Decisions at Fences

Behaviour that emerges in complex systems – and all human societies and organisations are complex – often appears to be strange or sub-optimal. And it often is!  …if your only argument is “that’s inefficient” or “that’s a stupid way of doing things”, perhaps you should think again.

Thus concludes Rob Miller’s latest missive – a weekly newsletter that is always thought-provoking.  And how timely! Today alone I’ve had at least two instances where the “that’s stupid” phrase was thrown around. And I won’t even count the number of times I’ve heard it (even said it myself) in the last couple of months.

Empathising the reasons why things are done a certain way is important. What I’ve been struggling with, however, is once that empathising and reasoning why things are in place, the extent of discussion and hand-wringing by people who’s jobs are primarily to make decisions.  Decision rigor-mortis, that to me right now is the inexplicable phenomenon.