Summary of The Complexity Crisis

Why Too Many Products, Markets, and Customers Are Crippling Your Company - and What to Do about It

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The Complexity Crisis book summary
If you’re seeing more sales but fewer profits, your problem may be proliferating complexity. As Thoreau said, “Simplify!”


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John L. Mariotti, a senior business executive turned consultant, speaks from experience about the causes, costs and cure for complexity. He argues that companies complicate their businesses in the effort to grow when markets are stagnant. They multiply products, services, target markets and vendors. However, this strategy gets them into trouble: They increase overhead, because they need to hire more people to deal with the multiplication, their inventory swells and their service suffers. They don’t know how to forecast accurately under these new circumstances, and their bottom lines turn red. Because the world’s wealthiest markets are in regions with low population growth and, therefore, low market growth, complexity is becoming a widespread crisis. Fortunately, it is curable. getAbstract suggests that if you are a manager or executive whose company is heading down the complexity route, you might want to consider Mariotti’s useful guidance on appropriate therapies.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What causes complexity;
  • What the consequences of complexity are; and
  • How to keep complexity in check.


Defining Complexity
The complexity crisis begins when companies seek to grow, but find that their markets are stagnant. In the drive for growth, companies multiply their product offerings, customer segments, target markets, vendors and production facilities – all in the hope of boosting...
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About the Author

John L. Mariotti is president and founder of a coalition of executive advisers. As the former president of an office products company, he led a multinational group of nine divisions in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. He is a former management consultant and contributing editor for Industry Week magazine.

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