Systemic Business Community

A salon discussing research into systemics and business

In the first session of the SIG on Systems Applications in Business and Industry at Sonoma 2006, four papers are scheduled:

  • Kuang-cheng Wang, “Corporate Change and Traditional Chinese Medicine”, on the JournalsISSS Proceedings with an Abstract, PDF, and HTML versions; and on the CDROM as paper #321;
  • Allenna Leonard, “Walking the Line: Making and Dissolving Distinctions with the Viable System Model and Team Syntegrity”, on the JournalsISSS Proceedings with an Abstract, XHTML , and PDF versions, and on the CDROM as paper #307;
  • Gerald Steiner, “Innovation as a Two-sided Coin with Special Consideration of Analogies”, on the JournalsISSS Proceedings with an Abstract, PDF, and HTML versions, and on the CDROM as paper #340
  • Filippina Risopoulos, “What do innovative leaders have in common with ancient myths? A view of the archetypal hero within the modern manager”, on the JournalsISSS Proceedings with an Abstract, PDF, and HTML versions, and on the CDROM as paper #187.

The abstracts and papers and now readily accessible from the JournalsISSS Proceedings — truly an innovation for 2006! I encourage you at least read the abstracts (only a paragraph or two), and/or read the papers in depth, prior to attending the meeting. This will enable you to have deeper conversations with the author(s) on their work, advancing your personal learning.

In my role a SIG chair, I’ve clustered this diverse group of papers together, possibly described in a theme of “rethinking business as a system, in the context of innovation and change”.

  • K. C. Wang, a familiar contributor to the SABI stream — starting with Shanghai 2002 — had advanced his thinking on business from a traditional Chinese mindset. His prior papers and presentation layed down a foundation on five elements theory, and now he has made stronger ties to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
  • Allenna Leonard, another long time ISSS contributor, answers the question that I’m sure she’s heard time and time again: how do the Viable Systems Model (VSM) and Team Syntegrity fit together? Although we shouldn’t lose sight of this agenda, I’m sure that we’ll naturally drift towards a discussion about how VSM relates (or doesn’t relate) to five elements theory and TCM. At the same time, K.C. Wang may be interested in how he might fill out his work with Team Syntegrity (or something like it, depending on well the technique fits with Chinese philosophies).
  • Gerald Steiner takes us into the direction of innovation. We’ll probably have to have a preamble about how he sees innovation as the same or different from change. He focuses on Ying and Yang, and these ideas of balance or harmony in a system should lead us into connections back to five elements theory and VSM. I’m sure that K.C. Wang and Allenna Leonard will help with that. At the same time, Gerald Steiner’s paper may inject about how we think about “negative side-effects” in TCM and VSM.
  • Filippina Risopoulos turns us towards questions of leadership, in the context of business as (a) system(s) and innovation. We’ll probably enter a discussion on the interplay between myths and models (i.e. VSM and TCM). In addition, since leadership tends to presuppose intervention — along some range, varying from minimal to active involvement — we may link back to Gerald Steiner’s ideas about “negative side effects”.

The above description is just one way to synthesize the four papers. Please feel free to post your comments below, aligned with this guidance, or suggest alternative directions on thinking through the session as a whole.

June 25th, 2006

Posted In: ISSS