Friday, November 09, 2007

Focus on the patterns, not the events

If you've ever seen the video that accompanies The Beer Game, there's something eerily familiar in the news about real estate in the USA. (Disclaimer: The video I saw was a VHS tape with a PBS segment on a previous boom and bust cycle in real estate. I can't promise the current DVD contains the same material.) Despite 50 years of knowing that the principles of feedback control theory apply to human and organizational systems, we still create systems with poor information feedback that get us into the ecstasy of boom times followed by the despair of busts.

What does this mean to us, assuming we're not directly impacted by current real estate woes? Where do you see the potential for boom and bust in your world? How do you know? How do you test your hunches?

I can't tell you when you'll experience a bust, but I can help you discover how you can design a business or organizational system that is less likely to experience such boom and bust cycles.

Incidentally, if you'd like to play The Beer Game but don't think you have an opportunity, check out the online version.

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