The uncertainty management principle

The October 24th issue of Time Magazine features several pieces on technology as well as a very interesting article on Steve Jobs and Apple. In this piece Jobs demonstrates his keen understanding of high-speed innovation through many of the strategies he deploys at Apple including relentless concurrent engineering. But he also manifests a surprising "command and control" attitude concerning certain facets of the company. Of course there is a tendency to attribute the company's success in part to these control mechanisms--perhaps. But I view this myopic use of  control as a danger sign over the long-term for any company  or organization that relies on innovation for its competitive edge.

This type of approach goes back to a (comfortable) Newtonian perspective that sees the world as a kind of machine ultimately susceptible to management and control. But as Will Rogers said" It's not what we don't know that's the problem, it's what we know that just ain't so". To sustain success requires a certain (uncomfortable)abandonment to uncertainty and chaos in an organization.  Otherwise the wheels of innovation and risk-taking begin to brake down as the life blood of the organization --its creative flow is interrupted and stifled.

Kris Kimel