The Other Side of Complexity

I would not give a fig for the simplicity this side of complexity, but I would give my life for the simplicity on the other side of complexity.   Oliver Wendell Holmes, Former US Supreme Court Justice

It used to be that most people hated the SCAN process. They just felt we should get down to business and get results.  Today, far more participants enjoy this process of reaching out; reaching beyond the known for new possibilities. They see the value in looking at a problem from many different vantage points.  Many realize the art of Play as well.  Still for some people SCAN is difficult and probably will always be, even though they come to recognize its usefulness and integrity to good results.  Each of us have different thinking patterns and a truly great group process accounts for all kinds of thinkers, knowing that aspects of going from SCAN to FOCUS to ACT will be frustrating at some time or another to a majority of participants. 

But I truly love it when someone who really did not like the process comes up after we are done and says, "We got really good results. But surely we could have cut out the first day and a half and done the work in half a day."  Well, you see, they don't understand what Oliver Wendal Holmes was trying to convey.  True simplicity comes after you have climbed that hill of complexity.  We are not after simple answers that have been gotten by cutting out most of the things that cannot be seen up front.  Simple answers and answers with simplicity are two very different things. 

David Bohm's ideas about play are so important. When will schools, conferences, and all too many workshops stop pounding play out of process? It is vital to our ability to survive and thrive. 

If science always insists that a new order must be immediately fruitful, or that it has some new predictive power, then creativity will be blocked. New thoughts generally arise with a play of the mind, and the failure to appreciate this is actually one of the major blocks to creativity. Thought is generally considered to be a sober and weighty business. But here it is being suggested that creative play is an essential element in forming new hypotheses and ideas. Indeed, thought which tries to avoid play is in fact playing false with itself. Play, it appears, is the very essence of thought.