In this episode I want to talk about the five types of business challenges we all experience.

A key component to running your business, a clear head, can be challenging to maintain. This is especially true when experiencing success. This may sound odd but it is the reality of the situation. Growth and profitability take us to the next set of challenges that must be addressed in order to sustain.

Being able to focus is essential if problems are going to be solved and success achieved. This blog covers what the appropriate focus is for five different situations.

Now, I am a big believer everything is simple when the right vantage point is found. The trick is having the right frame of mind which is a lens through which the situation is viewed.

Here are five frames of mind from Complexity Theory that are quite useful for both viewing situations and determining what the general course of action should be:

  • Simple
  • Complicated
  • Complex
  • Chaotic
  • Random

Let’s go through them. See which of them apply to your situation.

Simple.  With simple the rules work. The problem is out-of-bounds behavior occurring. You simply reference the policies/procedures and rules you have in place and get back to doing things right and achieve the deliverables. This is where money is made unless your company is being paid to explore the other areas listed below. Consequently, driving to simple as much as possible is essential.

Complicated. With complicated the rules work but the problem is there are several sets from which to choose.  For example, you may have a core product, such as sheet metal manufacturing, wedding photography, consulting services, home repair, course offerings, etc., that you are willing to modify based on specific client needs. The challenge is deciding how, exactly, those specific needs are to be met.

Complex. With complex the problem is new thinking is required if you are going to get back to simple. Here the rules, to some extent, aren’t working and something new is needed. Based on client needs you and your team look at the existing rules and keep what works, drop what doesn’t, and add new rules specific to the situation.

Chaotic. With chaotic there are general thoughts but the problem is there are no specific, implementable rules. Once you go one level down below the strategic level organization disappears.

One is left only with intention. These intentions may be quite strong and there may be a great deal of belief in future success but, again, the situation “has no legs.”

There is reliance on the team and all stakeholders believing that as a team you can make this happen.

Random. With random there is just a bunch of ideas with no particular structure. This is what I call the “coffee shop” stage where ideas are being kicked around and there is a lot of brainstorming and searching for options and possibilities. This is a sunk cost.

In the next podcast I’ll talk about how to structure a solution for each of these 5 types of challenges.

Download my free e-book MINDSET – 5 SIMPLE WAYS TO LOOK AT COMPLEX PROBLEMS and learn how to find a simple vantage point from which you can resolve challenges.

For more information on the “8 Steps From Chaos To Clarity and Calm: CEO Advanced Training” go to

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