Brand Ambassador @ beBee? I say thank you million times.

Franci 🐝Eugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador

Mankind seems to make everything more complicated whereas nature plays it role without calculation. We have a magnificent tree directly from our balcony. We have lived at this location for 3 years and while observing its changes throughout the seasons find it never misses a beat. Mankind can learn a lot from nature if we would stop, look and listen. https://www.bebee.com/producer/@ali-anani/growing-on-the-cliffs-of-challenge https://www.bebee.com/producer/@ali-anani/simple-values-interactions https://www.bebee.com/producer/@ali-anani/balanced-choices "If three simple rules interact to produce self-organizing patterns then how about following three or four simple values in life? Do we expect the formation of new patterns that would beautify our lives?" - Ali Anani, PhD

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

If I were to visit your country I shall make it a must to meet with your sweet mind dear namita sinha. Your comment is simply a sweet juice of your mind.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#37
Dear Tausif Mundrawala says what means we are first creative beings and then thinkers. I agree and if so creativity means coming up with simple solutions.. Keep writing simply, but not simpler.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#32
One thing I am confident about is the quality of your writing dear namita sinha "it shall immerse itself and disappear in the sand of time and tide". We need to remember that buried charcoal may turn into diamond under favorable conditions. We bury fruit under sand so that they may grow larger. Your comment is of this quality. My deepest respect for you

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#31
This is an extremely valued point dear namita sinha who referred also to opportunity costs in one of his recent comments on one of my buzzes. You are spot on- we have to accept that whatever choices we have we need to drop most of them. THis is a fact of life. I think that choices have sometimes a power law distribution. This means that we may have few major choices, a good number of average-rated choices and a host of small choices. We can't take them all and failing to accept this may paralyze us from taken any action.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#32
"The second point that comes to my mind again about human behaviour is that we don’t let go things so easily". Dear namita sinha, Success Coach- this isn't a postulation as research has confirmed that the longer we own an idea or belief, the more difficult it shall be to dispose of it. I concur with the whole of your superb comment. I defer my detailed response for your forthcoming post. Meanwhile, please accept my deepest thanks for writing such a comprehensive and eloquent comment.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

I meant paragraph and not graph in my previous comment

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#28
I don't know what to say Jerry Fletcher. I omitted a graph from the buzz in which I wrote "How fruitful is it to use a map in a changing landscape"? You beat the hell of me with your actionable comment. May be I should look below my feet.

Jerry Fletcher

Jerry Fletcher

4 years ago #26

Ali, Strange Congruency: In some other Sunday morning reading this quote appeared: "The map is not the territory." The story attached to the quote was from the Second World War. General Patton came upon a group of soldiers clustered over a map. They reported that they were trying to figure out a place they could ford the Seine. He responded, "I just came across to find out what was holding you up. It is no more than two feet deep here" Many times action beats hell out of planning!

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#26
I agree with your analysis and synthesis Zacharias \ud83d\udc1d Voulgaris. It is not this or that as it is both. We tend to favor one side (right brain or left brain, or leader or manager as two examples). It is both and tilting to one side for long times is a lopsided and distorted thing to do. Yes, we need not only dismantle things, but may be even to piece them back in other creative forms.

Zacharias 🐝 Voulgaris

Every intelligent process comprises in essence of two distinct faculties, analysis and synthesis. The human mind has inherent intelligence (esp. if it veers away from politics!) and therefore possesses the potential of being adept at both. I believe the crux of the problem lies in the fact that we have become more focused on the former faculty at the expense of the latter. And although there is nothing inherently wrong with breaking things up into there elements, thereby increasing the complexity, if we linger there we have a problem. Synthetic or holistic thinking can help us get back to simpler forms by putting the piece back together in meaningful ways.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#19
Joyce \ud83d\udc1d Bowen Brand Ambassador @ beBee you wrote "I always try to get to the bottom line". In few words you said a lot. You remind me of bubbles as they always start from bottom up. The equivalent in complexity is the interactions among floor employees. It shouldn't be the other way round. Great thinking

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#22
You hit the nail on its head with your comment. I agree without questioning

Harvey Lloyd

Harvey Lloyd

4 years ago #21

#18
"4) Prioritize the 'to do' list and remain true to the order of items." So true. The to do list and its first 4 or 5 items never change. Service, empowering others and many others are the priorities of the to do list. Its when we allow the first few slots to become "I" related items that we tend to add to complexity. Great thoughts.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#18
You are a great thinker Ian Weinberg. I am really thrilled by your comment. It adds practical approaches to the buzz. Every point of your comment is worthy of writing a buzz about. For now, I would like to focus on your point #2. You wrote "In almost all cases, causative elements can be identified and changed to elicit a different outcome". Exactly, because when we change a parameter we change the current position or initial state. Complex systems are sensitive to the initial conditions and a different outcome may result. It is why we need to make simple changes and monitor for the outcomes. It is the butterfly effect in operation. I am sure I shall refer to your valuable comment in Part 2 of this buzz.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#17
Your comment is honorable and "delicious" Harvey Lloyd. he I in the equation and relating it to trust among team members is on the spot. The more I is focused, the less trust team members shall have. Breaking trust breaks with it communication and sharing of information with the simultaneity of raising doubt, negative feelings and good intentions. This is a hugely important issue. One of the trust equations says trust = (Credibility X Reliability)/I. The more I is focused, the less trust shall be there. We need to remove or at least minimize the I factor if we ever hope for the emergence of easy ideas for making easy solutions. I agree with your comment in full.

Joyce 🐝 Bowen Brand Ambassador @ beBee

I always try to get to the bottom line. It amazes me how simple things can be and how people choose only to see the complex. It's as if knowing is undesirable. It's easy to dismiss the complex from one's everyday life. The simple needs to be dealt with.

Ian Weinberg

Ian Weinberg

4 years ago #17

Thanks for highlighting and sharing this important and fundamental issue Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee I would respond with a description of my personal approach to this issue in my multiple career roles: 1) common things occur commonly - one need not look too far into complexity to find rarer causes 2) In almost all cases, causative elements can be identified and changed to elicit a different outcome 3) Apply the principle of 'economy of movement' - strategize the approach to anything so as to achieve as much as possible though a minimal amount of points of engagement (paths of intention to achieve a desired outcome for one or multiple outcomes) 4) Prioritize the 'to do' list and remain true to the order of items. However be flexible in that changing circumstances may require adjustments to the existing priority list.

Harvey Lloyd

Harvey Lloyd

4 years ago #16

Simple= Goal+Time+Effort+Team Complex=Goal+Time+effort+I+I+I+I. To many I's need serving in complexity. In my younger days i was the fixer on major projects that had gone south. Immediately upon coming to the project i saw the same thing each time. Many members of the team including the customer had cornered what they needed from the project personally and the goal was second. Complexity comes from serving too many masters within an effort. Multi-tasking within a team is an illusion. We all serve the team and the team serves the goal. "I" can not serve myself and the team within the same goal. Not because i can't but because if i did, i would have to allow everyone else to serve themselves too. Complexity. In reading your post i was transported back to those times when you walked in on projects and apathy had set in and each entity was arguing for what they needed. There were six apples on the table and ten people. With each day the apples were exposed to rotting and soon, there would be no apples. The arguing continued. Complexity is a people thing, it is not a process problem. When we sense complexity it is time to look inward and understand that we are in the middle of trying to serve two things that cant exist in the same space. We clearly have a choice to serve the team and ultimately the goal or walk away. We humans do make complexity as part of our existence. I am convinced, those who can unwind complexity back to simple, are the successful leaders of today. These leaders though, remove the I from team. This is change management of the future.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#15
thank you for your honest comment and sharing deardebasish majumder

Sara Jacobovici

Sara Jacobovici

4 years ago #14

#13
I am truly grateful.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#12
Thank you my dear Sara Jacobovici for your enriching comment. I think if we compile our exchanges of ideas a voluminous book shall be the outcome. This bazz resulted again from our exchange of comments. Your comment here adds to the value of our previous exchange of comments. Your quotes of Einstein and Tolstoy are relevant and spot on. The irony is that the challenge is keeping things simple as complicating them is much easier. Therefore, I am i complete harmony with your writing "From this I am gleaning that, for me, I shouldn't be afraid of the simple answer, insight, thought or action, as less than. I can still be in the complexity but stay open to perceiving its simple meaning". This is the message I wanted to communicate and you highlighted it beautifully. As simple rules interact to make complexity, we are the same. We interact and the resulting complexity will have some order, self-organizing and possibility of new ideas emerging. SImple, but the feedback doesn't make them "simpler". You have been a great partner along my journey, Sara. I truly mean it.

Sara Jacobovici

Sara Jacobovici

4 years ago #12

Dear Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee, I have been reading and re-reading your buzz and realize I am in the process of complicating your wonderfully eloquently simple message that we should move beyond our "tendency to make the simple complicated or complex." So I thought of Einstein who said, β€œEverything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.” Of course I find this wonderfully complex.....so I then remembered Tolstoy's quote, "The sole meaning of life is to serve humanity." This is when I realized that it all comes down to meaning. In his quote, Tolstoy took the complex topic of meaning, in general and the meaning of life specifically, and made it simple, but, extraordinarily, not "simpler". From this I am gleaning that, for me, I shouldn't be afraid of the simple answer, insight, thought or action, as less than. I can still be in the complexity but stay open to perceiving its simple meaning. Can't thank you enough Dr. Ali, for the mention, for the exchanges, for the inspiration and learning.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#10
We need to keep life simple and what you do is completely agreeable to me Lisa \ud83d\udc1d Gallagher. I made my simple rules. Only tag people if they are mentioned in y buzz. Tag when requested to do so Tag bees on very relevant buzzes that aren't authored by me. For example, I dare to tag @Sara Jacobovici because I know of her interests. In average, I do it once or twice a week. Simple rules keep the clutter away.

Lisa Gallagher

Lisa Gallagher

4 years ago #10

#9
I completely understand Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee. I get tagged a lot by a few and I was trying to read/comment on every tag. I decided not to feel guilt if it's something I can't relate to or I have no interest in reading and I move on. We all have different interests but that doesn't mean because I find no interest in one person's buzz that others may feel the same as me. That's what makes each of us unique. I never take it personal if someone doesn't comment on something I write. My writing can be very personal and it's not for everyone.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#8
Thank you dear Lisa \ud83d\udc1d Gallagher and I am happy to hear that you are now in good health. Free-flowing interactions are what we desire. Negative feelings and emotions may lead to interactions, but of the undesirable side. You are right and that is why I refrain from commenting on a buzz written by a friend if it is outside of my domains of interest. This way I feel obliged to write about a topic that isn't close to my heart and I shall be then hurting myself and the author bee. Thank you again for contributing a much desired comment.

Lisa Gallagher

Lisa Gallagher

4 years ago #8

Hi Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee, I found this interesting, "we lose sight of the fact that such systems are dynamic and require continual interactions" I think if we care about relationships we do need to make an effort to interact but we should never feel as though there are conditions to our interactions. Interactions should come from the heart, not out of obligation. Relationships/friendships have no conditions. When conditions are attached, people can feel stressed and resentful. As always, good food for thought here. Glad one of your buzzes came up. I've seemed to miss many lately because of my hours and I was sick and then on Vacation for 2 weeks. Hope you are doing well :)

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#6
Thank you my friend David Navarro L\u00f3pez for writing such an explicit comment. I shall focus on this segment of your lovely comment "The need of recognition. Coming from industrial maintenance, as you know, I have met technicians who, in front a simple problem, searched for the most complex solution, just to show how "good" they are, just to at last, coming along with the same simple solution of the origin, and become "the saviour" of the situation". I experienced this. I was on a visit to a foreign country. My visit included a trip to a newly-commissioned paints factory. The computer system failed. The engineers and maintenance staff had to dig deep for the problem. A young man (19 years old) brought a hair-dryer and applied hot air to some cables that were humid. LOL- the computer system worked. On another visit to a water pumping using photovoltaics-powered system the pumps didn't work. I was invited to see through the problem. To my surprise, the photovoltaic system was shadowed by trees and was denied the sun. I pushed the branches away and the system worked. I made a flight just to remove the trees! Yes, our pride doesn't accept dealing with simple things. But only to discover how costly this could be.

David Navarro LΓ³pez

David Navarro LΓ³pez

4 years ago #6

Just to add more complexity to this buzz... Things can be different if we look for a strategy for our life, for the society or rather for business. So we can not apply a cure-all which works for the mentioned three cases. In my opinion, it is certain that we tend to make complex what it was so simple at starters. But is as well true, or at least in my case and many other older/experienced people, that this trend reverses. Maybe because we have less energy/resources, so the need of focusing appears. Then, why this trend of making the things more complex? Among many others, one thing keeps my mind busy on this concern: The need of recognition. Coming from industrial maintenance, as you know, I have met technicians who, in front a simple problem, searched for the most complex solution, just to show how "good" they are, just to at last, coming along with the same simple solution of the origin, and become "the saviour" of the situation. In front of a depression, a psychologist might dig into your infantry, and find out that you have a non-resolved conflict with your brother when you were 7 years old, because he got a bigger part of a cake than you. And in the end, he gives you a pill and tells you to try to relax. What was the need of removing the garbage of the past? None. Still a lot to think about my friend

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#3
Very interesting comment and "identifying disorders as if they are our identity" is an eye-opener for me to probe in a greater detail. I thank you for your contribution Cyndi wilkins

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#2
Yes, I agree Lyon Brave. However; there are avoidable complexities and unavoidable ones. For example, the role of technology in disrupting our lives in unavoidable and we need to accept this complexity. Humans behaviors complicating issues is at least in part an avoidable complexity. WE have enough unavoidable complexities to deal with.

Cyndi wilkins

Cyndi wilkins

4 years ago #3

Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee...I think it is the simple fact that we humans tend to identify with our disorders as if they are our 'identity'...we resist letting them go...when in fact, we are meant to release them and 'be' what we truly are...and that is extraordinary teachers;-)

Lyon Brave L

Lyon Brave

4 years ago #2

Life should be simple, but would we be bored to death without the complexities.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

Sara Jacobovici- you are mentioned in this buzz

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