In the elusive quest for the Organisational Learning Grail, there are two aspects that are often overlooked or muffled away: complexity and wholeness.
Complexity is the thread that life has woven in the fabric that binds the four key components of learning (see part I). Complex environments are characterised by the absence of proven cause-effect relations. However, this absence does not mean that the cause-effect relation is not knowable; to the contrary, we can implement a series of trials that will allow us to master this relation following several errors encountered on the way.
Once we have found proof of a mechanism that connects a cause with its effect, the situation is no longer complex. Take the example of vaccines: before discovering that injecting people with a small dose of a virus that boosts our immune system to the point of preventing us to succumb to this virus when it invades our bodies in full force, hundreds of thousands were dying from the flu. Today it is just a matter of vaccination to prevent us from dying due to yellow fever or tuberculosis, while we are still figuring out which vaccine can remove the complexity from HIV or ebola and prevent their fatal impact.
As soon as we know how to get from point A to point B, it becomes a matter of implementing this mechanism – either ourselves, if this mechanism is knowable to all, or by specialists, in case the mechanism requires expert knowledge. The former domain is referred to as complicated in the Cynefin framework, whereas the latter is simple/obvious.