This is what we do, all the time. We decide what to do by “predicting” that what we do will accomplish our hoped for objective. Subconsciously or consciously we predict going to the grocery store will give us food. Going on a walk will help us feel more relaxed. Exercising will make us more fit. etc….
I am doing research in this area, that is encouraging behaviors related to improved outcomes. As I have gotten further along I realize I am getting lost in the weeds. I read an article about Neural Networks, and despite its seemingly complex topic, it snapped me back into reality. The article compared and contrasted how brains and computers determine the best choice. It explained:
…For a neural network to learn, there has to be an element of feedback involved—just as children learn by being told what they’re doing right or wrong. In fact, we all use feedback, all the time. Think back to when you first learned to play a game like ten-pin bowling. As you picked up the heavy ball and rolled it down the alley, your brain watched how quickly the ball moved and the line it followed, and noted how close you came to knocking down the skittles. Next time it was your turn, you remembered what you’d done wrong before, modified your movements accordingly, and hopefully threw the ball a bit better. So you used feedback to compare the outcome you wanted with what actually happened, figured out the difference between the two, and used that to change what you did next time (“I need to throw it harder,” “I need to roll slightly more to the left,” “I need to let go later,” and so on). The bigger the difference between the intended and actual outcome, the more radically you would have altered your moves…
In other words, we learn from feedback obtained by comparing what we thought would happen, our prediction, to what did happen, our observation. A vital component of this process is to make sure we observe relevant events of the multitude of possible areas of interest possible to observe so the feedback we gain helps and is relevant. It also appears vital to use monitoring of observations or those views to improve accuracy, but still are likely to be tainted by bias.
Observations become bias and get skewed because they can be jarring if things did not turn out as desired and we believe improvement is difficult or unlikely. We must understand, learning always happens, for good or bad, and things continue to change. This means it is vital to keep our eye on where we want to go and learn, that is develop, the best way to reach our idealized outcome. As noted, keeping our aim constant is important.
As I have noted in previous posts, this is a paneugenesis process of continuous and never ending improvement. In this process, it is vital to FIRST identify the Idealized Outcome. What is the desired outcome or desired aim? With Paneugenesis, the aim is to generate comprehensive improvements by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. In other words, the goal is not for just individual gain, though that is a consequence, but for systematic gains so everyone and everything benefits.
Developing these beneficial interactions will require the use of predictions and observations to get feedback so we will know how to improve. As noted, observations need to be accurate, or the feedback will not be as helpful as it could be. My research is focused on how to use technology to enable us to get quick, accurate, personal, objective feedback and how this can facilitate an improved adjustment process to facilitate better outcomes. These techniques have proven to be highly successful when used for Statistical Process Control or SPC in the manufacturing process.
Getting the feedback however is only part of the process. We then must use that feedback to educate ourselves about how to alter or adjust our efforts. As noted, this can be hard if we are unsure we can improve or don’t know how to improve. Adaptations or adjustments to the process, however, are the only way to continually improve and make progress. As quality management guru W. Edwards Deming proclaimed, “Continually improve the process and the product will take care of itself.” By the way, Deming called this a PDSA or Plan Do Study Act process.
Plotting or noting progress is also vital because noting or recognizing progress, a positive outcome, makes it more likely we will again engage in the paneugenesis process to make more progress. Progress generates the positive reinforcement of good feelings for oneself. Improved outcomes in education would be better learning outcomes, or in business they could be better customer satisfaction, and or improved productivity. Positive outcomes produce good feelings of pride, accomplishment, achievement and or helpfulness which in turn inspire more improvement.
A way to make this happen is …
Practice Paneugenesis using this 4 Step to Process
- Determine Desired Idealized Outcome
- Develop Necessary Precursors to make Desired Outcome Possible
- Optimize the Process to Develop Skills and abilities that Precursors possible, and
- Plot Progress to document, demonstrate, and celebrate Improvement
I look forward to hearing about the progress you make in generating comprehensive improvements by practicing selfish, selfless, synergistic act of paneugenesis.
Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!
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