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Managing the Unexpected: Sustained Performance in a Complex World, 3rd Edition by Kathleen M. Sutcliffe, Karl E. Weick

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Chapter 4Principle 2: Reluctance to Simplify

“Clarification should not be confused with simplification.”1

—David Winter

Mindful organizing is a process that is sensitive to more than failures. It is also sensitive to variety and to descriptions and actions that pinpoint or hide that variety. This sensitivity, in the form of a reluctance to simplify, is reflected in comments such as these:

  1. “It would be a mistake to redefine counterterrorism as a task dealing with ‘catastrophic,’ ‘grand,’ or ‘super’ terrorism, when in fact these labels do not represent most of the terrorism that the United States is likely to face.”2
  2. “Don't dumb down the complexity.”3
  3. “You need to treat every ski slope as if you are riding it for the first time. The avalanche ...

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