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The Power of Paradox by Deborah Schroeder-Saulnier

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Chapter 8

Respecting Context and Complexity

“The elements of a system maythemselves be systems, and every systemmay be part of a larger system.”1

—Russell Ackoff

Throughout Part I, the many references to the importance of “context” were meant as a reminder that any plans you make or actions you take are done within a universe affected by economics, politics, operational/technical factors, and social interactions. Inside of that universe is the pervasive culture of your own organization. Never lose sight of these contextual factors as you implement the process of applying paradox thinking to your problem-solving.

The Importance of Context

To drive home the point of context, I want to call out some disastrous business decisions and then look at ...

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