Study: Leaders seek ways to embrace complexity

KPMG conducted a global survey of 1,400 business leaders of large companies in 22 countries to determine whether businesses are becoming more complex and if the causes and effects of complexity are the same everywhere around the world.

The report ‘Confronting Complexity’ suggests that traditional methods of management are no longer sufficient to manage the complexity that businesses globally are confronted with.

Complexity, a primary source of additional risk, cost and management challenges, is a real and serious issue for senior decision makers. But, it also presents opportunity, KPMG said in a statement.

The survey reveals that global business leaders are faced with a continuous stream of issues and are striving to find new solutions that can harness the complexity and also take advantage of the opportunities it brings. Leaders worldwide report that managing their companies is becoming steadily more difficult primarily due to increasing government regulation, rapidly changing technology and problems with managing information. The challenges these conditions bring are increased risk, escalating costs and an ever-growing need for new skills.

To address the challenges and uncover the opportunities hidden within complex business situations, more than 50 per cent of senior leaders said they would be testing new or different approaches in the next two years.

Anthony Cowell, partner at KPMG, said, “to address the challenges complexity presents, successful management teams are seeking new and perhaps unprecedented ways to embed agility and innovation into their corporate cultures and develop flexible structures to manage the demands and needs of 
their markets”.

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