Complexity and Action. A Cybernetics Perspective to Decision Making - Plenary Lecture

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The problem often faced by some approaches to complexity is that of the abstraction from the competitioncharacter of action. Man often is not rational, because of his cognitive limits, his heuristics of thought, and his passions of which the most dangerous is fear. To be aware that the world is complex and there is no way to forecastthe future is something that can scare at the point to inhibit decision and necessary action.Today there is a lot of talking about how the world, hence the markets, the social and business environment iscomplex, but few real proposals about what to do.The temptation coming from reductionist models and the reason why they are still so strong in the managerial(mis)practice is that they are "reassuring”. Reductionist models are able to exorcise the fear of mistakes. The challenge is to find a “reassuring” alternative to reductionism. We need to develop new capacities to learn from the future as it emerges.Cybernetics suggests two powerful tools to overcome this kind of fear and inhibition that are “feed-back” and “feed forward”. Feedback can be used as way of learning by doing or better learning by mistakes. But before makingmistakes to learn we need to think, simplify complexity in mental schemes (as in Barthoz’s simplexity) and have a“feed-forward” of possible scenarios. To do so we need to develop prototypes to explore the future by doing something small and quickly that generates feedback from all the key stakeholders.This theoretical paper examines how Cybernetics can help to overcome the fear of deciding under the uncertainty incomplex scenarios and to be an effective tool for viability and competitiveness of the firms in the XXI century.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Numero di pagine1
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2013


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