ESSENTIAL BALANCES

BOOK

ESSENTIAL BALANCES is about understanding how organizations work, for diagnosis and design, below and beyond models, metrics, and methodologies. It reveals the fundamental principles of organizing for organisms, organizations, and society.

The ESSENTIAL BALANCES eBook is available on Amazon in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain, UK, and the US.

Click on a country link above to order your copy.

ESSENTIAL BALANCES (book cover)

 

Book Contents

Foreword by Luc Hoebeke
Introduction
    Organizing
    Measuring
    Prescribing
    Glasses and habits instead
    The Three Essential Balances
    Who is this book for?
    How is this book written?
    Notes

1. Autonomy and Cohesion
    From plants to organizations
    Autonomy in organizations
    Capacity, Decisions, and Adaptability
    Cohesion
    Factors and Tools for Cohesion
    Nested Autonomy–Cohesion balances
    Summary
    Notes

2. Stability and Diversity
    Three-in-one
    Stability . . .
    . . . and Diversity
    When Stability is bad
    When is Diversity bad?
    Summary
    Notes

3. Exploration and Exploitation
    Allocation of resources
    A broader understanding
    Seeing Exploration
    Exploration and Exploitation in space
    Exploration and Exploitation in time
    Enabling Exploration
    Looking at yourself looking at something
    Summary
    Notes

4. Stimuli and Responses
    Melons, lemons, and cherries
    It’s everywhere
    A closer look
    The Essential Balances seen as variety balance
    Requisite Inefficiency
    Summary
    Notes

5. Productive Paradoxes
    Boundary
    Communications
    Decisions
    Productive
    Summary
    Notes

Epilogue
Acknowledgements
References

References

Allin, E. F. (1975). Evolution of the mammalian middle ear. Journal of Morphology.

Ashby, W. R. (1960). Design for a Brain : the origin of adaptive behaviour. Springer.

Ashby, W. R. (2015 [1956]). An Introduction to Cybernetics. Martino Fine Books.

Aulin-Ahmavaara, A. Y. (1979). The Law of Requisite Hierarchy. Kybernetes.

Baecker, D. (2006). The Form of the Firm. Organization: The Critical Journal on Organization, Theory and Society.

Barandiaran, X. E., & Di Paolo, E. A. (2014). A genealogical map of the concept of habit. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.

Barrett, F. J. (1998). Coda—Creativity and Improvisation in Jazz and Organizations: Implications for Organizational Learning. Organization Science.

Bateson, G. (1972). Form, Substance, and Difference. In G. Bateson, Steps to an Ecology of Mind: Collected Essays in Anthropology, Psychiatry, Evolution, and Epistemology. Jason Aronson Inc.

Beer, S. (1975). Platform for Change. John Wiley & Sons .

Beer, S. (1980). The Heart of Enterprise. Wiley.

Beer, S. (1993). Designing Freedom (CBC Massey Lectures). House of Anansi Press.

Bernhard, P. (2013). The Certainty of Uncertainty: Dialogues Introducing Constructivism. Imprint Academic.

Boisot, M., & McKelvey, B. (2011). Complexity and Organization–Environment Relations: Revisiting Ashby’s Law of Requisite Variety. In P. Allen, S. Maguire, & B. McKelvey, The SAGE Handbook of Complexity and Management. SAGE Publications Ltd.

Bricken, W. (2019). Iconic Arithmetic Volume I: The Design of Mathematics for Human Understanding. Unary Press.

Brunsson, N. (1985). The Irrational Organization: Irrationality as a Basis for Organizational Action and Change. Wiley.

Brunsson, N. (2006). Mechanisms of Hope. Copenhagen Business School Press.

Brunsson, N. (2007). The Consequences of Decision-Making. Oxford University Press.

Brunsson, N. (2009). Reform as Routine: Organizational Change and Stability in the Modern World. Oxford University Press.

Brush, S. B., Taylor, J. E., & Bellon, M. R. (1992). Technology adoption and biological diversity in Andean potato agriculture. Journal of Development Economics.

Brush, S. B., Taylor, J. E., & Bellon, M. R. (1992). Technology adoption and biological diversity in Andean potato agriculture. Journal of Development Economics.

Buhrmann, T., Di Paolo, E. A., & Barandiaran, X. (2013). A dynamical systems account of sensorimotor contingencies. Frontiers in Psychology.

Burns, J. G., & Dyer, A. G. (2008). Diversity of speed-accuracy strategies benefits social insects. Current Biology.

Campbell , D. B. (2003). But siege towers had advantages and they were widely used and for many centuries. Osprey Publishing.

Cárdenas, J. P., Vidal, G., Urbina, C., Olivares, G., & Fuentes, M. A. (2018). Social crises. A network model approach. Physica A.

Centola, D., & Baronchelli, A. (2015). The spontaneous emergence of conventions: An experimental study of cultural evolution. PNAS.

Centola, D., & Baronchelli, A. (2015). The spontaneous emergence of conventions: An experimental study of cultural evolution. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Colombetti, G. (2014). The Feeling Body: Affective Science Meets the Enactive Mind. The MIT Press.

Cook, Z., Franks, D. W., & Robinson, E. J. (2013). Exploration versus exploitation in polydomous ant colonies. Journal of Theoretical Biology.

Cooper, M. D. (2015). The early history of B cells. Nature Reviews Immunology.

Crisp, C. B., & Jarvenpaa, S. L. (2013). Swift trust in global virtual teams: Trusting beliefs and normative actions. Journal of Personnel Psychology.

Cuffari, E. C., Ezequiel, P. D., & Hanne, J. D. (2014). From participatory sense-making to language: there and back again. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences.

Del Gandio, J. (2012, June 28). Freedom vs. Autonomy: A tale of two logics. Retrieved from Philosophers for Change: https://philosophersforchange.org/2012/06/28/freedom-vs-autonomy-a-tale-of-two-logics/

Deming , W. E. (2000). Out of the Crisis. The MIT Press.

Di Paolo, E. A., Cuffari, E. C., & De Jaegher , H. (2018). Linguistic Bodies: The Continuity between Life and Language. The MIT Press.

Di Paolo, E. A., Rohde, M., & De Jaegher, H. (2014). Horizons for the Enactive Mind: Values, Social Interaction, and Play. In J. Stewart, O. Gapenne, & E. A. Di Paolo, Enaction: Toward a New Paradigm for Cognitive Science. Bradford Books.

Diamantopoulou, S., & Christidou, D. (2019). Museum encounters: a choreography of visitors’ bodies in interaction. Museum Management and Curatorship.

Diamond, J. (2012). The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies? Penguin Books.

Dimaggio, P. J., & Powel, W. W. (1983). The Iron Cage Revisited: Institutional Isomorphism and Collective Rationality in Organizational Fields. American Sociological Review.

Egbert, M., & Cañamero, L. (2014). Habit-based Regulation of Essential Variables.

Foerster, H. v. (2003). Understanding understanding : essays on cybernetics and cognition. Springer.

Foerster, H. v. (2013). The beginning of heaven and Earth has no name : seven days with second-order cybernetics. Fordham University Press.

Forrester Research. (2019). The Cost Of Losing Creativity. Forrester Research.

Gartner. (2019, July 29). Newsroom. Retrieved from Gartner.com: https://www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2019-07-29-gartner-says-worldwide-iaas-public-cloud-services-market-grew-31point3-percent-in-2018

Gibson, C. B., & Birkinshaw, J. (2004). The Antecedents, Consequences, and Mediating Role of Organizational Ambidexterity.  The Academy of Management Journal.

Glanville, R. (2007). Try again. Fail again. Fail better: the cybernetics in design and the design in cybernetics. Kybernetes.

Goland, C. (1993). Field Scattering as Agricultural Risk Management: A Case Study from Cuyo Cuyo, Department of Puno, Peru. Mountain Research and Development.

Goodhart, C. (1984). Problems of Monetary Management: The U.K. Experience. In Monetary Theory and Practice. Palgrave.

Gould, S. J., & Vrba, E. S. (1982). Exaptation-A Missing Term in the Science of Form. Paleobiology.

Gray, D. (2014). The Connected Company. O’Reilly Media.

Harper, D. (2018, 04 10). Retrieved from Online Etymology Dictionary: https://www.etymonline.com/word/deal

Harrison, D. A., Price, K. H., & Florey, A. T. (2002). Time, Teams, and Task Performance: Changing Effects of Surface- and Deep-Level Diversity on Group Functioning. Academy of Management Journal.

Harrison, I. H. (1883). Kriloff’s Original Fables. Remington & Co.

Hauge, M. (2018, 11 30). Six-stage plot structure. Retrieved from Story Mastery: https://www.storymastery.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/6-Stage-Plot-Structure-Chart-color_.pdf

Hawksworth, D. L., & Lücking, R. (2017). Chapter 4 : Fungal Diversity Revisited: 2.2 to 3.8 Million Species. In The Fungal Kingdom.

Henri, S., Vlachou, C., & Thiran, P. (2018). Multi-Armed Bandit in Action: Optimizing Performance in Dynamic Hybrid Networks. Transactions on Networking.

Heylighen, F., & Joslyn, C. (2001). Cybernetics and Second-Order Cybernetics. In R. A. Meyers, Encyclopedia of Physical Science and Technology. New York: Academic Press.

Hoebeke, L. (1994). Making work systems better: a practitioner’s reflections. Wiley.

Hoebeke, L. (2014). The Elephant and the Lion: An enquiry into the roots of democracy. Retrieved from http://www.simenvandergoot.nl/media/The_elephant_and_the_Lion.pdf

Hoverstadt, P. (2008). The fractal organization : creating sustainable organizations with the Viable System Model. John Wiley & Sons.

Human, H., Nicolson, S. W., & Dietemann, V. (2006). Do honeybees, Apis mellifera scutellata, regulate humidity in their nest? The Science of Nature .

International Organization for Standardization. (2011, December). ISO/IEC/IEEE 42010:2011 Systems and software engineering — Architecture description.

Jonas, H. (2001). The phenomenon of life : toward a philosophical biology. Northwestern University Press.

Kimberly, J. R. (1981). Managerial Innovation. In P. C. Nystrom, & W. H. Starbuck, Handbook of Organizational Design (pp. 84-104). Elsevier.

Klein, K. E. (2002). The Bottom Line on Startup Failures. Retrieved from Bloomberg: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2002-03-03/the-bottom-line-on-startup-failures

Knudsen, M. (2017). From evidence-based management to management of non-knowledge. Emergence: Complexity and Organization.

Kuleshov, V., & Precup, D. (2014). Algorithms for multi-armed bandit problems. Journal of Machine Learning Research.

Kurtz, C. F., & Snowden, D. J. (2003). The new dynamics of strategy: Sense-making in a complex and complicated world. IBM Systems Journal.

Laeng, B., & Teodorescu, D.-S. (2002). Eye scanpaths during visual imagery reenact those of perception of the same visual scene. Cognitive Science.

Lakoff, G., & Johnson, M. (2008). Metaphors We Live By. University of Chicago Press.

Lakoff, G., & Johnson, M. (2008). Philosophy In The Flesh: The Embodied Mind and Its Challenge to Western Thought. Basic Books.

Lanzara, G. F., & Morner, M. (2003). The Knowledge Ecology of Open-Source Software Projects.

Livingstone, M. (2008). Vision and Art: The Biology of Seeing. Harry N. Abrams.

Lord, R. G., Dihn, J. E., & Hoffman, E. L. (2015). A Quantum Approach to Time and Organizational Change. Academy of Management Review.

Lu, J. G., Joel, B., Vardi, Y., & Weitz, E. (2017). The dark side of experiencing job autonomy: Unethical behavior. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

Luhmann, N. (1995). Social systems. Stanford University Press.

Luhmann, N. (2018). Organization and Decision. Cambridge University Press.

Mann, R. P., & Helbing, D. (2016). Optimal incentives for collective intelligence. PNAS.

Mansfield, M. (2019, March 28). STARTUP STATISTICS – The Numbers You Need to Know. Retrieved from Small Business Trends: https://smallbiztrends.com/2019/03/startup-statistics-small-business.html

March, J. G. (1991). Exploration and Exploitation in Organizational Learning. Organization Science.

Maturana, H. R. (2015). What Is Sociology? Constructivist Foundations.

Maturana, H. R., & Varela, F. J. (1980). Autopoiesis and Cognition: The Realization of the Living. D. Reidel Publishing Company.

McComb, D. (2018). Software Wasteland: How the Application-Centric Mindset is Hobbling our Enterprises. Technics Publications.

McLachlan, G. R., & Liversidge , R. (1978). Roberts Birds of South Africa. The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund.

Merali, Y., & Allen, P. (2011). Complexity and Systems Thinking. In P. Allen, S. Maguire, & B. McKelvey, The SAGE Handbook of Complexity and Management. SAGE Publications Ltd.

Meyerson, D., Weick, K. E., & Kramer, R. M. (1995). Swift Trust and Temporary Groups. In Trust in Organizations: Frontiers of Theory and Research. SAGE Publications.

Mingers, J. (1995). Self-Producing Systems – Implications and Applications of Autopoiesis. Springer.

Mitchel, M. (2011). Complexity: A Guided Tour. Oxford University Press.

Morlidge, S. (2017). The Little Book of Beyond Budgeting. Troubador Publishing Ltd.

Mullins, J., & Komisar, R. (2009). Getting to Plan B: Breaking Through to a Better Business Model. Harvard Business Review Press.

New South Wales Governmnet State Archives & Records. (2020, 03 15). Sydney Opera House Guide. Retrieved from New South Wales Governmnet State Archives & Records: https://www.records.nsw.gov.au/archives/collections-and-research/guides-and-indexes/sydney-opera-house-guide

Number of apps available in leading app stores as of 1st quarter 2020. (2020, 06 23). Retrieved from Statista.com: https://www.statista.com/statistics/276623/number-of-apps-available-in-leading-app-stores/

Núñez, R. E., & Sweetser, E. (2005). Aymara, where the future is behind you: Convergent evidence from language and gesture in the crosslinguistic comparison of spatial construals of time. Cognitive Science.

O’Regan, J. K., & Noë, A. (2001). A sensorimotor account of vision and visual consciousness. Behavioral and Brain Sciences.

O’Reilly III, C. A., & Tushman, M. L. (2013). Organizational Ambidexterity: Past, Present and Future. Academy of Management Perspectives.

Ogden, C. K., & Richards, I. A. (1923). The Meaning of Meaning: A Study of the Influence of Language upon Thought and of the Science of Symbolism. Harcourt.

Press, W. H. (2009). Bandit solutions provide unified ethical models for randomized clinical trials and comparative effectiveness research. PNAS.

Price, M. (2018, 11 28). Kill Your Personas. Retrieved from Medium: https://medium.com/microsoft-design/kill-your-personas-1c332d4908cc

Rasche, A., & Seidl, D. (2017). A Luhmannian perspective on strategy: Strategy as paradox and meta-communication. Critical Perspectives on Accounting.

Rodriguez, H. P., Henke, R. M., Bibi, S., & Shortell, S. M. (2016). The Exnovation of Chronic Care Management Processes by Physician Organizations. The Milbank quarterly.

Roy, M. H., & Dugal, S. S. (1998). Developing trust: the importance of cognitive flexibility and co‐operative contexts. Management Decision.

Schulz, K. (2011). Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error. Ecco.

Seidl, D., Becker, K. H., & Luhmann, N. (2005). Niklas Luhmann and Organization Studies. Liber.

Sheldrake, M. (2020). Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures. Random House.

Shen, W., Wang, J., Jiang, Y.-G., & Zha, H. (2015). Portfolio Choices with Orthogonal Bandit Learning. Twenty-Fourth International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence.

Spencer-Brown, G. (1972). Laws of Form. The Julian Press, Inc.

Stanley, M. (2016). Why should physicists study history? Physics Today.

Strathern, M. (1997). ‘Improving ratings’: Audit in the British University system. European Review.

Swings, T., Van den Bergh, B., Wuyts, S., Oeyen, E., Voordeckers, K., Verstrepen, K. J., . . . Michiels, J. (2017). Adaptive tuning of mutation rates allows fast response to lethal stress in Escherichia coli.

Taleb, N. (2018). Skin in the game : hidden asymmetries in daily life. Random House.

Taylor, J. R., & Van Every , E. J. (1999). The Emergent Organization: Communication As Its Site and Surface. Routledge.

Technology Review. (1999). Melted Chocolate to Microwave. Technology Review.

Thompson, E. (2010). Mind in Life. Harvard University Press.

Torchia, M., Calabrò, A., & Morner, M. (2015). Board of Directors’ Diversity, Creativity, and Cognitive Conflict. International Studies of Management & Organization.

Trivers, R. (2014). Deceit and Self-Deception. Penguin Books Ltd.

Tsoukas, H., & Chia, R. (2002). On Organizational Becoming: Rethinking Organizational Change. Organization Science.

Usher, G., & Whitty, S. J. (2017). Project Management Yinyang: Coupling project success and client satisfaction. Project Management Research and Practice.

Vanhoute, E., Paping, R., & Ó Gráda, C. (2006). The European subsistence crisis of 1845-1850: a comparative perspective. XIV International Economic History Congress of the International Economic History Association. Helsinki.

Varela, F. (2000). El Fenómeno de la Vida. Dolmen Ediciones.

Varela, F. J. (1979). Principles of Biological Autonomy. North Holland.

Varela, F. J., & Coutinho, A. (1991). Second generation immune networks. Immunology Today.

Varela, F. J., Thompson, E., & Rosch, E. (1992). The embodied mind : cognitive science and human experience},. MIT Press.

Velitchkov, I. (2015, September 27). From Distinction to Value and Back. Retrieved from http://www.strategicstructures.com/?p=957

Verborgh, R. (2017, 12 20). Paradigm shifts for the decentralized Web. Retrieved from https://ruben.verborgh.org/: https://ruben.verborgh.org/blog/2017/12/20/paradigm-shifts-for-the-decentralized-web/

von Foerster, H. (2003). Ethics and Second-Order Cybernetics. In H. von Foerster, Understanding Understanding. Springer.

Weber, R. (1992). On the Gittins index for multiarmed bandits. Annals of Applied Probability.

Weick, K. E. (1995). Sensemaking in Organizations (Foundations for Organizational Science). SAGE Publications, Inc.

West, G. (2017). Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies. Penguin Press.

Yarbus, A. L. (1967). Eye Movements and Vision. Plenum Press.

Zuboff, S. (2019). The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power. PublicAffairs.

See also ESSENTIAL BALANCES, the workshop.