Changing a light bulb

In searching for ways to convey an intuitive grasp of the four Cynefin/TIMN quadrants I've been exploring, I came up with these scenarios for "changing a light bulb"

In chaotic situations, tribal order cannot do what it takes to change light bulbs effectively. The electric power goes out sporadically. Most light bulbs burn for less than their rated hours due to adverse, unprotected conditions. The supply of replacement light bulbs is inadequate due to recent roof leaks and shelving collapses, as well as vandalism or theft by other tribes. The store shelves are often out of stock of bulbs due to problems with raw materials, manufacturing, warehousing or delivery of light bulbs. Some tribal members grip the bulbs too tightly and others too loosely when changing bulbs, which both result in excessive breakage of replacement bulbs.

In simple situations, institutional order replaces light bulbs as a matter of policy compliance. Job descriptions spell out who is responsible for changing light bulbs. Job training ensures that the procedure used complies with established best practices which prolong the life of each light bulb. Policies establish whether bulbs can be changed before they burn out when adjacent burned-out bulbs are getting replaced. The light bulbs are protected from damage in both their installed and storage locations. The manufacture, distribution, sale and procurement of light bulbs also proceed with without disruption due to similar policies, job descriptions and training. Electric power get delivered without interruption 99.94% of the time.

In complicated situations, market order supports a diversity of responses to burned out light bulbs. Some customers prefer to change bulbs themselves and inventory a supply of spares. Others change their own bulbs with no back up supply, and use a just-in-time approach to stocking replacement bulbs. This approach is supported by a reliable supply of bulbs on retailer shelves. Others hire free agents who provide a wide range of maintenance services which includes the changing light bulbs. The supply side offers a wide range of shapes, wattages, filaments and quality standards for shoppers to choose from. The competition between rival manufacturers, distributors and retailers results in a variety of value propositions including: you get what you pay for, you can save money on the purchase price but will change the bulbs more often and you can pay too much for the same quality as a generic bulb.

In complex situations, network order integrates the entire panorama of concerns. Power consumption gets reduced by less use of electric light, more energy-efficient bulbs and local wind/solar generation of power. The manufacture of light bulbs utilizes more recycled glass while cleaning up potential environmental hazards before they get discharged into the air, groundwater, soil or rivers. Purchases are made in bulk to reduce the amount of packaging material and the number of fuel-burning shopping trips.

As you consider these four scenarios, it's evident the differences between them are real. However, every situation is really as complex as the situation labeled "complex". The differences between the situations can be regarded as how much of that inherent complexity gets taken into consideration.

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