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Managing complexity: A systems approach – introduction
Managing complexity: A systems approach – introduction

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7.5 Summary

I hope that, by now, you have a rich picture you are pleased with. This is a considerable achievement because, despite the informality of the rich picture's style, a rich picture that effectively captures the complex situation takes a lot of effort to achieve. It depends crucially on being prepared to enter into the experience of the situation of interest and to interrogate that experience thoroughly. Noticing is not enough. Each feature of the situation has to be carefully captured by representing it in the rich picture.

My point in inviting you to draw a rich picture was not just to give you practice in rich-picture drawing – useful as that will be for the unit. The drawing of the rich picture is also a means of enabling you to enter into relationship with this complex situation – to experience complexity.

This completes the first three activities in the activity sequence depicted in Figure 4 and the activities linked by arrows 1 to 8 in Figure 5. One essential element of the rich picture remains to be added, and for this, the focus of attention must be changed to experience another component of the complexity. This happens in the next section.