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They must be helped to understand the business model well enough! – Part 3

A view from the business manager’s stand point



If thought about from organizational wisdom perspective we may get a few more reasons as to why managers do not understand business models, as made out to be.


At the risk of being long I would like to quote an interesting passage from the favorite book, “Organizational Wisdom and Executive Courage” (Ed. Suresh Srivastva and David L.Cooperrider)



When people create maps of an unknowable, unpredictable world, they face strong temptations toward either overconfident knowing or overly cautious doubt.

Wisdom rises above the pull of both.

Overconfident knowing is often unwise in the context of the temporal swirl because overconfidence (‘we know everything there is to know’) blocks the discernment of facts or conditions that are not obvious. It often blinds us to subtleties, deters other people from challenging our apparent knowledge, and ignores novelties that do not fit confident conclusions.


At the other extreme is overly cautious doubt, which undermines wisdom in organization in other, less obvious ways. Moving from wisdom to over caution involves forgetting or dismissing what one knows and inflating the amount of knowledge that remains to be known. In the process, bold action is held at bay – and many times in organizational life it is only through action itself that better understandings unfold.

The essence of wisdom is knowing, that one does not know everything and appreciating that all knowledge is infallible; thus wisdom is found in the balance between knowing and doubting.


Wisdom is about “successful simultaneity”- the need both to keep asking questions and to act like one has most of the answers. This is what will make action more intelligent and adaptive, because it recapitulates the wisdom in all evolutionary processes.



From above it appears that a road map that provides for knowing and doubting may be more understandable and acceptable than one which assures all solutions.

If the managers are assured of both, by BPM, and a place for their wisdom, they may take up the journey like fishermen take to the sea!


To take another quote:

“Today I would say that if managerial leadership is a performing art, it is definitely street theater, where the script, he characters, the props, and the drama are all unfolding in real time.”

(Peter B. Vaill, ‘The Unspeakable Texture of Process Wisdom’ in the book referred above.)


In such a situation, ‘information-in-real-time’ would be a blessing. But there may be a catch!


In my limited understanding, the high point of BPM appears to be ‘information-in-real-time’.

It may be now ‘time-crunching’ in addition to the earlier ‘data-crunching’.

It may cause a shift from ‘Less information, Late’ to ‘More information, Early’!

What managers look for may be ‘Sufficient information, In time’.


Information coming early for their attention may be seen as very demanding, a push for quicker action, whereas information in-time may be considered by them comfortable.

This tension between the two states may be one of the reasons for the seeming lack of understanding of the business model and thereby BPM.


Some times it may be good tactics by BPX to wear the business managers’ shoes to feel the bite in order to comfort them with the byte!


Sam Anbazhagan

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