The information Age brought out more data in ten years than ever before in the history of mankind. So management, in its infinite wisdom, said “Lets break the information down into related parts and analyze it”. That was the first mistake.
The theory behind analyzing the parts seems to be common with 21st Century management practices. The problem is that just analyzing parts could send you down the milkyway to no where. Improvement comes from understanding synthesis of the parts through analysis of cause and effect.
Organizational improvement is a philosophy based on the principles of continuous improvement. The continuous improvement philosophy, any philosophy, emphasizes synthesis first and analysis second but only in context to synthesis. Because of a lack of understanding the pilosophy of continuous improvement became a program rather than a management philsophy in many organizations. Then everyone went running off into the milkyway with no real understanding of why or where they were going.
The First Mistake Is Only Analyzing The Parts
To improve or create anything of value there are two approaches and one is not effective without the other.
Analysis is the process of breaking a complex topic or substance into smaller parts to gain a better understanding of it. The technique has been applied in the study of mathematics and logic since before Aristotle, though analysis as a formal concept is a relatively recent development.
Synthesis (from the ancient Greek) is used in many fields, usually to mean a process which combines two or more pre-existing elements and results in something new.
Analysis is sometimes very necessary. But, in terms of business, it’s an overused practice to justify the wrong things. It is also used to substantiate an uneccessary action. The justififcation of the wrong things and the wrong actions are influenced more by politics and power than by truly understanding cause and effect.
Analysis without understanding synthesis is like saying the dynamics of all this social stuff is nothing more than marketing tactics. A limited analysis would easily justify that position. However, analyzing it to understand the systemic implications of all the related dynamics (sythesis) reveals much larger implications and meaning beyond marketing.
So if the first mistake is only analyzing the parts what is the second mistake? The second mistake is making decisions from the first mistake and expecting something new to happen.
So in the context of business, no wait a minute, in the context of life what is more important, analysis or synthesis? Analyze your answer carefully.