Summary of How Complicated Is Your Company?

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As the business world grows in complexity, organizations themselves are becoming more complicated. This “complicatedness” stifles worker productivity, throttles innovation and suppresses profit margins. The global management consultants at the Boston Consulting Group surveyed leaders and employees about complicatedness and found it takes a heavy toll on performance. The remedy – simplifying – requires a comprehensive approach. If you believe your company doesn’t suffer from complicatedness, getAbstract recommends asking your employees.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why organizations are becoming more complicated,
  • How “complicatedness” hurts performance and
  • How leaders can approach simplification.

About the Authors

Reinhard Messenböck and Yves Morieux are senior partners and managing directors at the Boston Consulting Group where Jaap Backx is a partner and managing director, and Donat Wunderlick is a principal.



The business world is becoming increasingly complex – technologically and competitively. Organizations react to this complexity with systems and structures that embrace competitive opportunities. But these responses can accumulate into unwieldy, inefficient aggregations of “structures, processes, procedures, decision rights, metrics, scorecards and committees” – in a word, “complicatedness.” Organizational complicatedness is increasing, and it comes at a price. It smothers growth, stifles agility, inflates costs and constricts profit margins. More than any other factor, complicatedness is wreaking havoc on labor productivity in economies around the world. To grow and compete, organizations must push back and work to streamline their operations. Companies must simplify.

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