As I have recently argued, the world’s top strategists agree that strategy in complex, cause-and-effect blurred environments requires a unique mindset.
According to Snowden and others, in complex environments cause and effect relationships do not repeat and a categorization mindset where data is fit to preconceived notions about reality (i.e. models, frameworks, etc.) is ineffective. This by the way rules out most of the consultants who provide precisely this: prescription style, a-la-carte frameworks and models. What works are sense-making models (to understand the distinction between categorization and sense-making in the words of the world’s top strategists, see my related blog). Categorization models are fast and efficient, but may miss so called “weak signals”, comparatively insignificant data points that are simply part of the average in normal situations, but which can be the source of new emergent patterns in complex circumstances – fat tails and Black Swans respectively in Nassim Taleb parlance.
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