Trial, error, and the God complex

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April 29, 2019

“You show me a successful complex system, and I’ll show you a system that has evolved through trial and error.”

So says economist Tim Harford in his TED talk, Trial, Error, and the God Complex. As systems innovators, we realize that things are complex and we can never completely understand the contexts in which we work; and we realize that because of this, we need to set aside hubris and experiment: to learn, share our learning – including our failures – and try again. Don’t we?

Yet, as Harford points out, giving up the God complex is hard. Hard, but not impossible, and 100% necessary if we’re going to have a positive impact in our work . . .