Ockham’s Razor – the simplest answer is often best

I recently explained the limitations of hypothesis-testing for strategic planning and problem-solving, and the advantages of abductive reasoning as more efficient and reliable method (keep asking “What directly causes that?”)

But what kind of causes should we be looking for? It turns out that a 13th century monk – William of Ockham – got us an answer.

‘Ockham’s Razor’ says – Given alternative explanations for something, the simplest is the most likely.

We do just have to qualify this view a little
… “Simple” must also mean ‘concrete’ – that is, not abstract – and demonstrable by evidence.
… And I’d go further – demonstrable by quantifiable evidence.

I think William would approve of the principles behind our digital-twin business models!
… All elements are identifiable in the real world, even the intangibles (when we need them)
… All causal relationships should replicate, quantitatively, what we observe in the real world
Unfortunately, the “strategy” world is replete with theories, frameworks and methods that badly break the Ockham Razor rule. (E.g. there’s no clear meaning for “competitive advantage”; you will find as many definitions of “resources” and “capabilities” as there are academics who talk about them; and we have been plagued for decades by gurus promoting ideas that may be simple – actually, simplistic – but that are abstract and reliant on subjective terms).

Our Standard Strategy Methods course fixes the issues with abstract strategy concepts.
It gives practical advice on how to use some of the most common strategy tools, and has a big section on implementation through a timed action-plan.
There is a short, low-cost ‘essentials’ version, and you can get a ⅓ DISCOUNT on both the full Core course and that Essentials option if you enter the coupon ‘blog33‘ at checkout.

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