Developing the enterprise
A good manager repeatedly asks "Do I do what I always do or do I innovate?". A
data mine supporting modelling helps decide this. Alerting when the routine is upset keeps focus on the here
and now problems in an information overload environment. A Workflow approach
Controlling Waste, Error and Corruption
- Value for money
- Keynesian policies but performance can improve. Pathology of the Law,
Health, tax collection, government contracts
The red line graph shows 120 days of sales activity. 10
days in a transient increase is noted. The five day moving average
notices a slight bump (black line). Alert to level 1. Level 1 has five
days to fix but doesn't need it- this is only a one day transient. No
alert to level 2 is sent
30 days in a downward step change is noted due perhaps to something
like adverse publicity. After 5 days and no change (despite the best
efforts of level 1) level 2 is alerted however after a further 30 days
a little repositioning in the market produces an increase in sales.
After 5 days Level 2 is alerted and we see a new higher level of
demand.Level 1 stays alerted until this time. Alerting rules are agreed
and set for each employee task.
The spike transient might be due to a higher than normal level of sales activity. Examination of calls made suggests an innovation by a new employee and adoption of the innovation
led to the increase in demand. Subsequent analysis of customer account
demographics shows a change in market segment.
A time scale of days is chosen for illustrative
purposes. The management relaxation time of a given level and a given
task can be anything from seconds to months. The moving average
suppresses transient changes and alerting is done when a performance
parameter deviates from capability by say 10 or 15%. The existing local
variance of performance determines this initial alerting "algedonic"
threshold. There is an option to submit a given time series to a short
term forecasting algorithm to estimate the probability that a current
level of performance (actuality) will go out from capability
sufficiently far to require an alert. (Box-Jenkins
Harrison and Stevens, Kalman
filtering and recently Jones'
Gamma test have all been applied to this problem.) To improve on
monitoring by quarterly report relaxation times of less than six weeks
are indicated. Auditing, here, is seen as reporting on the analysis and
authentication of raw transaction data.
Beer's Management Cybernetics
The Viable System Model (VSM)
Beer called alerts "algedonic signals" from the Greek
αλγος, pain and
ηδος, pleasure. An alert can be sent for good or bad
Pask- an appendix on Identity and the implications for authorization
Pask's work in Management Cybernetics is less well known. In the later
years of his life he worked with several large and small enterprises
including Norsk Hyrdo (Norway's largest company) on a theme of "Organisations
as Living Organisms and Ecologically Sustainable Innovation".
In his last seminar on Interactions of Actors and Conversation Theory he
reflected on the Actors that produce products. Actors support production in
their conversations and have the following properties:
- Agreement to disagree
- Unity- not uniformity
- Eternal support
- Beginnings and ends
- Kinetic support
- Kinematic description
- Imperative acts
- Permissive acts
- Informational Openness
- Organisational closure
- Void and not void
These properties are axiomatic in status. Faith, for example, is the time
taken for a process to produce a product. Amity is the availability for
interaction. The comparison of similarities produces differences which may be
agreements or dependencies. Respectable means can be seen or observed and
responsible means a stimulus is needed before visibility is apparent or
respectability can be confirmed. Recent work by Uribe suggests a paradox
maybe respectable but requires stimulation to be resolved: the hidden
concepts must be unfolded for resolution.
Coherence and decoherence produces Differentiation and presumably the
above axioms (proof under way, perhaps) and oh yes distinctions must exert a
repulsive force. A distinction is a description. A concept is a procedure for
producing a relation not a set of things!
Consideration of these properties enable a full formal specification of
the identity of a process and its product. Hence we establish a development
route for enhanced authentication and thence authorisation.
A note on the resolution of disputes
In dispute resolution a breach of some implied or explicit contract or
agreement is noted. In general an innovation or change to the procedures
supporting the agreement is required to resolve the dispute. Applying the
cybernetics involved implies Viability can only persist when a Just balance
or equilibrium is maintained in the Actor environment.
This is coherent with the implicit VSM management heuristic: if it's
broken, fix it from the developing repertoire of solutions in System Four.
Beer saw System one-two-three as the autonomic nervous system with System
Four as the seat of conscious thought and conversational interaction. System
Five selects the solution from Four to apply to System one-two-three by
considering the evolving identity of the viable entity.
Do you have the skills in programming, design, marketing or finance needed
for this project? Get
in touch outlining how you might assist us. We expect to form a Trust and support company in due course.
Beer, S. (1972) "Brain of the Firm" Second Edition -much extended 1982 Wiley.
- Beer, S. (1979) "The Heart of Enterprise" Wiley reprinted with corrections 1988.
Beer, S. (1985) "Diagnosing the System for Organisations" Wiley.
Green, N. (2004). "Axioms from Interactions of Actors Theory", Kybernetes, 33, 9/10, pp.1433-1462 2004.
Nechansky, H (2011). "The cybernetics of viability: an overview, International Journal of General Systems, 2011, 1–22
Pask, G. (1993). "Interactions of Actors (IA), Theory and Some Applications"- incomplete 90 page manuscript 1992 (.pdf).
Pask, G. (1996). "Heinz von Foerster's Self-Organisation, the Progenitor of Conversation and Interaction Theories" Systems Research 13 pp349-362 1996.
Gordon Pask and Viable System Model at Wikipedia.