Is It Consequences Or Symptoms?

by Jay Deragon on 06/20/2009

every-action-has-consequences Treating the consequences, not the symptoms?Problems and opportunities are moving very fast. Problems are often so complex and so integrated across the globe that no single person can accumulate in a lifetime the experience needed to manage effectively.  The “top-down” management structure no longer has a statistically relevant sample of prior experiences from which to make essential decisions. Actions without wisdom have unintended consequences for yet unknown victims.

The Wisdom of Management

Managers manage through experience.  After many years in an industry, they can observe a situation and compare it to prior situations that they have encountered either through experience or formal education.

An effective manager can identify an issue, determine the probability that it will become a problem, and discuss the consequences of action or inaction.  Then they make similarly calculated decisions that either solves or manages the consequences of the problem.  The depth and breadth of a manager’s experience is called wisdom.

Duplicating Wisdom

In order to duplicate wisdom in a laboratory, scientists generate statistical events.  By duplicating a scenario 20-30 times, a range of outcomes becomes statistically relevant for predicting future outcomes and identifying the way things can influence the outcomes.  The idea behind the peer reviewed journals is to display the experiment to everyone for vetting.  If it survives vetting, it becomes part of the human body of knowledge until otherwise challenged.

Managing consequences

The rate of change has become extremely high and problems too complex to manage. Vetting mechanism are breaking down like levies against the dam in industries such as Banking, Insurance, automotive, medicine, education, environment, etc.  We are in a crisis of consequences where we can no longer manage the symptoms, only the consequences – forget about curing the disease.

optical communicationsSocial Media: The Operating System of an Innovation Economy

The business plan of the new millennium will be the art and science of making information “less imperfect”.  In a condition of perfect information, everyone associated with an issue has the same information as everyone else.  Perfect information is what makes markets efficient and decisions rational.  Agreement is perfectly mutual, supply and demand are perfectly aligned, all risks are perfectly predictable and cause and effect are perfectly transparent.

Wisdom of Crowds

No single human can accumulate enough experience in a lifetime to manage the totality of human problems.  Perhaps the wisdom of crowds could be used to simulate one person that does.   This cannot, however, be a random collection of people acting in haphazard process.  The challenge is in finding the correct group of people who collectively replicate a condition of “perfect information”.  Then we must transform the perfect information into knowledge.  Finally, we need to transform that knowledge into innovation through entrepreneurial activity.

The Social Imperative

Social Networks need to form complete and detailed inventories of resident knowledge cataloged on a ‘bell curve’.  Social Networks must codify social capital, creative capital, and intellectual capital so that scientific methods can be used to predict and assemble unique collection of knowledge assets that capture statistically relevant collections of experiences. That unique set of knowledge assets must then be deployed precisely in a market.

By all indications, this is the direction that the integration of social media is trying to go.  It is now our social imperative that it gets there.

{ 11 comments }

dan June 23, 2009 at 11:01 am

Robin; Thanks for the comment and you make a good point about omnipotent cliques – the similarity to Cartels is apparent. The Innovation Economics thesis developed by the Ingenesist Project describes a condition in which no single person, or group of persons can hold a monopoly on knowledge because it can simply be duplicated in another set of individuals given a vetted inventory. The idea that I tried to deliver here was that we have an inventory of components for constructing things like airplanes and office buildings but we do not necessarily have an inventory of knowledge components walking around on the streets – and no method to predict the fact of innovation, and as such, entrepreneurs are constrained from building new things. The great hope of social media is that communities can organize themselves to form more perfect information bodies – as we see in Iran with the use of such technology. Perhaps we are swapping one set of problems for another, but the process of solving new problems may be what we need to disrupt outdated systems, as you noted, that constrict wider dissemination of knowledge. Thanks again.

Dan Robles

Aron Stevenson June 21, 2009 at 4:55 am

Is It Consequences Or Symptoms? by Jay Deragon – http://ow.ly/fk0B #business

Sofapilot June 20, 2009 at 7:25 pm

http://tinyurl.com/lsqaen Is It Consequences Or Symptoms? Social Media: The Operating System of an Innovation Economy & Wisdom of Crowds

Brian C. Citizen June 20, 2009 at 11:36 am

Daily Deragon Dose: Is It Consequences Or Symptoms? http://tinyurl.com/lsqaen

smconnection June 20, 2009 at 8:56 am

Is It Consequences Or Symptoms?: No single human can accumulate enough experience in a lifetime to manage the to.. http://tinyurl.com/lsqaen

Robin gower June 20, 2009 at 9:25 am

I don’t think it possible to identify a “correct group of people” without of course knowing the information held by every person. To identiy a representative sample, one would need perfect information in the first place!

It’s true that some opinions will be more informative than others but a degree of ignorance is probably unavoidable. The wisdom of crowds incorporates those elements irrational or ignorant behaviour.

The wise group’s information may be better, but it won’t be perfect.

Furthermore, rational inidividuals could exploit value by taking unobserved actions in reaction to the views set forth by the “correct group”. That is to say that any attempt to create an omnipotent clique will increase incentives for secrecy that may make suh attempts futile.

Is it not better to pursue a path towards wider, more inclusive, better informed crowds?

Martin June 20, 2009 at 6:58 am

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Angela Suddarth June 20, 2009 at 6:58 am

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JDeragon June 20, 2009 at 6:56 am

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Rob Harvey June 20, 2009 at 6:16 am

Is It Consequences Or Symptoms?: No single human can accumulate enough experience in a lifetime to manage the to.. http://bit.ly/HFZ7G

prblogs June 20, 2009 at 6:06 am

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