Effectuation principles, first introduced by this name in modern literature by Saras Sarasvathy, are powerful decision-making tools to employ when embarking on a quest of creation. Let us examine what we can glean through the lens of each principle
– which theories of truth are assumed?
– how objective can the creator be expected to be?
– from where does motivation spring?
This essay assumes a degree of free will and indeterminism.
The Bird In Hand Principle:
Start with what you have, and build what can be built. Do not attempt to reach an arbitrary goal, rather know that you would create, and look inwards for cues on how to proceed in your creation.
The very idea of synthesising a series of possible creative projects suggests a very variable view of truth. We can rule out correspondence truth theory immediately. It’s less important to find “the true” goal to work towards, and more important to start working towards *any* goal, thereby defining it as your own true goal. Starting with the creation of many possible paths and goals is, apart from rejecting the idea of a golden truth, also distinctly a-platonic in other ways. It suggests a disregard for the idea that we can model the world, and that instead we must create reality, not try to follow an inaccurate map of patently unknown territories.
Objectivity is non-existent in effectuation. Everything stems from the creator, including all of their bias.
So what motivates the creator to act? Considering that there is no tangible project goal in the beginning of the effectuation process, the answer lays beyond the framework. Possibly personal gain in the form of income, freedom, recognition, self-realisation or legacy, and possibly fulfilment of a responsibility towards humanity to move the species onwards and upwards. Since the motivations are extrinsic, the effectuation framework alone will never yield a single answer, and leaves room for many levels of motivation.
(On a separate note, the bird in hand principle is what makes this free business idea worth pursuing mainly for people who are super looped into the publishing business or book club business already!)
The Affordable Loss Principle:
What can *you* afford to lose? What are *you* willing to risk?
Any truth here is your own. Most people won’t be able to find any comfortable measure of willingness to lose.
Your motivations will play a major part in interpreting this principle. Are you in this world to ensure that future generations move on to bigger and better things? Is there any price too great to pay for that? Or are you just looking for some well-deserved recognition? In this case, the price you’re willing to pay would be a lot lower!
The Crazy Quilt Principle & The Lemonade principle:
Build trust, drive involvement. Find people who can be committed to your goals. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Not revolutionary concepts to be sure.
The principles don’t lend us much in the way of new information for our original question, either.
The Pilot-in-the-plane principle:
The future is not predictable (Taleb would be proud, screw models). However, some tools to alter the future are within the creator’s control. These tools are, of course, encompassed by the 4 other principles of effectuation. So, there is some correspondence-truth at play, since effectuation principles are defined as your absolute best tools for manipulating the outcomes of your creative venture.
Why you do all of this is still totally up to you. Your motivations are your own, as a creator. And objectivity? As pilot in your own plane, there is none 🙂