Why Can’t Big Companies Solve Big Problems?

In fact, it’s that very question: “What is the question?” that seems to be the nub of the problem these days. In an increasingly turbulent and interconnected world, the ambiguity that surrounds us is rising to unprecedented levels. And that’s a serious problem that our current systems can’t handle. Fighting terrorism, fixing healthcare and restarting the economy aren’t just complex problems — they’re highly ambiguous ones.

It turns out that while large companies and organizations are phenomenally good at managing complexity, they’re actually quite bad at tackling ambiguity. A complicated problem is like playing a game of chess, an ambiguous problem is like having your in-laws over to dinner for the first time. In the latter situation, it’s not the number of variables that kills you. It’s what you don’t know that you don’t know.

By Edward Liu

I completely agree. As a employee of a large conglomerate, I have fought hard to avoid becoming another cog in the system. The mentality is very conservative – that’s one part of the problem and it’s primarily due to the demographics of the company. At the same time, the great irony of being a large company and unable to fight large problems comes from the very political nature of a large company. Multiple “leaders” within the organization have their own agenda/goals. And when they all want different things, of course, it does not translate exactly into progress.

Utlimately, it’s true that it is the major leaders such as the CEO or Board of Directors which must make the right stand and not only encourage but ensure that hybrid thinking & solutions is implemented. However, going back to the demographics, it seems that unfortunately the inherent difficulties could mean that this may not happen for at least another generation. Let’s hope it is sooner than later. Leer más “Why Can’t Big Companies Solve Big Problems?”