#14: Yes, they’re all complex – Pig on the Tracks – Luke Craven

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#14: Yes, they’re all complex – Pig on the Tracks

#14: Yes, they’re all complex

On classification and complexity.

Luke Craven

I’m Luke Craven; this is another of my weekly explorations of how systems thinking and complexity can be used to drive real, transformative change in the public sector and beyond. The first issue explains what the newsletter is about; you can see all the issues here.


Hello, dear reader,

Boy, the weeks fly by! Increasingly, I’m only managing to get my posts half cooked by my self-imposed Tuesday afternoon deadline. So, this week’s newsletter should be read as a series of fragments that are still rolling around my brain in search of a narrative to hold them together. Hopefully you’ll permit me an indulgence, just the once 🙏🙏


It’s more complicated than calling it complicated

I have received a lot of feedback on the earlier issue of this newsletter that argued that all systems are complex systems. Feedback has broadly centred on whether simple or complicated problems can exist inside complex systems. We all, in our attempts to make sense of complexity, draw boundaries around particular problems or areas of exploration to make them meaningful and actionable. But, we should always treat those boundaries with a healthy scepticism. The overemphasis on closure that comes with calling something simple or complicated always leads to an understanding of the problem that underplays the role of the environment. In practice, this plays out in a number of ways:

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#14: Yes, they’re all complex – Pig on the Tracks