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Uncertainty Absorption

Uncertainty absorption is one of the principal, system-theoretical concept, which is indispensable for the understanding of systems. As opposed to many other schools of thought, the starting point is not an already existing ‘thing’ in the world, instead the starting point is the infinite wealth of possibilities which the world offers. For anything to be created, a choice must be made (I will become a human and not a squirrel. We are making wellies, not marmalade). The necessity to limit the possibilities and to maintain these limitations or to vary them, makes the eradication of uncertainty a permanent activity in systems. At the same time (possibilities point to the future), no system can know all the factors in the past which are the basis for decisions. In addition, uncertainty always exists because of the lack of knowledge about everything that has an effect and an interdependency.

To transform uncertainty into (temporary) security, decisions are required. People, teams, as well as organisations are fundamentally dependent upon their ability to make decisions under conditions of uncertainty. Uncertain fundamentals and uncertain future developments make it impossible to calculate the ‘right course of action’. The absorption of uncertainty can, furthermore, only ever succeed imperfectly. No system can achieve comprehensive, future certainty. Risk and danger remain unavoidable framework conditions for existence.