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Understanding Complex Issues with a Systemic Lens

March 2019

Complex issues are characterised by non-linear dynamic relationships. It’s typically not possible to predict cause and effect, because the movement of one aspect influences multiple other aspects simultaneously and has an organic effect, like a living system. On the other hand, a complicated issue is typically characterised by several possibilities in terms of cause and effect. It requires someone with specialised expertise to be able to understand and diagnose the cause and effect relationships and advise about how to influence the issue. It is somewhat predictable with specialised knowledge. Working with complex issues requires a more experimental adaptive approach; being able to observe the system, the dynamics effects and learn and adapt as it evolves.

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