Too complex to manage?

Lloyd Blankfein, chief executive of Goldman Sachs said yesterday: “The industry let the growth and complexity in new instruments outstrip their economic and social utility as well as the operational capacity to manage them.” (My emphasis)

It is clear that financial instruments became too complex to manage?  By one estimate I saw it would have taken over 5 billion pages of documents to provide full due diligence information on just one of the most complex derivative products – and anything you cannot understand, you cannot manage effectively.

But is this also true of organizational complexity, are some organizations just too big and complex to manage? Or is it just that we cannot manage them effectively through the old fashioned ideas about leadership, collaboration and control?

What do you think?

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