Monday, January 19, 2004

Independent Vision

Bill writes

When you tire of this looping exercise of the intellect in foresight v hindsight, you must select one operating platform or the other. Go for "judgment" or go for "evidence." A combination is forbidden, don't bother.

I disagree with this Either/Or. What's wrong with Both/And. One of the most important lessons in systems thinking I got from reading Bateson was the necessity of having several independent sources of information.

The point about audit always was that it was supposed to provide an independent view, not an alternative view. As we now know, it has failed to deliver.

If I don't trust managers, maybe I don't trust machines either - especially if the machines are fed by the managers. But if machines provide an independent corroboration of human judgement, then perhaps I'm slightly reassured.