Coming to the realisation that managing a business is a complex affair can help us in actually doing just that. This awareness of complexity does not complicate the lives of business leaders; it actually simplifies it. It provides them with a starting point and helps to clarify what needs to be done, especially today, when businesses are increasingly called upon to resolve complexity found both within the enterprise and outside of it.
It was with this in mind that Gianluca Colombo (professor of Business Administration at the University of Insubria, Varese) wrote “Dialogo sulla complessità, sul management ed altro” (Dialog on complexity, management and more), recently published online at Economia Aziendale. He begins by noting that an organisation and its management would be more efficient if they saw complexity as a way of interactively determining the meaning of the context both inside and outside of the enterprise.
This was what led to his study, the goal of which was to show a number of ways to manage a business by applying the “complexity approach”, underscoring the underlying assumptions, implications and any potential for contamination.
But another interesting aspect of Colombo’s article is that his views on complexity are presented in the form of a dialog between (imaginary) characters, each with their own points of view and backgrounds, which lead to a variety of ways of managing a business. The first of these characters is Melanius, who claims that it is possible to achieve objective rationality, although it is often influenced by the particular circumstances. The second is Salviatus, who offers us a systemic view of enterprise. The third is Valerius, who sees the enterprise as a complex system in which there is a “dialectic” between the local nodes of the system.
It is a dialog, therefore, that helps us to understand the complexity of the enterprise, of business management, and of the world in which the organisation operates. Colombo provides us with a text that is to be read with care, but it will be worth the effort.
Dialogo sulla complessità, sul management ed altro
Economia Aziendale Online, Vol. 5 1/2014