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No medicine is panacea; neither is GoPeaks. In the holistic boundary of knowledge for practice (the right figure), GoPeaks falls into the category of synthesis wisdom in my conceptualization of a tripod for holistic wisdom (with the other two being analysis and phronesis).There are two things GoPeaks can do, and one thing it cannot.


GoPeaks Evidence-based Prescription of “Best Practices”


·         It can synthesize theories and empirical evidence to find reliable thinking short-cuts to automate some decision rules, as well as to identify their context boundaries, that is, GoPeaks evidence-based prescriptions for imitable “best practices” in the upper-right domain in the figure. The blue arrows show the knowledge advances for this category.


GoPeaks Evidence-based Rejection of “Best Practices”


·         It can de-automate some rigid thinking short-cuts that are not supported by empirical evidence or are only applicable in a very narrow and hardly replicable context, that is, pseudo theory/ nonreplicated evidence for imitable “best practices” rejected by GoPeaks evidence, and thus should be in the lower-left domain in the figure. The red arrows show the knowledge advances for this category.


Untheorizable/Untestable Problems


·         However, it cannot replace human judgement. Business (like any other professional subjects) is not a science (a tool in analysis wisdom), but a practice that integrates sciences, arts, philosophy, and many other branches of theoretical and practical wisdom to enhance performance. While science (and analysis in general) helps break a complex problem down to coherent logic and empirical parts (i.e., the vast area in the right figure except the upper-right and bottom-left corners) and synthesis puts them together into an integrative structure (i.e., the upper-right corner), getting things done is far more complex than analysis and synthesis (the two of which collectively form theoretical wisdom).


·         Many practical issues require practical wisdom, or what Aristotle called phronesis (i.e., the bottom-left corner in the figure). These issues include not only emergent paradigm shifts on how to apply theoretical wisdom into complex contexts, but also problems to which existing theory or empirical test is fundamentally helpless. For instance, actions often must be taken in unforeseen, unknown, or changing contexts, leading to intractable decision problems that cannot be rationally analyzed by looking into the known or at least cannot be done within a realistic timeline (i.e., untheorizable problems). As another example, business (or any practical) success relies not only on imitation of evidence-based “best practices” (i.e., theoretical wisdom), which ironically would erode an imitator’s favorite competitive position as these practices become accessible to more imitators over time. Rather, it also relies on creative activities for idiosyncrasy, abnormality, and heterogeneity that empirically have no precedent (i.e., untestable problems). These problems locate in the bottom-left domain in the Figure, which would require intuitive/heuristic/design skills (e.g., thought experiments and corrective memories) as well as strong will and communications (e.g., sense of humor) to get things done (see my proposed Vlogue SHIVA devoted to understanding these skills).


Overall, by incentivizing works from analysis to synthesis (arrows in the figure), GoPeaks helps to close the knowledge-practice gap for understanding what knowledge area a decision locates in and thus what best approach a decision should be based on.



Picture Source: Adapted from Chen & Hitt (2018)



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