When it comes to being trained or gaining a hands-on understanding of business management I doubt that much thought ever went into considering the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics!? But, then again, much of what is still taught (and therefore understood) about business management requires such a radical change of mindset (&/or revisiting cybernetics/VSM) that only something akin to transformation will suffice. Because business in the Digital Age has changed…permanently!

The nature and scale of change, over the last half century, has been dramatic. The inter-connectedness and pace of change has accelerated during the last decade. Yet, we continue to take so much for granted that we have kept faith with tools and techniques that lack the requisite variety to deal with the business systems they are intended for. Furthermore, Business Management, like Risk Management, Actuarial science and Economics, were never sufficiently rigorous to be considered as remotely scientific. A point that has been illustrated time and again but, unsurprisingly, practitioners find the facts somewhat difficult to accept. Hence the business as usual mentality with the ongoing problems it creates!

The time for a more scientific approach is long overdue

The excellent article, from which this extract is taken, offers a deeper insight than many subject matter experts could ever provide. Because they haven’t really thought about it, have failed to grasp that they are a major part of the problem or have just plain ignored the evidence as it challenges the foundation upon which their expert status is based. Make your own mind up:

Business engineers design and implement complicated business systems – meaning layers of activities, control procedures and moving objects of people, machines and money in a coordinated fashion. This design normally assumes rational leadership, good top-down planning, smooth implementation of policies, work specification and delegation that ensures an organisation that runs clock-like. Generally, a good design practice is followed to group seven to ten activities on every scale of the system to allow for efficient and effective operations, but due to chaos, things turn complex…


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