Tom Guarriello has been posting some good thinking about rules. Here’s a bite but try the whole steak if you can.

At first blush we think that rules are designed to exercise control over the actions of those subject to them. And, that’s certainly true. But think about rules in games. While they’re established to control behavior, at a deeper level they’re designed to create a world, a place within which the game can be played…

So, if you were setting out to develop a set of rules, one of the keys would be to determine what kind of world you’re trying to design; what “game” you’re playing…

Yes, people sometimes make up rules as if they will automatically generate that which they prescribe. Actually, I think we could think of them as – in Improv lingo – an offer. Which others will accept or block in a whole variety of ways.

Tom continues that businesses want to create profits and that

Maybe, the better question might be, “how do you want your system to behave in order to maximize the prospects of it producing profit? What must it be able to do well to deliver profit in your business?”

And then suggests

what are the characteristics of the best such systems? How about these?







I’m sure there are more, but let’s start with those.

I enjoyed this, simple principles for a complex world.

(And if I could persuade Tom to put out a full RSS feed, my cup would overflow.)

1 thought on “Rules…

  1. Management Craft

    Link-O-Rama #2

    I normally don’t do Link-O-Rama posts so close together (see last week’s here) but there have been many great posts this week. I am getting stressed just having all these to share. It’s bad aggregator Feng Shui to have so


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