Jan 11

Real Time Conflicts

I advocate for the power of real-time analytics constantly.   However, Donella Meadows book: Thinking In Systems, provides a more robust perspective on the power of real-time and delays in systems.  Most counterintuitive is the fact that delays can (sometimes) make for a more efficient system.  Waiting to act (and not just in the sense of real options) can make a system more stable.

Your thinking — John, your an idiot, everyone knows over-reacting is inefficient.  Yes — but what is the magical line between acting too quickly and waiting too long?

Systems thinking — when you see the world as stocks, flows, and feedback — is more important than ever.  Technology has created more feedback loops (with faster cycles), more flows (with less friction), and new stocks.  The real potential here is to find out when you need to act — and the minimally effective amount.

The trend of “real-time” is buzzworthy — but dangerous without the appropriate systems thinking to accompany it.