‘Complexity is the solution to all problems which have more than one solution’ (Dirk Baecker)
From our point of view, for consultancy this is the most important definition of complexity. After all, it points out that complexity cannot be made into a recipe. This means, for complex situations there cannot be general instructions on how to proceed; it is senseless to search for meaning according to ‘the’ truth, each solution will also produce a disadvantageous aspect, which another solution would have processed more effectively.
Complexity arises where a system is internally networked in such a way, that nowhere else in the system is it possible to have an overview, or a complete knowledge of itself anymore. Nobody knows who they are, no team knows all that the team members can perceive, no conflict communicates everything that would need to be clarified, and no organisation knows what decisions are being made at the same time. Therefore, no complex system can completely calculate and direct itself; instead, it gains the ability to react with more versatility to a complex environment. With it, it produces the capacity to surprise itself, therefore learning about itself is enabled.
Formulated in a more abstract way: complexity is produced by the fact that the world is uncertain, much could also be different and decisions are constantly required to respond to the environment.