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Eli Schragenheim presents
"Between Complexity and Uncertainty"
the importance and scope of the topic are discussed first. Citing
the views of Professor Herbert Simon and linking them to the
general approach of TOC, especially regarding the question of
"should we strive to make our decisions optimal?” come next. A
critical realization is the distinction between the way decisions
are made by an individual for himself/herself and by the same
individual on behalf of an organization. A critical
question is how to deal with decisions in complex
situations? This is where the TOC tools, like the cloud
and the cause-and-effect trees could come handy, especially under
the umbrella of focusing on the few truly significant elements.
Then the troubling question arises on how to deal with
uncertainty. When uncertainty comes on top of
significant complexity are we truly in a worse state? The answer
and mainly the arguments that the combination actually simplifies
the decision making process might surprise. The key direction for
solution has to define the supporting information elements required
for making good decisions.
About this series:
Being able to make good decisions is a requirement of any manager
and leader. In this series Eli Schragenheim (the other
Eli) wishes to think aloud on how TOC guides us to be better
decision makers. The most interesting question to be
dealt in the series is what "hard decisions” are and how to make
them "not-too-hard decisions”? There are two different
categories of causes for the difficulty to arrive to a clear
decision: complexity and uncertainty. Complexity is
nicely handled by TOC through focusing and outlining the cause and
effect relationships of the most critical elements. In
itself this is already a valuable addition to the work of Herbert
Simon, another influential figure on management.
Uncertainty is another element where TOC has provided certain
solutions for some specific cases, but, yet, does not provide a
generic way to systematically deal with uncertainty.