For those of you that have followed my ramblings about "Extreme Business Planning" and related subjects will have seen my "scepticism" to the belief that we have knowledge, rather suggesting that one uses a solid portion of systematic doubt coupled with testing.
Or in other words applying a whiff of "empiricism" using observation and testing. Throw it out and see what happens.
This would be a bottom-up approach to Business, not the usual formulaic (mostly rigid and close minded) top-down approach to the future that thrives in the top-down frameworks that Business lives in (organisational hierarchies).
On first sight it's scary if you're on the top and cannot "set and control" the future. That's why the top likes so much budgeting and setting plans and having goals and timelines so they can follow the "progress".
Obviously the future never (really) plays out as planned. But for that we have the forces "outside of our control" to blame. Never blame the planning, the plan was botched "because of...".
But sometimes I see signs of sceptical empiricism, albeit mostly hidden as not to scare the powers (shareholders, market price, directors and bosses are scary when scared).
From my point of view I see a new and obviously good product coming out "because they could do it!" - after all SAP should be more than able.
Then they "position" it in the market place. I've seen tons of slides showing how it's positioned between the Business All-in-One and the Business One offerings. So many slides of that in fact that I grow sceptical to that particular message slide-by-slide.
Then the Enterprise Software analysts pipes in and raises the question - "will it cannibalise the other products?". And many thinks so, certainly among my Enterprise Irregular friends.
With all the noise, all the time spent on those keynote slides and the effort to plant the product solidly in a "understandable" market position I just have to think - deep down they really do not believe that!
And so what? I think what they do is right, make a damned good product, accept that it might mess up their plans and strategies a bit, but as long as it's basically sound just do it!
With that profit will come, changes will happen and old plans (made to placate) will be easily abandoned.
A good example of "Extreme Business Planning" with a dash of "don't ruffle feathers" added I would say.
P.s. Oracle seems to be playing the same game of sceptical empiricism - "let's wait and see how BBD plays out", and "if a success we'll do it too" (probably as many suggests, by acquiring NetSuite).
The thing is that playing "watch-and-catch-up" is not true empirical scepticism, that can only be done by "doing it" so as to learn directly related to your efforts. Thus I'm sceptical to Larry's approach ;)