Monday, 2 March 2009

Enterprise's vulnerability

Beyond measures of achievement and potentialities (possibly emerging from business intelligence), organisational cybernetics is principally concerned with the ‘body’ of the enterprise. It is perfectly possible for an enterprise to be doing well (i.e. it is selling well its services, making profits and so forth) at the same time that a proper cybernetic study of its organisational structure makes apparent that its ‘body’ is not healthy. I have called this type of revision ‘second order auditing’; this is the auditing of the enterprise’s organisational processes, which is done using Beer’s Viable System Model and Espejo’s Viplan Method. Outcomes of this auditing may well be the diagnoses of over centralisation - thus making the enterprise’s businesses less flexible-, poor monitoring of these businesses - thus increasing chances of decentralised businesses failing without any warning (see previous blog)- and so forth. This kind of auditing has been done in hundreds of enterprises. It is through ‘second order auditing’ that I have proposed identity and structural archetypes of, shall we say, archetypes of enterprise’s vulnerability (see