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What is "predict-and-control"?

Predict-and-control is the ideology that believes in looking forward, predicting outcomes and then building control based systems to make those predictions a reality.

There are two inherent assumptions to predict-and-control:

1. We can accurately predict outcomes

2. We can and should use control based mechanisms to achieve desired results (while enduring or ignoring negative consequences to these mechanisms)

Predict-and-control is present in any scenario that involves any form of planning, forecasting or deciding futures on behalf of other people. Examples include: budgeting; strategic planning; centralised decision making; behaviour incentivisation; overly complicated project management; excessive risk management; typical change management projects - these are all manifestations of the predict-and-control mentality.

As with command-and-control (see: "What is command-and-control?"), the status quo mindset finds it hard to comprehend that there is an alternative to predict-and-control. Moreover, that we shouldn't deem any alternative worth pursuing by comparison.

The alternative could, perhaps, be best described as "sense-and-respond" (see: "What is the sense-and-respond model?").

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  1. John Featherby

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