Balancing Simplicity & Complexity at Workplace


GeneralWritten By: Suman Kumar Paul

Keep it simple.” – Almost all of us use these three words every day across every industry. In an environment in which complexity is increasing exponentially, simplifying everything we can becomes more vital than ever. No matter how normal it sounds, complexity surrounds us and binds us everywhere. But is that true? 

Complexity is not a new-age trend; rather it has been there all the time since the dawn of civilization, although it looked different back then from what we experience today. In this teeming world of digital globalization, workplace tensions are taking a toll on businesses because of the chasm between the reality of work and the simplicity and complexity of the strategies. Balancing simplicity and complexity within a workplace unleashes the organization’s true potential.  

Simplicity and Complexity - the Yin and the Yang: 

Remember the concept of the Yin and the Yang? This ancient symbol of harmony and balance describes how contrary elements paradoxically complement and ultimately define one another. In that essence, simplicity and complexity are much the same – they co-exist. 
In the workplace also, there is a paradoxical or “yin and yang” relationship between simplicity and complexity. One can only be discovered through the other. For every complex situation, there is a solution more simple and clear. As we flip the coin, we discover that making that solution simpler involves a great deal of complex brainstorming ideas. Unbelievably we are more complex when we try to simplify situations – there is no way out! 

Balance is the Key:  

Irrespective of the area concerned, the perpetual quest to find the balance applies in every aspect of life, including the workplace. In any organization, creating a strong balance among the employees and work strategies is quite crucial to cultivating a positive and more productive corporate ambiance. Complexity and simplicity, when not balanced well, can make organizations inefficient and difficult to work with. 

The rapidly growing trend to keep things simple among the clients and the creative teams leads to businesses constantly looking for solutions that are simple and easy to grasp. Now, before creating the balancing strategies, we need to understand the semantics of the word “balance” and explore the concepts of “simple” and “complex”. Why? 

Because being human beings, it is our instinct to unconsciously or consciously, chase after whatever looks more complex or complicated. Complex things can sometimes mirror depth and subtlety, while complications can draw us down. Simplicity, on the other hand, must not always bring a positive vibe. So maintaining a healthy balance between the both of them within an organization is easy unless we all take the initiative to harmonize. We need to ask only two questions to ourselves – 

•    Is it the complexity we have created to simplify the situation or experience? 
•    Are we simplifying too much that the situation or experience becomes complicated? 

Parting Words: 

If businesses remain stuck within their comfort zones of setting and achieving goals, complexity can appear as a major disadvantage. Yet, what makes an organization valuable is its ability to adapt, not its simplistic designs and strategies. The moment we view every change and challenge as an opportunity to grow and develop, complexity becomes your propellant instead of a barrier to success. By embracing and encouraging the balance of simplicity and complexity – the Ying and the Yang within a workplace, we can create an environment that welcomes emergent behaviours. Like yin and yang, each of them contains within the seed of the other.

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