The curse of emergence

Chris Corrigan has a terrific post which, for me, captures the paradoxes we face trying to create change in the world. He quotes Adam Kahane:

Bill Torbert of Boston College once said to me that the 1960s slogan “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem” actually misses the most important point about effecting change. The slogan should be, “If you’re not part of the problem, you can’t be part of the solution.” If we cannot see how what we are doing or not doing is contributing to things being the way that they are, then logically we have no basis at all, zero leverage, for change the way things are — except from the outside, by persuasion or force.

Chris says:

Complex problems are not “solvable.”  You have to get good with living with this uncertainty and get good at accepting the gift and the curse of emergence

When we treat complex things as problems to be solved, we avoid the curse but we also exclude the gift.

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