The viable systems model is one of these very models and, I’ve always thought it has huge value. Now, a model does not describe reality. What it does do is give people a way to think, a way to think and consider and have dialogue, the way you are doing, and the viable systems model says that a system is viable when it can withstand shocks from its external environment. Now, a viable system can be, we as individuals. It can be we as a collaboration, as a network, you know, network viability, and then it could be the viability of a unit within a business and so forth. You’re up to the business, up to the network. That’s viability, and the other thing about the models is you *** It’s like Russian dolls. And this is where I have no problem with hierarchy because what the model is saying is that, you know, that the people have a role to play or a function to perform, but the viable systems, each viable system, has five management principles and these management principles are: you look out and you scan your external environment for threats and opportunities, that’s number one. Number two, you look inwards and you scan inwards for threats and opportunity. There’s collaboration, control, the control function becomes minimized, the more active the collaboration function the most effective one, strategy. So in another words, every, every viable system has the requirements to look at for these five management functions and the model doesn’t say, you know, how. It just says that you have to look out, you have to you look in, you have to coordinate, you have to control and you have to roll a strategy, you have to look at your delivering for your customer. That’s all it says. That is it. That is it. And it is up to each entity within an overall system, you know within the fractal connected arrangement, to work out for itself what these five things mean and to act accordingly. You know, for me I have never understood why this model hasn’t been eaten up by the business world. Because viability, it is nothing else at the moment that we should be concerned about, is the viability of our helps, the viability of we as people, and the viability of our businesses in a really, really fast changing, complex, global environment. So, you know the fact that viability has been overlooked as a topic is quite baffling to me. And also because viability is so much concerned with collaboration, you can’t have viability without collaboration.
Anne Marie McEwan – Collaboration and the Viable Systems Model
Again I have a big a question mark over the collaboration with customers and I personally am waiting to see examples of that… Facebook. You know, Facebook! Do you think that Facebook is being designed with us in mind? Absolutely not! Facebook is designed with the end-client in mind which is marketers, selling our data. It’s frequently said that we are not Facebook’s clients or customer, we are the product. So, I have a great senses in about many things,[...]
Personally I think hierarchy exists. And I think the notion that, somehow, hierarchy in this collaboration – to me that's part of the miss, of collaboration, that within the collaboration the world, at some point, even if it shifts, there'll be a dominant partner. And actually the dominant partner should be the clients. The dominant partner should be the customer, and it’s what does it take to deliver to the customer. Now, if that means that there is somebody in[...]
So, it's about mutual gain, but it's about my sharing with people and collaborating with people, and who've got something that I don't have, and I've got something that they don't have. And so between us, we are much stronger than when we’re on our own. So sharing risks, sharing opportunities, sharing expertise, those are the three big ones for me as to why I collaborate. And in fact, I think it was about 2009, again, I did a literature[...]
We become a collect of resource for those persons, and then we encourage them, you know, outside of the company, so “watch, watch who else is doing it. Yeah watch how other businesses are changing. What's the rationale for it, what's the reason for it? What are the case studies? Listen, listen to conversations”. And then once they've done that, to say, right, pilot. Take a little project, the thing that you need to do, and actually if you’re worried[...]