The Trialogic Imagination:<br />Re-Thinking Beer’s “3-4-5” Homeostat for Social Systems<br />
The Trialogic Imagination<br />Most systems theories from Bogdanov onwards propose the <br />existence of an equilibrial o...
The Trialogic Imagination<br />Most systems theories from Bogdanov onwards propose the <br />existence of an equilibrial o...
The Trialogic Imagination<br />Most systems theories from Bogdanov onwards propose the <br />existence of an equilibrial o...
The Trialogic Imagination<br />The ‘bifurcation graph’, one of the iconic images of chaos and <br />complexity theories, c...
The Trialogic Imagination<br />The ‘bifurcation graph’, one of the iconic images of chaos and <br />complexity theories, c...
The Trialogic Imagination<br />The ‘bifurcation graph’, one of the iconic images of chaos and <br />complexity theories, c...
The Trialogic Imagination<br />The interesting thing about this is that it suggests that any emergent dissipative structur...
The Trialogic Imagination<br />Which suggests:<br />a) the primacy of the relationship over the structure; and,<br />Energ...
The Trialogic Imagination<br />Which suggests:<br />a) the primacy of the relationship over the structure; and,<br />Energ...
The Trialogic Imagination<br />Prigogine and Stengers categorized living things as archetypal dissipative systems,<br />th...
The Trialogic Imagination<br />If metabolism is accepted as the biological form of dissipation autopoiesis (as the “self-c...
The Trialogic Imagination<br />Energy in<br />Energy out<br />And therefore that<br />	systemic identity is plastic<br />P...
The Trialogic Imagination<br />5<br />Whole Environment<br />Performance Loop<br />4<br />3<br />Beer’s Viable System Mode...
The Trialogic Imagination<br />5<br />5<br />Whole Environment<br />Performance Loop<br />4<br />4<br />3<br />3*<br />2<b...
The Trialogic Imagination<br />The difficulty in applying this type of  model to the study of change in socio-cultural and...
The Trialogic Imagination<br />If utility is a ‘selection active’ factor in socio-cultural and psychological change it fol...
The Trialogic Imagination<br />The “Trialogue” is a three way conversation between:<br />Pete Dudley<br />
The Trialogic Imagination<br />Managing <br />the <br />Present<br />The “Trialogue” is a three way conversation between:<...
The Trialogic Imagination<br />Creating <br />the <br />Future<br />Managing <br />the <br />Present<br />The “Trialogue” ...
The Trialogic Imagination<br />Creating <br />the <br />Future<br />Identity<br />Managing <br />the <br />Present<br />Th...
The Trialogic Imagination<br />Creating <br />the <br />Future<br />Identity<br />Managing <br />the <br />Present<br />It...
The Trialogic Imagination<br />Creating <br />the <br />Future<br />Identity<br />Managing <br />the <br />Present<br />Re...
The Trialogic Imagination<br />Second Feedback Loop<br />Creating <br />the <br />Future<br />Identity<br />Managing <br /...
The Trialogic Imagination<br />Second Feedback Loop<br />Creating <br />the <br />Future<br />Identity<br />Essential<br /...
The Trialogic Imagination<br />Creating <br />the <br />Future<br />Identity<br />Managing <br />the <br />Present<br />Th...
The Trialogic Imagination<br />Creating <br />the <br />Future<br />Identity<br />Managing <br />the <br />Present<br />Sy...
The Trialogic Imagination<br />Creating <br />the <br />Future<br />System 4<br />Identity<br />Managing <br />the <br />P...
The Trialogic Imagination<br />System 5<br />Creating <br />the <br />Future<br />System 4<br />Identity<br />Managing <br...
The Trialogic Imagination<br />Creating <br />the <br />Future<br />Identity<br />Managing <br />the <br />Present<br />An...
The Trialogic Imagination<br />Creating <br />the <br />Future<br />Identity<br />Managing <br />the <br />Present<br />An...
The Trialogic Imagination<br />Creating <br />the <br />Future<br />Identity<br />Managing <br />the <br />Present<br />Be...
The Trialogic Imagination<br />Creating <br />the <br />Future<br />Identity<br />Managing <br />the <br />Present<br />Be...
The Trialogic Imagination<br />Creating <br />the <br />Future<br />Identity<br />Managing <br />the <br />Present<br />Wh...
The Trialogic Imagination<br />Creating <br />the <br />Future<br />Identity<br />Managing <br />the <br />Present<br />Wh...
The Trialogic Imagination<br />Whole Environment<br />Performance Loop<br />Creating <br />the <br />Future<br />Identity<...
The Organization in Society<br />Organizations survive via a ‘value-exchange’ with society;<br />This value is is determin...
The Organization in Society<br />Part of the value the organization receives is used to fund further productive activity;<...
The Organization in Society<br />To survive and prosper over time the organization must be able to:<br />	a) align its cap...
The Organization in Society<br />Which means that the organization must be able to:<br />	a)  Understand the value context...
Managing Value<br />Understanding the Value Context<br />So that strategy is the area of management responsible for ensuri...
The Trialogic Imagination:<br />Re-Thinking Beer’s “3-4-5” Homeostat for Social Systems<br />
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Paper 6: A Structure for Performance (Dudley)

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Paper 6: A Structure for Performance (Dudley)

  1. 1. The Trialogic Imagination:<br />Re-Thinking Beer’s “3-4-5” Homeostat for Social Systems<br />
  2. 2. The Trialogic Imagination<br />Most systems theories from Bogdanov onwards propose the <br />existence of an equilibrial or homeostatic state which a <br />system, if perturbed, will ‘attempt’ to re-approximate.<br />By introducing a notion of ‘self’ the “ultrastable” system developed<br />in the work of Ashby and Beer also enables the active <br />avoidance of disequilibrial or counter-homeostatic states.<br />Pete Dudley<br />
  3. 3. The Trialogic Imagination<br />Most systems theories from Bogdanov onwards propose the <br />existence of an equilibrial or homeostatic state which a <br />system, if perturbed, will ‘attempt’ to re-approximate.<br />By introducing a notion of ‘self’ the “ultrastable” system developed<br />in the work of Ashby and Beer also enables the active <br />avoidance of disequilibrial or counter-homeostatic states.<br />However, more recent work following the development of <br />self-organization, chaos and complexity theories suggests that<br />entities that are able to function in this way are necessarily<br />already “far from equilibrium”.<br />Pete Dudley<br />
  4. 4. The Trialogic Imagination<br />Most systems theories from Bogdanov onwards propose the <br />existence of an equilibrial or homeostatic state which a <br />system, if perturbed, will ‘attempt’ to re-approximate.<br />By introducing a notion of ‘self’ the “ultrastable” system developed<br />in the work of Ashby and Beer also enables the active <br />avoidance of disequilibrial or counter-homeostatic states.<br />However, more recent work following the development of <br />self-organization, chaos and complexity theories suggests that<br />entities that are able to function in this way are necessarily<br />already “far from equilibrium”.<br />Both of which make sense <br /> – but each appears to contradict the other<br />Pete Dudley<br />
  5. 5. The Trialogic Imagination<br />The ‘bifurcation graph’, one of the iconic images of chaos and <br />complexity theories, can be interpreted as representing<br />sustainable trajectories for systems pushed further and<br />further from their formal equilibrium state.<br />Each time the graph splits it can be interpreted as a systemic<br />crisis, a point at which additional and different structural characteristics<br />become both possible and necessary.<br />Pete Dudley<br />
  6. 6. The Trialogic Imagination<br />The ‘bifurcation graph’, one of the iconic images of chaos and <br />complexity theories, can be interpreted as representing<br />sustainable trajectories for systems pushed further and<br />further from their formal equilibrium state.<br />Each time the graph splits it can be interpreted as a systemic<br />crisis, a point at which additional and different structural characteristics<br />become both possible and necessary.<br />Prigogine’s work on the self-organization of inorganic materials<br />led him to the definition of “dissipative systems”, systems that<br />appeared to spontaneously re-structure in response to their <br />current (and far from equilibrium) state and then maintain this<br />structured state in the face of increased ‘pumping’ until <br />another boundary was crossed.<br />Pete Dudley<br />
  7. 7. The Trialogic Imagination<br />The ‘bifurcation graph’, one of the iconic images of chaos and <br />complexity theories, can be interpreted as representing<br />sustainable trajectories for systems pushed further and<br />further from their formal equilibrium state.<br />Each time the graph splits it can be interpreted as a systemic<br />crisis, a point at which additional and different structural characteristics<br />become both possible and necessary.<br />Prigogine’s work on the self-organization of inorganic materials<br />led him to the definition of “dissipative systems”, systems that<br />appeared to spontaneously re-structure in response to their <br />current (and far from equilibrium) state and then maintain this<br />structured state in the face of increased ‘pumping’ until <br />another boundary was crossed.<br />Structure (i.e., ‘systemness’), it would seem, is a spontaneous <br />response to far from equilibrium conditions.<br />Pete Dudley<br />
  8. 8. The Trialogic Imagination<br />The interesting thing about this is that it suggests that any emergent dissipative structure be a function of the relationship its constituent parts have with its environment. <br />Energy in<br />Energy out<br />The range of possible structures being a function<br />of the ‘physics’ of the constituent parts and the <br />range of feasible structures being a sub-set <br />determined by environmental conditions. <br />Pete Dudley<br />
  9. 9. The Trialogic Imagination<br />Which suggests:<br />a) the primacy of the relationship over the structure; and,<br />Energy in<br />Energy out<br />Pete Dudley<br />
  10. 10. The Trialogic Imagination<br />Which suggests:<br />a) the primacy of the relationship over the structure; and,<br />Energy in<br />Energy out<br />b) that systemic viability (“persistent” structure) <br />requires that the ‘far from equilibrium’ <br />conditions - and therefore the relationship<br />between the constituent parts and the <br />environment - also persist in order to maintain it.<br />Pete Dudley<br />
  11. 11. The Trialogic Imagination<br />Prigogine and Stengers categorized living things as archetypal dissipative systems,<br />their nature and ubiquity being such that the existence of life is probably “inevitable”.<br />Energy in<br />Energy out<br />Therefore:<br />Metabolism must be a special form of <br />“dissipation” - mirroring the energy degradation <br />process and using the autopoiesis of the living <br />system as the mechanism of self-organization in<br />order to maintain its existence in its far from<br />(absolute) equilibrium state.<br />Pete Dudley<br />
  12. 12. The Trialogic Imagination<br />If metabolism is accepted as the biological form of dissipation autopoiesis (as the “self-creation” of biological structure) must also give primacy to the maintenance of the relationship between the system and its environment over the absolute maintenance of its structure.<br />Energy in<br />Energy out<br />And therefore:<br />Autopoiesis, as a form of self-organization, must <br />provide the ability to recreate the system as an<br />approximation rather than a direct replication in<br /> response to, or in anticipation of, changes in <br />environmental conditions.<br />Pete Dudley<br />
  13. 13. The Trialogic Imagination<br />Energy in<br />Energy out<br />And therefore that<br /> systemic identity is plastic<br />Pete Dudley<br />
  14. 14. The Trialogic Imagination<br />5<br />Whole Environment<br />Performance Loop<br />4<br />3<br />Beer’s Viable System Model (VSM), and its predecessor Ashby’s ultrastable system, both contain an identity function – System 5 in the VSM and the Essential Variables in the ultrastable system. <br /> However both these ‘identities’ are fixed – that is they facilitate adaptive behaviour as a function of the maintenance of the relationship between ‘identity as it is’ and the environment.<br />3*<br />2<br />Local Activity<br />Performance Loop<br />Pete Dudley<br />
  15. 15. The Trialogic Imagination<br />5<br />5<br />Whole Environment<br />Performance Loop<br />4<br />4<br />3<br />3*<br />2<br />3<br />3*<br />2<br />This means that any change in the identity of the system constitutes the creation of a new, and different, system.<br />Whilst this discontinuity in identity and system is not problematic in the biological realm – because, to a great extent, it mirrors the accepted processes of speciation – it is more so in the socio-cultural and psychological spheres.<br />Local Activity<br />Performance Loop<br />Pete Dudley<br />
  16. 16. The Trialogic Imagination<br />The difficulty in applying this type of model to the study of change in socio-cultural and psychological systems is that, with few notable exceptions, there is a presumption of continuity.<br />Gould, however, suggests that such systems are Lamarckian – they retain useful characteristics across generations – and are not, therefore, necessarily subject to the discontinuity implicit in Darwinian speciation.<br />Pete Dudley<br />
  17. 17. The Trialogic Imagination<br />If utility is a ‘selection active’ factor in socio-cultural and psychological change it follows (in the cybernetic model) that identity must be subject to pressure from both environmental demand and structural capability.<br />Pete Dudley<br />
  18. 18. The Trialogic Imagination<br />The “Trialogue” is a three way conversation between:<br />Pete Dudley<br />
  19. 19. The Trialogic Imagination<br />Managing <br />the <br />Present<br />The “Trialogue” is a three way conversation between:<br />The management of current activities;<br />Pete Dudley<br />
  20. 20. The Trialogic Imagination<br />Creating <br />the <br />Future<br />Managing <br />the <br />Present<br />The “Trialogue” is a three way conversation between:<br />The management of current activities;<br /> The creation of future opportunities <br />(and the avoidance of threats); and,<br />Pete Dudley<br />
  21. 21. The Trialogic Imagination<br />Creating <br />the <br />Future<br />Identity<br />Managing <br />the <br />Present<br />The “Trialogue” is a three way conversation between:<br />The management of current activities;<br /> The creation of future opportunities<br />(and the avoidance of threats); and,<br />Identity – the basis of internal rationality and the<br />principle of organization.<br />Pete Dudley<br />
  22. 22. The Trialogic Imagination<br />Creating <br />the <br />Future<br />Identity<br />Managing <br />the <br />Present<br />It is an extension of a line of reasoning that runs from<br />Ashby’s “ultrastable system”<br />Pete Dudley<br />
  23. 23. The Trialogic Imagination<br />Creating <br />the <br />Future<br />Identity<br />Managing <br />the <br />Present<br />Reacting System<br />It is an extension of a line of reasoning that runs from<br />Ashby’s “ultrastable system”<br />Pete Dudley<br />
  24. 24. The Trialogic Imagination<br />Second Feedback Loop<br />Creating <br />the <br />Future<br />Identity<br />Managing <br />the <br />Present<br />Reacting System<br />It is an extension of a line of reasoning that runs from<br />Ashby’s “ultrastable system”<br />Pete Dudley<br />
  25. 25. The Trialogic Imagination<br />Second Feedback Loop<br />Creating <br />the <br />Future<br />Identity<br />Essential<br />Variables<br />Managing <br />the <br />Present<br />Reacting System<br />It is an extension of a line of reasoning that runs from<br />Ashby’s “ultrastable system”<br />Pete Dudley<br />
  26. 26. The Trialogic Imagination<br />Creating <br />the <br />Future<br />Identity<br />Managing <br />the <br />Present<br />Through Beer’s “3-4-5” homeostat<br />Pete Dudley<br />
  27. 27. The Trialogic Imagination<br />Creating <br />the <br />Future<br />Identity<br />Managing <br />the <br />Present<br />System 3<br />Through Beer’s “3-4-5” homeostat<br />Pete Dudley<br />
  28. 28. The Trialogic Imagination<br />Creating <br />the <br />Future<br />System 4<br />Identity<br />Managing <br />the <br />Present<br />System 3<br />Through Beer’s “3-4-5” homeostat<br />Pete Dudley<br />
  29. 29. The Trialogic Imagination<br />System 5<br />Creating <br />the <br />Future<br />System 4<br />Identity<br />Managing <br />the <br />Present<br />System 3<br />Through Beer’s “3-4-5” homeostat<br />Pete Dudley<br />
  30. 30. The Trialogic Imagination<br />Creating <br />the <br />Future<br />Identity<br />Managing <br />the <br />Present<br />And although it shares some of the characteristics of its<br />predecessors, e.g.:<br /> It is one of the ubiquitous “trinities” (thanks Gerald); and,<br /> for the most part, “Identity” contextualizes or controls<br /> the interaction between “Present” and “Future” oriented<br /> activities<br />Pete Dudley<br />
  31. 31. The Trialogic Imagination<br />Creating <br />the <br />Future<br />Identity<br />Managing <br />the <br />Present<br />And although it shares some of the characteristics of its<br />predecessors, e.g.:<br /> It is one of the ubiquitous “trinities” (thanks Gerald); and,<br /> for the most part, “Identity” contextualizes or controls<br /> the interaction between “Present” and “Future” oriented<br /> activities<br />It is different in one important respect …<br />Pete Dudley<br />
  32. 32. The Trialogic Imagination<br />Creating <br />the <br />Future<br />Identity<br />Managing <br />the <br />Present<br />Because identity is now conceived as an emergent entity, contingent upon the interaction of environmental factors and structural capability …<br />Pete Dudley<br />
  33. 33. The Trialogic Imagination<br />Creating <br />the <br />Future<br />Identity<br />Managing <br />the <br />Present<br />Because identity is now conceived as an emergent entity, contingent upon the interaction of environmental factors and structural capability …<br />… the trialogue can explicitly recognize the <br /> “Plasticity of Identity”<br />Pete Dudley<br />
  34. 34. The Trialogic Imagination<br />Creating <br />the <br />Future<br />Identity<br />Managing <br />the <br />Present<br />Which means that the system’s (theoretical) viability is extended<br />to include the ability to change the internal rationality used to <br />drive adaptation …<br />Pete Dudley<br />
  35. 35. The Trialogic Imagination<br />Creating <br />the <br />Future<br />Identity<br />Managing <br />the <br />Present<br />Which means that the system’s (theoretical) viability is extended<br />to include the ability to change the internal rationality used to <br />drive adaptation …<br />… an ability which can now include a full range of adaptive and <br />evolutionary effects, with specific instances such as cultural <br />change, discontinuous speciation or psycho-active therapy as <br />special cases.<br />Pete Dudley<br />
  36. 36. The Trialogic Imagination<br />Whole Environment<br />Performance Loop<br />Creating <br />the <br />Future<br />Identity<br />Managing <br />the <br />Present<br />3*<br />2<br />Local Environment<br />Performance Loop<br />And which, when re-inserted into the VSM, creates an adaptive model that is able to contain socio-cultural and psychological as well as biological evolutionary abilities<br /> – without transgressing Beer’s original rules of viability.<br />Pete Dudley<br />
  37. 37. The Organization in Society<br />Organizations survive via a ‘value-exchange’ with society;<br />This value is is determined by society (not the organization) and may change over time.<br />Renewal<br />Value<br />Exchange<br />Social<br />Change<br />Structure<br />Information<br />Behaviour<br />Productive<br />Activity<br />Pete Dudley<br />
  38. 38. The Organization in Society<br />Part of the value the organization receives is used to fund further productive activity;<br />And part to sustain or renew the organization (autopoiesis).<br />Renewal<br />Value<br />Exchange<br />Social<br />Change<br />Structure<br />Information<br />Behaviour<br />Productive<br />Activity<br />Pete Dudley<br />
  39. 39. The Organization in Society<br />To survive and prosper over time the organization must be able to:<br /> a) align its capability to the social context (adaptation);<br />b) so that it can continue to create social value and renew itself <br /> - within the constraints of the organizational value it receives,<br />Renewal<br />Value<br />Exchange<br />Social<br />Change<br />Structure<br />Information<br />Behaviour<br />Productive<br />Activity<br />Pete Dudley<br />
  40. 40. The Organization in Society<br />Which means that the organization must be able to:<br /> a) Understand the value context <br /> – society’s notion of what is valuable;<br />b) Understand and manage its identity <br /> – so that it knows what it is attempting to renew, and why; <br />c) Manage its productive activity <br /> – so that it can deliver value into society;<br />Renewal<br />Value<br />Exchange<br />Social<br />Change<br />Structure<br />Information<br />Behaviour<br />Productive<br />Activity<br />Pete Dudley<br />
  41. 41. Managing Value<br />Understanding the Value Context<br />So that strategy is the area of management responsible for ensuring that ‘productive’ activity delivers organizational value by being able to deliver societal value – it provides an operational context aligned to the societal context.<br />Defining What Value Means to Us<br />Strategy<br />Managing the Creation of Value<br />Pete Dudley<br />
  42. 42. The Trialogic Imagination:<br />Re-Thinking Beer’s “3-4-5” Homeostat for Social Systems<br />
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