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Eli Webinar 1
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When: 01/08/2011
From 7:00 am to 8:30 AM PST
Contact: TOC Admin

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Eli Schragenheim presents
"Between Complexity and Uncertainty"

Defining 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.