The first chapter explains why complexity is under-rated. Michael uses the well-known traveler salesperson problem to show the difference between none deterministically polynomial (which are complex, confusing and constitute the majority of business and personal decision problems we face) versus the second degree polygons.
The second chapter explains two approaches to tackle these complex problems. The first is a top down computerized algorithm and the second is the bottom up local approach. Computerized algorithms can be used for, e.g. allocation of resources and machines in a production environment or within a portfolio office to balance the project portfolio.
The third chapter explores the consequence once your top down plan fails using the example of building pyramids. What will be the impact of (not) having position power, having debates on priorities and the one who yells loudest will get the priority. You need to have rules to guide decisions.
The fourth chapter combines the two approaches and gives, in detail, some practical guidelines to pursuit. E.g. simple local rules and strategic to down rules and visual problem presentation.
The last chapter is about focus. What are the absolute must haves, the real needs? What are the elements of the complex decision, what is the timeline we have for deciding?
From the Author
When I was young I loved reading Mad magazine. I guess this more or less uncovers my age.
Recently, Al Feldstein, who was eulogized as the soul behind Mad magazine passed away at the age of 88. Mad magazine has impacted the way I write and the way I present information in lectures, workshops and while coaching: always take it with a grain of salt, and make sure you're not overly serious.
For me it was always about the: Lighter side of...
I am dedicating this book as a homage to Al.