The heart of enterprise
"Stafford Beer is undoubtedly among the world's most provocative, creative, and profound thinkers on the subject of management, and he records his thinking with a flair that is unmatched. His writing is as much art as it is science. He is the most viable system I know." Dr Russell L Ackoff, The Institute for Interactive Management, Pennsylvania, USA. "If...anyone can make it [Operations Research] understandably readable and positively interesting it is Stafford Beer...everyone in management... should be grateful to him for using clear and at times elegant English and ... even elegant diagrams." The Economist This is the companion volume to Brain of the Firm and addresses the nature of viable systems, those capable of surviving. It does not use the neurophysiological basis elucidated in brain, but develops the same theory from first principles. This book declares that every enterprise is a system, and in particular must be a viable system. Viability is not just a matter of economic solvency; we need laws that govern the capacity of any enterprise to maintain independent existence. The Heart of Enterprise is full of examples (actual, author-generated examples) taken from management practice. "I consistently find that Stafford Beer provides the most useful analytical framework for understanding and managing an enterprise-public or private. Heart of The Enterprise offers a demanding but rewarding exposition of his approach and applications." Sir Douglas Hague. CBE
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activity actually amplifiers answer anti-oscillatory argument Ashby's Law autonomy autopoiesis autopoietic black box boss called channel chapter cohesion components concerned consider corporate course criteria cybernetic cybernetician defined diagnosis diagram discussed domain embedded enterprise environment example exist fact feedback Figure filter firm function happens Heinz von Foerster horizontal human identity incipient instability input institution interactions intervention involved issue level of recursion logical look loop management unit managerial means measure metasystem muddy box nature no-one notion operational elements optical resolution organizational oscillation output perception planning possible principles of organization problem proliferation purpose question recognize regulation regulatory requisite variety role senior management subsystems supposed surely System Five System Four System Three theory transducers understand variety attenuation variety engineering variety equation vertical vertical loop viable system viable system model whole