Tom Peter's blog had a thought provoking entry called "Embrace the Mess?" . It was a gentle rant against the majority of linear thinking executives trying to operate in complex environment.
They often look at an emerging issue as an engineering problem controlled by predictable laws of physics, rather than a messy puzzle ruled by random variables in the behavior of employees, board members, investors, competitors, and customers. They think, "If margins are poor, cut costs." Rarely are all the possible impacts on future revenue generation or current productivity considered.
And I've been thinking about this a lot as it applies to marketing. After all we deal with not automatons which operate with a pre-defined set of rules, but thinking feeling human being who are much more complex. You know linear marketing when you hear things like "How do we effectively communicate our value proposition to prospects so they become leads". Basically if we deliver A to B then C will happen.
Conversely you can see marketing people who thrive in complexity because they say things like "How can we better engage with our market"? It's a state of mind and approach.
Now this does not mean you toss the fundamentals, but those are only a small set of the tools you have available.
Ask yourself : "How have I engaged with my market today"?