Summary of It’s Not Complicated

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It’s Not Complicated book summary
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7 Overall

7 Applicability

7 Innovation

7 Style


Drawing on systems thinking, professor Rick Nason encourages you to differentiate among “simple, complicated and complex” problems. He explains the “false axioms of business” and seven ongoing “paradigm shifts“ to help you understand how each type of problem requires a unique approach. Nason draws from economic theory, scientific management and behavioral research to offer a broad perspective on problem solving. At times you might feel a bit lost in this rather complicated – or complex? – approach to strategic thinking, but Nason cites business examples, both recent and historic, to help you connect the dots. getAbstract recommends his take on conquering the “complexity-thinking paradigm” to businesspeople and managers who may sometimes feel stuck in old ways of attacking hard problems.  

In this summary, you will learn

  • What strategies you can use to differentiate among simple, complicated and complex tasks;
  • Why some business problems are not complicated, but complex;
  • Why “complexity-thinking” strategies will help you deal with complex situations and risk; and
  • Which seven paradigm shifts leaders must confront.

About the Author

Rick Nason is an associate professor of finance in the Rowe School of Business at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.



“Introduction to Systems and Complexity”

You can apply systems thinking to many fields, such as the natural sciences and engineering, to describe how things work and how to get tasks done. However, systems thinking is less known in the business world. Across fields, systems thinking differentiates among three kinds of tasks:

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