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I wholeheartedly disagree!


On 4 Dec 2008, at 21:15, Garderen, Harold van wrote:

> Steve,
>
> So you are saying that the works are too complete to be introduced,  
> especially in academic circles as there is research that indicates  
> academics have other needs to. Briljant, I agree.
>
> This makes me think:
>
> 1) What would be a good "order" to gradually "feed" academics some  
> VSM ingredients so that they think they discover new ground?  
> Algedonics? Recursiveness? Auditing? Abundance?
> 2) What would be a good "order" to gradually "feed" managers ......  
> so that they can start with this best practice NOW.
> 3) What would be a good "order" to feed governments ..... so that  
> they can .... ???
>
> Personally I have the feeling that for managers the first dogfood  
> should be related to "improving operations" as it wont catch  
> attention if focussed otherwise, and for government some "autonomy- 
> fudder" seems to be a good diet starter. HAHHHHAAAHHHAAA. For  
> academics I don't have a clue.
>
> Please disagree :-)
>
> Harold
>
>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Forum dedicated to the work of Stafford Beer
>> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of
>> Steve Morlidge
>> Sent: woensdag 3 december 2008 11:21
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: Re: VSM scope of application (was:RE: is there
>> anyone out there????)
>>
>> Dear All,
>>
>> A propos Javier's comments about Management Innovations - I
>> know Julian Burkinshaw and he is aware of Stafford's work (as
>> do the people that he works with at London Business School)
>> because I had lunch with him a couple of years ago and he
>> scribbled it all down as we ate!
>>
>> If you were cynically minded you would say that he wouldn't
>> mention SB because he represents competition - Julian and
>> Gary Hamel have set up something called the Management
>> Innovation Laboratory attached to LBS. Their pitch is that
>> the only meaningful innovation in business today is that of
>> management models and they have attracted a lot of funding to
>> their venture from businesses who think that this is what
>> they will learn about from them.
>> I think JB/GH etc realise that the answer lies in biological
>> rather than mechanistic models of organisation but I don't
>> think they have the intellectual depth (or will) to take this
>> to the next step.
>>
>> Howvever, I don't think it is right to be quite as cynical as
>> this. I was struck by a statement Benoit Mandelbrot made in
>> his video lecture posted on the MIT website (thanks for
>> pointing me at them Nick). He said he had been studying how
>> new ideas get adopted in science (I am sure he will be
>> familiar with Kuhn's stuff on this even though he didn't
>> refer to him.). He claimed that the ideas that were adopted
>> quickly were those that were not fully formed when they were
>> first launched, since this gives academics the opportunity to
>> help create and shape the concepts.  As we know you are
>> committed to what you help create, but also this means that
>> the adoption of the ideas are consistent with an academics
>> need to build his/her career. On the other hand, a fully
>> formed set of ideas gives the intellectual community two
>> choices. Either agree (and forsake all but me - including
>> everything upon which you have build your career and
>> intellectual identity) or disagree. A consequence of agreeing
>> is that you come to identify (or be
>> identified) strongly with the creator of the new paradigm,
>> which of course gives the nay sayers ammunition (it is a cult
>> etc etc).
>>
>> It seems to me that this is the position that we are in with
>> Stafford's stuff.
>>
>> What to do about it? Ah...well that is a bit more difficult!
>>
>>
>> Steve
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Forum dedicated to the work of Stafford Beer
>> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Javier  
>> Livas
>> Sent: 02 December 2008 19:59
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: Re: VSM scope of application (was:RE: is there anyone out
>> there????)
>>
>> Dear friends, Barry,
>>
>> I make the same question to Roger, what does RC mean?
>>
>> And I think Javier means me, Javier Livas, mentioned by Stefan W.
>>
>> Allow me to observe:
>>
>> There are clearly two paths we (at Metaphorum) have been
>> following both belonging to the VSM structure. One is to
>> continue building the theory that Stafford and others, as
>> Roger for instance, have been doing. This is great. (SYSTEM
>> 4) Learning to do new things.
>>
>> The other path is to try to make Stafford ideas work for the
>> public in general. Applications is what we need. (SYSTEM 3)
>>
>> The problem is this:
>>
>> On my way back from Spain last Friday, I bought the book
>> "Giant Steps in Management. Creating Innovations That Change
>> the Way We Work." It was written by M. Mol and Julian
>> BirKinshaw, from the London Business School and associated in
>> some way to Gary Hamel, the management guru of Harvard
>> Business Review fame. (I can only smile when I find that
>> Hamel recommend organizing large businesses with the
>> resiliency of THE US CONSTITUTION!!!)
>>
>> The point about mentioning this book is that neither STAFFORD
>> or the VSM appear as part of this 150 year history of
>> "management solutions".
>> This is not to say that we are wasting our time, but only to
>> emphazise that Stafford's ideas have a way to go before they
>> will be applied by the masses, as was his intention in the
>> Chilean effort, as you all know. If we keep building without
>> connecting to the rest of the world it won't be long before
>> we disappear completely from sight.
>>
>> I have been listening into the conversations only to realize
>> that some of the exchanges become difficult to follow and
>> understand. At times the language used becomes highly
>> obscure. Obviously this is not your fault but mine. But then
>> I would conclude that some of us must forget about
>> theoritical considerations (SYSTEM 4) must work in the
>> opposite direction (SYSTEM 3) which is the popularization of
>> Stafford's ideas and of Cybernetics. Do something usefull
>> with them that can be copied by others.
>>
>> In this respect, it is URGENT that we get some things
>> clearified. For instance when we talk about Cybernetics and
>> Society I do not see the connection to the VSM because
>> societies are more of a complex adaptive system with many
>> autonomous agents copying each other's solutions. VSM is the
>> map of a STRUCTURE which to me is exactly the same as that of
>> the STATE, which makes it official whether we like it or not.
>> The problem of course is that beyond the first recursion
>> level, the rest of the legal structure is highly
>> reductionistic and a big failure.
>>
>> ¿What could we say right now about the world financial crisis
>> expressed in the language of cybernetics or the VSM? Maybe we
>> should try posting our conclusions for everybody to see.
>>
>> Finally: If the meaning of "RC" is in any way connected with
>> the content of UNIVERSO KUBERNETES, let me say that I am not
>> a religious man at all and therefore perhaps a mediocre
>> christian. Is anyone is interested in discussing the contents
>> of this DVD I be very glad to engage in that.
>>
>> Thank you all for continuing to exchange ideas. I am sure we
>> all try to build with whatever resources we have available
>> and within our limitations too.
>>
>> My best to all,
>>
>> Javier Livas
>>
>> On Dec 2, 2008, at 1:13 PM, BARRY A CLEMSON wrote:
>>
>>> What is RC? And who is Javier?
>>>
>>> Barry
>>>
>>> On Dec 2, 2008, at 1:41 PM, Roger Harnden wrote:
>>>
>>>> I am sure Javier would take many issues with me. Isn't he
>> deeply RC??
>>>> I'm not saying that in criticism, but it does lead to a particular
>>>> set of social/human fundaments, most of which I would
>> disagree with,
>>>>
>>>> Roger
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> On 2 Dec 2008, at 18:17, Stefan Wasilewski wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> Roger
>>>>>
>>>>> I think Javier may take issue with you on some elements
>> here as his
>>>>> thiird DVD will show.
>>>>>
>>>>> Stefan
>>>>>
>>>>> On 2 Dec 2008, at 18:11, Roger Harnden wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>> Reading the other responses to you, Harold, I think I now
>>>>>> understand your question.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> I have a somewhat different take on VSM, one that I discussed in
>>>>>> some detail with Stafford.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> In brief - the VSM applies to what I call 'formal social
>>>>>> structures'. It DOES NOT apply to something that I call 'human
>>>>>> relations'. The formal social is constituted by
>> categories, labels,
>>>>>> roles etc. Humanity is constituted by the recurrent
>> interactions of
>>>>>> human beings with one another as they cross the barriers and
>>>>>> identities of various social forms in their natural flow
>> of living.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> These are two quite distinct domains of reality. They are
>>>>>> complementary necessities for our lived experience.
>> Human does not
>>>>>> involve social ORGANISATION, even though our interactions enable
>>>>>> the emergence of social infrastructure, and many of our
>> character
>>>>>> traits are drastically shaped (or damaged) by our social
>>>>>> identities.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Exercise: take the VSM at any social scale, and drop levels of
>>>>>> recursion to the lowest 'atom' (lowest S1). You will NOT
>> discover a
>>>>>> human being. You will find  a constitutive role or a
>> function for
>>>>>> the given system-in-focus. You will NOT discover a constitutive
>>>>>> element for humankind (ie a human being). And it is
>> impossible to
>>>>>> do the same exercise for system-in-focus 'humanity'.
>> There are only
>>>>>> just two mutually constitutive elements to this reality
>> - the set
>>>>>> of all human beings, and each and every one of the individuals.
>>>>>> That is what humanity IS.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> When taken on board, the above is not a limitation of
>> the VSM, but
>>>>>> an enormous strength - which was what underlined my
>> original query
>>>>>> to you, Harold. A model such as the VSM (or anything`)
>> HAS TO HAVE
>>>>>> limitations, otherwise it is not a model, but an
>> ideology. The VSM
>>>>>> concerns SOCIAL forms - whether institutions or more informal
>>>>>> organisations, such as clubs. But in any case, they are SOCIAL
>>>>>> forms. People ignore this at their peril, and to the
>> detriment of
>>>>>> the model.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Roger
>>>>>>
>>>>>> On 2 Dec 2008, at 17:48, Boris G Freesman, Q.C. wrote:
>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Arthur,
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> I think you misunderstood what Barry said.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Of course the VSM applies to corporations and all kinds of
>>>>>>> organizations because it is a model for viability
>> rather than any
>>>>>>> specific form or type of organization. It is like one of those
>>>>>>> coats that fits everyone in general and no one in particular...
>>>>>>> and because it fits no one in particular, fits no one.
>> [<= feeble
>>>>>>> attempt at humour!]
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Boris
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Arthur Dijkstra"
>> <[log in to unmask]
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>>>>>>> Sent: Tuesday, December 02, 2008 11:05 AM
>>>>>>> Subject: VSM scope of application (was:RE: is there anyone out
>>>>>>> there????)
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Barry,
>>>>>>>> You wrote: IMHO, the VSM applies very well to governments and
>>>>>>>> societies. The VSM is a framework for viability, not for
>>>>>>>> corporations or any other particular form of entity.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Why can't the VSM be applied to corporations ? What
>> makes the
>>>>>>>> model
>>>>>>>> ineffective for a corporation ?
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> How do others see this ?
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Thanks,
>>>>>>>> ARthur
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> -----Oorspronkelijk bericht-----
>>>>>>>> Van: Forum dedicated to the work of Stafford Beer
>>>>>>>> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] Namens BARRY A
>>>>>>>> CLEMSON
>>>>>>>> Verzonden: 02 December 2008 16:09
>>>>>>>> Aan: [log in to unmask]
>>>>>>>> Onderwerp: Re: is there anyone out there????
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Harold,
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> I do not believe that Stafford failed in applying the VSM to
>>>>>>>> society.
>>>>>>>> In the case of Chile in particular the project only lasted 18
>>>>>>>> months before the coup and had some notable successes in that
>>>>>>>> short time. And the coup was instigated and funded by
>> the CIA and
>>>>>>>> was unrelated to the work Stafford did. Also, Stafford
>> did some
>>>>>>>> very interesting work with Canadian Indian tribes.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> IMHO, the VSM applies very well to governments and societies.
>>>>>>>> The VSM
>>>>>>>> is a framework for viability, not for corporations or
>> any other
>>>>>>>> particular form of entity.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> You do raise a good question tho, "Where doesn't
>> Stafford's work
>>>>>>>> apply?" The answer to this depends upon which aspects of the
>>>>>>>> work: The
>>>>>>>> VSM doesn't say much about the process of planning, but
>>>>>>>> Syntegration does. Neither Syntegration nor the VSM say much
>>>>>>>> about how one tries to understand the inner workings of some
>>>>>>>> complex process, but Decision and Control does in the
>> sections on
>>>>>>>> modeling. Staffords work provides very powerful tools for an
>>>>>>>> immense range of situations and purposes.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Having said that, i also think that there are other critical
>>>>>>>> tools/ frameworks that need to be used. For instance, Ackoff's
>>>>>>>> idealized planning is a critically important methodology. And
>>>>>>>> Ackoff's circular organization is a way to make large
>>>>>>>> organizations both more effective and more democratic.
>> Further,
>>>>>>>> both idealized planning (as a VSM system
>>>>>>>> 4 methodology) and the circular organization (as a way of
>>>>>>>> organizing a corporation or government entity) are completely
>>>>>>>> compatible with the VSM. I don't know of anyone ever
>> trying this,
>>>>>>>> but I have thought for years that the circular
>> organization would
>>>>>>>> be a management structure that would facilitate the use of the
>>>>>>>> VSM.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Barry
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> On Dec 2, 2008, at 2:36 AM, Garderen, Harold van wrote:
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> Like many others that responded thus far, I'm
>> interested and try
>>>>>>>>> to do some collaborative work at time.
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> One thing worries me and that is the - at times - almost
>>>>>>>>> fundamentalistic focus on Stafford. A few questions:
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> * Where doesn't Staffords work apply?
>>>>>>>>> * What progress have other made in the meantime.
>>>>>>>>> * What of that work can we integrate to make more VSM ideas
>>>>>>>>> readable in todays terms.
>>>>>>>>> * Isn't VSM used outside its validity boundaries when
>> applied to
>>>>>>>>> society (Stafford failed there)
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> And the most vital one:
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> * How do we achieve 200,000+ page views a day on the wiki?
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> One suggestion: find better names (and use them) for S1-S5.
>>>>>>>>> Nobody
>>>>>>>>> will
>>>>>>>>> understand that for a long, long time.
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> This work is in dear need of newbies. So go and wiki!
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> Harold
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> Now blogging at http://fragmentedliving.blogspot.com/
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>>>>>>>> From: Forum dedicated to the work of Stafford Beer
>>>>>>>>>> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On
>> Behalf Of Roger
>>>>>>>>>> Harnden
>>>>>>>>>> Sent: maandag 1 december 2008 23:21
>>>>>>>>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>>>>>>>>> Subject: is there anyone out there????
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> Is anyone interested in the wiki??? I know the few
>> who are, but
>>>>>>>>>> how about others?? Or is it just not of interest; is
>> it a pile
>>>>>>>>>> of shit; is it irrelevant to other people's needs; is it
>>>>>>>>>> difficult to engage in??????
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> Best wishes,
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> Roger
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>>>>>>>>>> For more information go to: www.metaphorum.org
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> For the Metaphorum Collaborative Working Environment
>> (MCWE) go
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>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> This message and attachment(s) are intended solely for use by
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>>>>>>>>>
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>>>>>>>>>
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>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> ===================================================
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> BARRY A CLEMSON
>>>>>>>> [log in to unmask]
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> 757-692-6673
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Cybernetica Press at www.cyberneticapress.com
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> "It's not how much you do - it's how much love you put
>> in it....
>>>>>>>> Do small things with great love."
>>>>>>>>       --- Mother Teresa ---
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> The true warrior may be killed, but he can not be defeated.
>>>>>>>> --- my paraphrase of Sensei Hamada ---
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> And peace rolled down like a mighty river.
>>>>>>>>  -- Inspired by the prophet Amos 5:24--
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> "An enemy is a person whose story we have not heard."
>>>>>>>>      -- Gene Knudsen Hoffman --
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>>>>>>>> For more information go to: www.metaphorum.org
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> For the Metaphorum Collaborative Working Environment (MCWE) go
>>>>>>>> to:
>>>>>>>> www.platformforchange.org
>>>>>>>>
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>>>>>>>>
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>>>>>>>> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>>>>>>>> For more information go to: www.metaphorum.org
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> For the Metaphorum Collaborative Working Environment (MCWE) go
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>>>>>>>
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>>>>>>>
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>>>>>
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>>>>
>>>> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> ===================================================
>>>
>>> BARRY A CLEMSON
>>> [log in to unmask]
>>>
>>> 757-692-6673
>>>
>>> Cybernetica Press at www.cyberneticapress.com
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> "It's not how much you do - it's how much love you put in it.... Do
>>> small things with great love."
>>>           --- Mother Teresa ---
>>>
>>> The true warrior may be killed, but he can not be defeated.
>>>  --- my paraphrase of Sensei Hamada ---
>>>
>>> And peace rolled down like a mighty river.
>>>      -- Inspired by the prophet Amos 5:24--
>>>
>>>
>>> "An enemy is a person whose story we have not heard."
>>>          -- Gene Knudsen Hoffman --
>>>
>>> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>>> For more information go to: www.metaphorum.org
>>>
>>> For the Metaphorum Collaborative Working Environment (MCWE) go to:
>> www.platformforchange.org
>>>
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