Discrimination and Wisdom
The instrument which can best clarify whether a rule should be used or if the situation should be treated as an exception, is the human. This competence about whether to apply rules or not does not fall from the sky. There are descriptors for these abilities in people: wisdom, discrimination, sense of proportion, discretion, decisiveness. Characteristics, which, in earlier cultures, distinguished the clan elder, or the judge (and which were not too common), are expected from many decision-makers, in dealing with the complexity of each present moment in modern organisations. Manager and wisdom? Teams and wisdom?
If you follow the findings about unfavourable handling of rules and particularly, acute situations, such as D. Doener and his book “The Logic of Failure”, then you cannot avoid making this demand. The more rule-conformant, hectic, engaged or lax the interaction with established rules are, the more likely failure becomes. Wisdom and discrimination can, thus, be understood as independence from the judgment of others and freedom from the pressure to succeed, as knowledge arising from experience and intuition, stress tolerance and robustness.