30 | R i g h t C h a i n ™ Note in the figure that supply chain performance degrades as complexity increases. This degradation of system performance with increasing system complexity holds regardless of the type of system (including personal life). The phenomenon is related to the thermodynamic principle of entropy which states that any system running without intervention will eventually run into chaos . All systems need intervention. To help explain the phenomenon I often ask our seminar students to imagine what would happen in their houses if they never did Spring cleaning. One lady got it and stood up and said, “It would look like my house.” Complexity is the plaque in supply chain arteries . It has to be removed and it is an on-going battle to prevent it and remove it once it builds up. In the case of our client, they had never intervened in the complexity. In fact, their culture rewarded overcoming complexity instead of reducing complexity. Once I got that point across, the work with our client became one of our most successful engagements. After the project I thought back to the COO’s complaint that I did not understand how complex his situation was. In one way he was right, I didn’t understand how complex his supply chain was because I had rarely encountered a culture that rewarded overcoming

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