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Organised Chaos In Business

Updated: Aug 4, 2022

Ever experienced how people drive in places like Egypt, India or some countries in the Middle East?

Motorbikes whizz in and out of manoeuvring cars, roaring buses and the occasional elephant..

Naples, Italy is Europe's version.

Tourists are often left stunned and stranded as they attempt to cross the road.

How aren't there more accidents, many think?

From the outside looking in, it appears lawless and dysfunctional.

Yet, somehow, it works.

Somehow, people understand the code of conduct.

They follow the unwritten rules of an unrecognised system.

It's pure, orchestrated, chaos, at its finest.

Even inside chaos, systems and structures can be created (the very fact of having no system is a system).

What's most important is that the players are aware of the system and know the rules (or lack of).

They will adapt. They will use it. They will survive or thrive.

Whilst in Naples recently, I observed this wasn't just a system, it’s an entire culture. Organised chaos can be found everywhere there...

In the streets..

In business..

In conversation..

There is a famous restaurant that has become expert at this and leverages it to reel in the crowds.

Waiters chase around, scream orders and even insult customers. If they take your order incorrectly, you deal with it, no cares about your complaints. There is no client-pleasing here.

This reverse approach made people curious and crowds began to form to witness whether the rumours were true.

Needless to say, there's no orderly line out the front, but rather a swarm of hungry people baying for a table.

When or why would you adopt this strategy in your business? In my opinion, either to attract attention by being different to everyone else, or, because your culture is already chaotic and thus you lean into more instead of trying to fight it.

In either case, you turn a weakness into an advantage.

As an outsider, forget trying to make logical sense of it all.

As an insider it is logic. This is normality.

As someone who recognises the chaos as logical, you can lend tremendous perspective and leverage the system to your advantage.

Even chaos can be good for your business.


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