If about everything top-down fragilizes and blocks antifragility and growth, everything bottom-up thrives under the right amount of stress and disorder.
– Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Antifragility
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One of the key objectives of Xpeditor is to systematically reduce the downside from unstructured processes, while at the same time increasing the potential upside.
In his book Antifragility, Nassim Nicholas Taleb describes how volatility and unexpected events lead to learning and growth, to become even better as a result of the exposure and experience. This is the essence of antifragility, a term Taleb coined to describe the properties of adaptive or evolutionary systems that become better and reach even higher levels of performance as a consequence of encountering and overcoming challenges. These systems are dynamic rather than static; they thrive and grow in new directions rather than simply sustain themselves; they actually need random events to strengthen and grow and they become brittle and atrophy in the absence of these random events.
For a process in Xpeditor to be antifragile, it needs to adhere to some basic principles:
Stick to simple rulesComplex systems do not require complicated rules – in fact, the simpler the rules, the better. Resisting the temptation to respond to complexity with complex rules is critical – they have a disturbing tendency to produce cascades of unintended consequences.
DecentralizeDecentralized systems are far more antifragile than very large, centralized systems. They are better able to learn from randomness because adverse impacts are contained, and decentralized units can watch and learn from each other as each unit improvises in response to unexpected events. Centralized systems are fragile because they make rules that, by necessity, are more abstract and theoretical so that they can be broadly applicable, but at the same time they are removed from the relevant social context.
Resist the urge to suppress randomnessDon’t try to eliminate volatility or unpredictable disruptions to a process. The paradox is that efforts to eliminate randomness only intensify the vulnerability of systems to damage from disruption. Without an element of randomness, there can be no serendipity.
Ensure everyone has skin in the gameParticipants must face the consequences of their actions and endure failure as well as enjoy success. This will ensure that each participant will be motivated to learn as rapidly as possible and not take unwarranted risks.
Design by doingPractice and experimentation drive advances in knowledge and well-being. Instead of analysis and research driving practice, practice leads to analysis and understanding.