1 Definition

An element of guidance that something is permissible or possible, that there is no rule against it.

NOTES: A real-world rule always tends to remove a degree of freedom. If some guidance is given but does not tend to remove some degree of freedom, it still might be useful, but it is not a rule per se. Consider the statement: A bank account may be held by a person of any age. Although the statement certainly gives business guidance, it does not directly place any obligation or prohibition on business conduct. Therefore it does not express a behavioral rule. Nor does it establish any necessity or impossibility for know-how about business operations. Therefore it does not express a definitional rule. Because the statement removes no degree of freedom, it does not express a business rule at all. Rather, it expresses something that is a non-rule - a.k.a. an advice. A statement of advice that specifically refutes obligation and prohibition (as does the one above) is called a permission statement.

Is it important then to write the advice down (i.e., capture and manage it)? Maybe. Suppose the statement reflects the final resolution of a long-standing debate in the company about how old a person must be to hold a bank account. Some say 21, others 18, some 12, and some say there should be no age restriction at all. Finally the issue is resolved in favor of no age restriction. It's definitely worth writing that down!