Systemic Reasoning Errors: Stink’en Think’en

profile of a man with close up of magnifying glass on error   made in 2d software

The April 13-14, 2019 edition of the Wall Street Journal featured an opinion piece by Holman W. Jenkins, Jr., Russiagate and the Media’s News Denial.  The author makes the point, “Judgement is teachable.  Long ago, in relation to the Enron debacle, I pointed to the work of Harvard’s Max Bazerman and Northwestern’s David Messick, who theorized how systematic reasoning errors can lead to unethical business judgments.”  He goes on to discuss how the journalism sector may be suffering from this problem, vis-à-vis the Trump Administration.

Cognitive bias errors impact the way people process and interpret information.  Our attempt to simplify can lead to nonobjective, illogical and poor decision making.  So, do these poor judgement issues concern me?

The emerging digitalization model to attain and sustain Operational Excellence by definition is systemically complex.  A highly integrated ecosystem coupled with tens of thousands of data sensors and quasi-independent processing systems support field operations.  Moreover, risk mitigation models in such an environment are themselves complex.

Human decision-making processes in this new environment will necessarily change from the traditional management of automated systems and data analysis.  Extensive training must be part of the transformational process.

Additionally, Governance models may need revision as well.  What is the role of the Board and ‘C’ Suite (CIO vs. COO?) with the digitalization of the organization?

Clarification.  The term ‘stinking thinking’ refers to tactics either unintentionally or insidiously used to create expectation biases.  The title uses a colloquial term Stink’en Think’en as a function of lousy thought processes; nothing more.

The challenges we face are much more than technology driven.  As always, human Behaviors are at the core and Conditions in the near future may be dramatically different from the present.

New Relationships will emerge as well.  We have previously discussed the R B C model.  It is good guidance for this transformation.

How Does Your Organization Mitigate Systemic Reasoning Errors by Its Decision Makers?

For More Information

How Cognitive Biases Influence How You Think and Act is a very good article on this subject.  Interested readers may want to check it out.

You can contact the author more information as well.

End Notes

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