Friday, January 22, 2021

Nonlinear Business Logic

To untangle unprecedented complexity, we need to reach a stage to assess logic of everything: thoughts, language, actions for dealing with complex problems or rewriting the rules of the competitive game to overcome the common challenge.

With unprecedented uncertainty and high velocity, business problems become over complex and interdependent. The most obvious symptom of business distress is the widespread problem of incoherence. In practice, there is always a temptation to use simple linear logic to understand highly complex or nonlinear business problem-solving scenarios. 

People have to make a huge effort to get beyond rational linear thinking, apply interconnected logic to uncover hidden clues and systematically define and estimate, thus plan any problem, project, and phenomenon, regardless of its size to improve problem solving effectiveness. There are different kinds of pontificators about logical reasoning:

Emphasizing or prioritizing the concern is or will be premises, and therefore the scientific/logical form of reasoning in dealing with complexity: When you intend to understand, interpret, and judge things, you need to form a critical opinion of it based on facts, discerned data, in-depth understanding, and clarified notions. Often there are interdependent pieces behind complex issues, it’s important to gain some systematic methodology and multifaceted perspectives to arrive at the tangible and reproducible truth - the commonly accepted objective, testable or measurable, time-bound reality. From a problem-solving perspective, analysis and synthesis, induction and deduction, are all crucial logical steps in integrating experimenting and lesson learned, theory and best practices, etc, to simplify things and come up with premium solutions.

Western rationalism is based on the theory that knowledge comes through deductive reasoning while Eastern empiricism reasons that erudition is derived inductively through actual experience. Managers in Western economies generally focus on technically-orientated, mainly explicit information encompassing rules, methodologies, processes and the professional/information codified in manuals and texts, which also inevitably affects the quality of one’s decision-making. Managers in Easten culture often drive organic theory -practice continuum, ideally, they pursue holistic management style, integrating implicit and explicit communication, culture, and system. But overly restrictive hierarchy or silo cause business ineffectiveness.

Business logic is not always the single version of the truth, more often than not, it’s multifaceted: The nonlinear business decision and problem-solving logic involves both internal factors, such as decision situation, context, relevant knowledge, resource, etc, and external factors such as technical factors, political and legal conditions, competition and consumer demands, etc. Problem definition with problem boundaries smaller or larger, depends on what you consider relevant and endogenous as your hypothesis regarding why those things have evolved in a certain way. Through a logical lens, intensify and emphasize the “OUGHT”-premise and its justification and plausibly will perceive the reasoning involved, pay attention to the truth and plausibility of the premises, their support by additional 'evidence' data, and the 'validity' of the argument patterns.

Everybody involved with the process thinks they know how it works and where the issues are, but putting independent eyes upon it almost always ends up painting a somewhat different picture. To get things worse, the "disconnect" part is the bigger issue that causes dysfunctional performance systems, miscommunication, management blind spots, and slows down the speed of business change. It is the worthy investment and hidden dimension to explore a set of emergent properties and then, model the digital system that does or could produce them, see the interconnectivity between parts and the whole, the relationship dynamic, and create common rationale between different perspectives in order to diagnose the real cause of problems, get behind the surface validation, and gain a deep insight into “why does the problem happen,” and how or solve problems in a structured way.

Thinking and logical reasoning are not for their own sake, but to make intellectual influence and drive transformative changes: Every intuitive solution has a certain degree of complexity in it. Understand the process of connecting argument premises to effect a change in knowledge as 'reasoning,' whether the change is occurring in your own mind or intended to change somebody else's mind. Besides applying logic in hard processes, systems, it’s also critical to communicate in a logical view and terms, and translate agreed/approved logical view or changes to physical view correctly. You need to set up a framework that allows for differing opinions about what process stands for, what it means, or what’s important about it, etc., to make sure the system-of-interest is defined to establish the boundary and the properties that interact with the environment.

Technically, business architecture is a logical framework and communication tool to systematic problem solving. What architecture subsystems are considered at what level would depend on a variety of factors including organization, skillset, culture, business model, or the level of organizational commitment, etc. Visualize and amplify the Big Picture to inspire and motivate; engage and participate, connect the proposed connections of single arguments into a larger picture, as well as understand the inter connectivity of the parts and the whole. Ideally, you would model and map the process/workflow/system at the big picture level before doing any development. You can simulate the processes and identify the constraints, robustness, modularity, scalability, costs, requirements, stability, and everything else you would need for optimization to achieve higher than expected results.

Logic is often nonlinear and multidimensional in today’s “VUCA” world. To untangle unprecedented complexity, we need to reach a stage to assess logic of everything: thoughts, language, actions for dealing with complex problems or rewriting the rules of the competitive game to overcome the common challenge. An integrated digital management approach is about leveraging interlogic to understand nonlinear processes and interconnectivity between problems in a managerial context, to ensure holistic problem solving and the business as a whole is superior to the sum of pieces.


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