Monday, December 28, 2020

Unknowable

Uncertainty is caused by unknowns - not identified within the scope of the plan, or unknowable - beyond the knowledge and understanding of the decision-maker.

"Digital Master” is a series of guidebooks (28 + books) to perceive the multi-faceted impact digital is making to the businesses and society, help forward-thinking organizations navigate through the journey in a systematic way, and avoid “rogue digital.” 

It perceives the emergent trends of digital leadership, provides advice on how to run a digital organization to unleash its full potential and improve agility, maturity, and provide insight about Change Management. It also instructs the digital workforce on how to shape a game-changing digital mindset and build the right set of digital capabilities to compete for the future. Here is a set of “Unknowable” quotes in Digital Master.


Change is a process with known/ controllable and unpredictable/unknowable variables. Change is ALWAYS happening around us at work and outside work. Perhaps the difficulty in measuring change management is that the very thing we are measuring is changing.

Uncertainty is caused by unknowns - not identified within the scope of the plan, or unknowable - beyond the knowledge and understanding of the decision-maker.

With unprecedented uncertainty, the management needs to dig through: Is the “unknown” factor not identified with the scope of the business planning or is it caused by “unknowable” - beyond the knowledge and understanding of management.

Business management needs to know which factors contribute to uncertainty in order to handle it smoothly. Is it caused by “unknown” factors -not identified with the scope of the business planning; is it caused by “unknowable” -beyond the knowledge and understanding of management? or is it caused by situations with random distributions as well as “unknown” distributions? Etc.

Within the forward-looking stories, there are some parts that you know will occur with reasonable certainty, and some that you feel you can influence, and some that remain beyond your influence, and some that matter, but are unknowable and uncontrollable.

Fundamentally, the purpose of Systems Thinking is to solve problems and create desirable futures. With unprecedented uncertainty, the management needs to dig through whether the “unknown” factor is caused by “unknowable” - beyond the knowledge and understanding of management.

From some participants' point of view in a complex system, things might be working just fine. It might be worth asking: How am I looking at this? Is there another way/another understanding? How come things are the way they are? The combinatorial details of how they got that way are often unknowable to an adequate level, but the abstracted principles may be sufficient to understand the dynamics. What does this have to do with systems thinking? It provides a starting point for investigation.

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