Sometimes what is
missing is more revealing than what is present. There are a lot of
people who strongly believe that there are other critical factors than
the ones I have named. Perhaps you have a specific process methodology
that you advocate, or perhaps you believe that a happy work place is
critical, or perhaps you believe that Myers-Briggs Type Inventory (MBTI)
profiling is critical, or some other personality profiling, or team
spirit, or negotiating skills, or marketing, or a win-win attitude, or
performance monitoring, or quality assurance. I can think of occasions
where I have found each of these useful, sometimes important. But I
have never found any of them critical to optimal organizational
achievement. And far more importantly my simulations repeatedly show
these are not critical.
Performance Monitoring and Quality
Assurance (QA) can be mechanisms by which feedback on goal achievement
is obtained. When used for that purpose they are important tools.
However, in my experience I see them more often used to insure that some
process is being followed. If performance monitoring or QA is needed to
check that the organization is following a process, it is a symptom that
the process is of little value. In any case the real issue is feedback
and is therefore the preferred term.
Task oriented methodologies are also
often useful. They often provide the tools with which to implement the
5 critical factors. The 2 most notable are prototyping and
modularization. We have already discussed prototyping. Modularization
or what the psychologists call chunking will be one of the keys for
getting through the complexity constraint. In computer programming it
is called object oriented design. Unfortunately that methodology has
strayed too far from the essential value of decoupling components.
Most of what is commonly promoted in the
achievement literature in business and technology are not particularly
important for optimal achievement. If you have some strong belief in
one of these, I can only point to my own previously cherished beliefs,
some of which I discuss in
All of these are examples of things I
tested and found of little to no value to optimal achievement.
I first learned how easy it was for those
in the past to be wrong when I studied the history of science, and then
went on to confirm, by my own mistakes, that I was no different. Why is
it so very easy for us to be wrong? First, because we, Homo sapiens,
have a deep seated want to explain. Second, in the commercial world
people gain money and in the political world gain power, by giving us
the explanations we desire. It does not matter if the explanations are
right or wrong, only that they are believed. Every factor that failed
my simulation tests was promoted by some type of marketing and one or
more persons were gaining financially. This is not altogether bad.
Something can only be successfully marketed if there is some value.
And, of course, in writing this I am trying to sell you that I have
something of value to offer. It is the way of the world. But it does
appear that the more money that is made the less likely that the beliefs
being promoted are true. For example there is little to be made in
promoting the multiplication table and some billions were made in
promoting the pending Y2K catastrophe. (See
Organization Failure / Faulty Beliefs / Y2K: A Bad Joke.)
I strongly suspect that promoting that "understanding wants",
"knowing what-to-do", "knowing how-to-do", "feedback", and "foresight"
are critical to optimal achievement is very much like promoting the
multiplication table it is too obvious to gain much attention and result
in great financial success..
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(C) 2005-2014 Wayne M. Angel.
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