Sunday, November 07, 2004

PG: Simplicity leads to fuzzy logic

The quest for simplicity reminds me of the law of two, aka the law of apparently opposites. This law states that every movement has its opposite movement. If one is foreground, then the other is background.

A friend once told me his view, that a team could never exceed twelve persons. What about a company having 100,000 employees? Let's suppose complexity arises from mergers (companies, production chains etc). The opposite movement would then be movement from complexity to simplicity, and from bigger (mergers) to smaller (chunks). These movements are foreground movement, one can observe how reorganizations are in effect operations to simplify the scope of a CEO to this twelve person border.

The background movement however is that by the law of two, simplicity inevitably calls for complexity. Meaning that these big chunks are living organisms that interact. Management should therefore acknowledge the movement from a mechanical view (time-related thinking, cause-and-effect models) to a more organic approach (space-related thinking, quantum-type models).

Fuzzy logic has to do with relativity (more less / better worse). It is used in situations when by the time you know the exact outcome its too late to intervent, because meanwhile things have changed again. Managers that want to know what's inside the black box belong to a different world. A shift is needed.

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