Exploiting Complexity with
Managing complexity is the key strategic challenge executives face
Source: KPMG, Confronting complexity.
Global report 2011
1,400 executives across seven industries in 22 countries
How to improve sales performance?
What do employees really want?
How to manage Gen Y better?
What’s the next big thing?
How to distinguish signals from noise?
How do we trigger real innovation?
‘It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble;
it’s what you think you know for sure that just ain’t so’
‘The minute we believe we’re successful and in
control we become complacent. Past success
limits our willingness and ability to recognise
and adapt quickly enough to new paradigms.
Previous success breeds inevitable future failure
- unless you do something different.’
‣ Alan Greenspan, former Federal Reserve
Chairman in evidence to Congress (Oct 2008)
‣ Expressed “shocked disbelief” as global crisis
was “much broader than anything I imagined”
‣ For “40 years” there had been “considerable
evidence things were going exceptionally well.”
‣ Elite consulting firm founded by Michael Porter
- the father of modern strategic analysis
‣ Applied rigorous analysis of market forces to
explain excess profits in companies
‣ Collapse in 2012 demonstrated analysis explains
success in retrospect, but doesn’t predict it.
Title quote attributed to: Mark Twain
“Developing effective strategies to deal with complexity requires
integrating diverse insights, experience and expertise”
Real experiences shared
en masse (online, apps)
as anonymous micro-stories
Layers of meaning added
at source by respondents
(not ‘experts’ or algorithms)
Visualisation tools provide
whole network perspectives
for exploration and discovery
Title quote: Peter Ho, Senior Adviser for the Centre for Strategic Futures in Singapore
“Leaders who stay above the details may do well in stable times,
but riding a wave of change requires an intimate feel for its origins & dynamics”
The main issue I face in my work is …
Each blue dot
contains a shared,
Management Rewards Management Rewards
Department A Department B
Title quote: Richard Rumelt ‘Good Strategy/Bad Strategy; The Difference and why it Matters’
breakthroughs in how
to respond effectively
Explore weak signals
opportunities or threats
- before it’s too costly
or late to respond
SenseMaker® is enabling organisations globally exploit complexity
better than their competitors
Addressing issues with sales performance - !
using insights to drive new sales strategies
Govt. of Singapore
Risk Assessment & !
Early warnings on potential security threats !
and scanning for other indicators of change
Mining Safety: !
A Business Imperative
Engaging multiple stakeholders to create genuine
breakthroughs to the complex issue of mine safety
UNDP staff efficiency; Discrimination against residents of
Chernobyl; Integration of Roma
Major Utility (UK)
Service Delivery Issues & Future
Uncovering trends and issues in satisfaction surveys;
shaping proposals for future investment
RSPP & KPMG
Taking the !
Discovering what foreign investors really think of the
business climates in Russia’s regions
Developing benchmarks and piloting approaches for
effective roll out of business harmonisation laws
Evaluating Learning Programmes
Evaluating the impact of executive education
interventions on careers
Major Auto Firm (US)
Generating insights from customer perspectives to
improve interaction and increase retention
Projects conducted by member firms of the Cognitive Edge global network