Thursday, March 29, 2018

Why Our Systems Fail and What We Can Do About It...Or Why Is Everything So Damn Complex?

I don’t think there is anyone that would argue that the world is a far more complex place today. All of the machines and technology that are supposed to make our lives easier have, at times, made it more complicated, more frustrating, and more subject to things going wrong.

Anyone who’s tried to operate the GPS or radio in a new BMW, or even to operate their television knows exactly what I mean.

This is not just about technology and algorithms. It’s also about the systems and organizations that make our world work. We have embraced complexity as an operating system, but we have yet to build into that complexity the fail safe systems that prevent all of it from spiraling out of control.

We seem to be at a critical juncture. We have designed so much that can go wrong, and have yet to design the internal systems that can prevent it. For complexity, it’s both the best and worst of times. Until we figure it all out, a Meltdown is around every corner. That's the title of a new book co-authored by Chris Clearfield.

My conversation with Chris Clearfield: