Design for a self-regenerating organisation – Geoghegan and Pangaro (Semantic Scholar)

Design for a self-regenerating organisation

Ashby’s 1952 work Design for a Brain comprises a formal description of the necessary and sufficient conditions for a system to act ‘like a brain,’ that is, to learn in order to remain viable in a changing environment, and to ‘get what it wants’. Remarkably, Ashby gives a complete, formal specification of such a system without any dependency on how the system is implemented. Here the authors argue how Ashby’s formalisms can be applied to human organizations. In business terms, this provides the ability to initiate specific investments and to track convergence on desired business outcomes. No other methodology for organizational change known to the authors has the formal logic or prescriptive power as this application of Ashby’s work. Through such interpretations—as rigorous as the application of Design for a Brain to mechanical systems—Ashby’s formalism enables the derivation of the necessary and sufficient conditions for a corporation to remain viable in a changing market. The authors claim that the only means for an organization to change from the inside and by design is through the creation and protection of processes that recognize the limits of present language and engender the continual introduction of new ones

Source: Design for a self-regenerating organisation – Semantic Scholar