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Keywords:

  • appropriateness;
  • capabilities;
  • communities of practice;
  • complexity science;
  • complexity-worthiness;
  • landscape of change;
  • practitioner;
  • reflecting on practice;
  • reflecting on realities;
  • self-sustaining change;
  • symptom sorting;
  • trade-off space

Abstract

Rationale  People working in the health sector have been looking to complexity science to help them deal with the complex phenomena they encounter in their everyday working practice. While complexity science has assisted many in the field to look at the complex issues from a different viewpoint and explained the emergence of complex phenomena, however, practicable, pragmatic approaches and techniques have not been provided.

Aims and objectives  In this article, actual issues and challenges that these practitioners face and the needs they expressed during a workshop called ‘Putting Complexity to Work – Supporting the Practitioners’ are discussed.

Conclusion  As the nature of complexity offers no one single ultimate solution, the paper concludes that, for operationalizing the insights received from complexity science into their day-to-day work, practitioners in health care and other domains need to address a range of challenges that are outlined in the paper.