“Complicated” or “complex”?

A variety of issues in community services are either “complicated” or “complex”. Understanding the difference is the key to how best to tackle them.

Its likely that “complicated” problems will have several correct solutions, but these solutions might not be obvious without expert analysis or input. “Complex” issues are often at the heart of community organisations’ mission and purpose . These might include stopping domestic violence, reducing homelessness, or unemployment/underemployment of people from a migrant background.

Cynefin Framework

Using the Cynefin Framework, “complicated” issues can be addressed by adopting good practice. You observe the issue, select the most appropriate evidence-based practice and respond. However, “complex” issues require us to probe first, then observe, before deciding the path(s) to respond.
If only there was a way for us to work collaboratively on the complex issues we face in society?

Stuart Tomlinson
CEO, Multicultural Futures