Can’t we be best anticipatory and resilient at the same time?

Begin with the strategic orientations many have with respect to resilience and anticipation as distinct from each other. Resilience is said to be optimizing the ability to absorb or rebound from shocks, while minimizing the need to anticipate these shocks ahead of time. Anticipation, in contrast, is to optimize the ability to plan ahead and deal with shocks before they happen, while minimizing having to cope with shocks when they do occur. Consider the resulting Table1:

System designers would like managers to be both optimally anticipatory and resilient at the same time—indeed that managers maximize their “readiness” for whatever arises, whenever. These all-embracing demands can, however, reduce the managers’ much-needed capacity to balance anticipation and resilience case by case.

More, the ideal of stabilizing the task environment so as to minimize the need for both anticipation and resilience—a common enough premise (promise?) of macro-designers—is as impossible to realize as it is irresponsible to promote, when the aim is high reliability in real-time operations.

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