Dr. William (Willy) Donaldson is a Professor of Management at the Joseph W. Luter, III School of Business at Christopher Newport University. Willy has over 30 years of experience as a Board member and President and has been CEO of 8 companies including a publicly traded company and an international joint-venture. Willy is the Founder and President of Strategic Venture Planning, a management consulting firm that assists boards, investors and senior management teams maximize results. His experience runs from start-up to International 50 companies, private and public companies, from services to manufacturing, from low to high tech and from for profit to not for profit. He is a member of the International Council on Systems Engineering, where he chairs the Enterprise Systems working group world-wide.
"This simple and compelling book is a gift to those of us who have
wrestled with the relationship between simple ideas and the
complexity inherent in a modern enterprise. Managing and growing a
business is a hard thing, with progress often hindered by unseen
forces. Finally, we have a guide that introduces system thinking,
thereby demystifying the management process and helping you see
your entire situation and a clear path forward."
Eric Dean CEO, Whereoware
"Willy takes the powerful but complex discipline of systems
thinking, lays it bare for everyone to see and comprehend through
real and practical examples. He helps readers understand that
systems invariably comprise and touch every activity and part of
the enterprise and not understanding them can lead to devastating
Executive in Residence Christopher Newport University, Luter School of Business
Board Member Freddie Mac
Retired Executive Vice President, Operations and Technology, TD Canada Trust
"The delight one experiences upon getting to know Willy Donaldson, as I have, carries over into this practical little book on leadership. Here is someone with (a) real-world experience, (b) advanced academic credentials, and (c) a humble spirit, and he is willing to do one thing: he translates fresh ideas from systems thinking into language that anyone with a lick of ambition can understand and use. Where it takes you is up to you, of course, but with these tools in Donaldson's book, the sky's the limit. Each complex lesson comes bite-sized, enough to learn the basics right away, while at the same time indicating where the curious can turn for greater depth. The book itself routinely exhibits what the title promises: Simple_Complexity!"
Nathan Harter, Leadership scholar and author of Foucault on Leadership, Leadership and Coherence, and Clearings in the Forest "Simple_Complexity will push your thinking about organizations and the people who manage and populate them to a new level. You will never view organizations in the same way again."
Michael Fraser, President & CEO, National Technologies Associates, Inc "As a private equity professional and serial board member, I work with management teams to help grow their companies. To succeed as a leader and manager, you need an holistic view of how the enterprise works. For that, there is simply no better guide than Simple_Complexity. We enjoyed this book so much that we integrated it into the training, planning and execution processes we use when working with our portfolio companies."
Taylor Grant, Founder and Managing Partner, Fox Three Partners "Do not read this book if you don't have the time or inclination to think seriously about your organization. If you want recipes and platitudes, go elsewhere. But, if you do invest the time and energy, be prepared for transformational results."
Steve Franzese, Professional Director and Former Chief Marketing Officer, senior marketing executive at Apple, Phillips, GE, Sonic Wall "This simple and compelling book is a gift to those of us who have wrestled with the relationship between simple ideas and the complexity inherent in a modern enterprise. Managing and growing a business is a hard thing, with progress often hindered by unseen forces. Finally, we have a guide that introduces system thinking, thereby demystifying the management process and helping you see your entire situation and a clear path forward."
Eric Dean, CEO, Whereoware