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20th October 2011 | Draft

Checklist of 12-fold Principles, Plans, Symbols and Concepts

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Annex to Eliciting a 12-fold Pattern of Generic Operational Insights: Recognition of memory constraints on collective strategic comprehension (2011)


Symbolic clues: There is a long tradition of 12-fold sets which are variously upheld as meaningful and logically consistent within different contexts -- many to be understood as archetypes. Unlike Young's insights, many of these indicate distinctions, if they do, by forms of allusion which are not especially helpful in providing a sense of the "functions" in question and how they relate as complements to other "functions". The allusions may take the form of accounts of mythical or legendary interactions. The following examples are included as an illustration of a variety of understandings of fundamental significance and the nature of the articulation considered possible and meaningful -- within human cognitive capacity and preferences :

Principles of "in-formation" structured as a 12-fold set: In addition to the above patterns, it is useful to note the following in relation to learning and behaviour change -- perhaps to be understood as "in-formation". They raise the question of the relative probability of "principles" being articulated in sets of any given size and why a set of this size is considered coherent, appropriate and viable -- why it "works":

Strategic plans and programmes

Given the constraints on working memory capacity (highlighted in the main paper), it is is unlikely that the elements of these 12-fold sets would be appropriately "re-membered" to enable the integrated strategic response for which the set was envisaged. Who has the time or inclination to recall 12 points -- especially leaders? Few, if any, of the sets have their points clustered and interlinked to offer mnemonic clues to facilitate such recall. If they have been systemically conceived, this is typically not apparent from current articulations. Consequently any vital systemic checks and balances provided by the set elements are liable to be forgotten, if not lost.

It is probable that most "global strategies" profiled by the Global Strategies Project are articulated in this way, despite other possibilities (Structure of Declarations: challenging traditional patterns, 1992). Of relevance to further research is the memorability and viability of plans based on different numbers of points, for example:

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