Ashby’s Law of Requisite Variety – Mark Lambertz

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Ashby’s Law of Requisite Variety – Intelligente-Organisationen

Ashby’s Law of Requisite Variety

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Ashby’s Law of Requisite Variety

The Story of Requisite Variety for Reflective Practitioners

It is a real pity that the idea of Requisite Variety is almost unknown. From my perspective, it is astonishing that almost no one with a degree in business has heard about it, not to talk about many Agile or Lean folks. It is insofar unbelievable, as the whole concept of Requisite Variety offers fundamental insights about systems and how „goal achievement“ can be understood. Actually, it should be part of every human being’s repertoire that is involved in an organization (so basically everyone). The whole idea of Requisite Variety could be compared to the insights of the Laws of Motion from Isaac Newton. Therefore I dare to claim that the knowledge of Ashby’s Law of Requisite Variety is for a business person of the same importance as Newton’s insights about Gravity for a physics researcher. I still do not understand why this relatively simple concept is not part of every business or economics school in the world – from Harvard to Frankfurt?!

First things first, therefore, let us start with an examination, what variety means. After this introduction, I’ll dive into the concept of Requisite Variety.

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Ashby’s Law of Requisite Variety – Intelligente-Organisationen