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Volkswagen Constellation

Complete Review of the book by the #039;Business Bestseller#039;

Review of Vesters Book: The Art of Networked — Ideas and Tools for a New with Complexity

Translation Business bestseller no. 01/00.

changes in our environment, structural recurring indications for a stock crash, wars facing an complex world we are aware of the of our conventional ways of thinking. now we have hardly developed a for the links that connect our Every interference in complex results in complex consequences delays, feedbacks, late The intervention, itself carefully can cause interactions that further disturbances or even into chaos. Unfortunately, we are not protected by the huge amount of that we can access today. On the they create a deceptive

Why do things go wrong?

Because are made. But mistakes as such are bad — the only wrong is not to be aware of them. This is the why complex systems created by beings collapse after a few of disturbance. Nevertheless, nature how to do it properly: Its complex systems or as the complex system shows a favour for mistakes and faults. If a occurs it is not removed with effort: In every complex this reaction must affect or damage other Therefore, mistakes are repaired swimming with the current. Do it nature learn connected

Tick Information

A tick ridiculously little information to Objects must have a of 37 C and smell like perspiration and its survival in the complex system of is at safety. An example that at questions our strive for information. the existence of human beings on has much more far-reaching than the existing of ticks. We are in a natural system with resources, in which we cannot do we like at all. To do or to refrain doing something on one place of the has inevitable effects on other In the global village there are no far problems any more. The exponentially density of human beings and by it, increasing interference in nature’s and in human’s quality of life of technical developments, have these interactions. To understand becomes more difficult day — despite of all scientific It is time for progress to seize

New thinking

What we need is a new of reality: The understanding

that is connected what we consider to be

that the connecting invisible behind things are often important for occurrences in the world the things themselve

He who wants to nature must obey it Bacon

As nature more repulsed in the past decades, the of an intact environment already it` s way through into public Still, practice is a sorry Under the pressure of short-term our political and economical leaders do not to perceive connected contexts or include them into planning and acting. But connected is learnable.

The complexity complex

has very much to do with it is even achieved only by Complex proceedings therefore thinking in contexts, which is on the structure of organized systems and special dynamics. Many already fear this which they are not up to. But as pre-school we already had a good command of thinking and forgot it when the was divided into several

In a complex system the removal of a on the spot instead of considering the of the system often leads to two problems. This explains the that in more and more of the world the economical and ecological collapses despite of many but unlinked efforts to find And as one has to deal with mostly effects, which only with time delays, the are often not obvious. We look for in the wrong place. And the spiral on twisting. We are always perpetrator and with time delay. change in climate, the exponential of disasters caused by hurricanes, droughts and burning of woods do not what we do today. They are the effects of our mismanagement in the seventies and effects of today’s operations be experienced by our grandchildren — even more dramatically.

Science of systems

To meet the an advanced education in the science of would be necessary. At school it already be trained to embed the special field in the general of the belonging sphere of activity and of life.

But it is also necessary to these attempts of thinking the practice of planning and to transfer into action. Therefore new are necessary. Here again we a great inhibition. The expenditure of available up to now is huge and time-consuming. One is of drowning in facts and being not able to consider them in necessary completeness to say nothing of the of crosswise relations. The argumentation ends with the opinion: Yet in my field I can’t cope the fullness of facts of modern How am I supposed to manage when techniques of communication, traffic or are added?

Hellish details

As as one goes into detail, or later one is showered with even in a limited special As one does not perceive the quality of the one does not find the adequate of aggregation. One includes higher of the system into consideration as indications from subsystems. can we draw the line of detailing? To the breeding behaviour of a certain of water bird it is not necessary to exactly the number of feathers, the of blood pressure and kidney, the of faeces and the interlocking of the material for construction. And even if one includes all this degree of fineness still be chosen arbitrary. One as well determine the chemical of the egg shells yes, even go to the atomic level. The splitting details would be actually and the possibilities of interaction would ad infinitum.

The idea of the information begins to become a great As the belief is still widely that one’s knowledge with the level of information, the of the expenditure of facts leads to an greater expenditure of facts.

of data

A further insufficiency trying to understand complex lies in the one-sided choice of components. As we rely on secure and adequate modern techniques, in the place (accidentally) measurable are available — the hard Qualitative factors, so called data are left behind, they play a big role for the of a system, as well. They are even more important for the of processes within a system. The is that a system perceived in way is generally described distorted, because great parts of the (as reference dimensions) are missing.

focuses on a further cardinal Considering the treatment of complex the recognition of patterns is important- a way of information that still is difficult for computer programs. For the recognition, reference dimensions are represented by figures are not helpful at Instead of believing in them as you should better beware of They pretend reliability they only play a role because they are dimensions of permanently changing in a dynamic, open system. they are reference dimensions are observed in an isolated manner, can be obsolete in the next moment. can get wrong and — taken as a value — perpetuate More reliable statements are the between the components of a system.

Data collection of citizens of

Person A

Chairman of a left-wing of soldiers

aborted his studies 3 semesters

until now more 10 residential places

ideals: Trotsky

member of the board of the party

Person B

lance in the army of Switzerland

city of Schaffhausen

critic of operas

Rodin, Beethoven,

member of the board of the new Schauspiel AG

These seem to belong to two persons absolutely different traits but far from it: They come the same person, the former governor Walther Bringolf from the same year, A remarkable example for the possibility of by selective registering of data.

Horror cabinet

Some how linear attempts of solutions for problems lead to catastrophe:

The against the sleeping sickness of as a development project in Africa to huge populations of cows, resulted in overgrazing. Furthermore areas turned into

The construction of deep water caused a falling of the ground-water and therefore a lasting dryness in parts of the world.

Carefully quotas of fishing still the Peruvian economy because did not include the circumstances of climate.

A feedback was also the explosion of the in autumn 1997. Its losses amounted to more than Million. Only a great of the American central bank the whole banking system rocking.

Even numerous operations — recently the mission in Kosovo — cause a great number of problems.

The human model

Why nature not have any problems the vast number of data in its system? A main task of information in living systems is not the of all data that is received sense organs — but reduction. The aim of the human brain is a of data- but not the processing of as much as possible.

So the stream of information is — reduced to one millionth and completed again with the own information by procedures of association and The present structure of our computers and the Internet (falsely described as heads to the opposite direction.

At the beginning of any reflection on connected one has to find out whether it is a complex parts of a system or several

Like any organism a complex consists of several different which are located in a certain order and that are sometimes to a network of interaction. In this we interfere without changing the of the parts to each other and the whole character of the system.

parts of the system can make up a or subsystem the other way round higher systems can develop several autonomous systems get close relations.

In 1975 the Dietrich Dörner created a fictive African region on the Twelve persons with special fields were to increase lifestyle with bank credits. The realistic game allowed all usual like construction of fountains, or industry, medical care, etc. The result was shattering. of an improvement of the people’s situation, a short time famines and occurred.

Mistakes of the well-meaning were:

Wrong description of Instead of striving for improvement of the of the system (complex procedure) tried to solve single (linear procedure). The system was until a deplorable state was etc. This is called service-behaviour.

Unconnected analysis of the Often huge masses of are collected which cannot be properly (Feedback circuits, effects). It was done without the cybernetic character of the system.

formation of focal points: A focal point became a This way, serious of acting in other fields or existing problems and deplorable remained unnoticed.

Unnoticed effects: Biased in a linear-causal way of the analysis of side effects was ignored. Possible consequences not checked before acting.

to oversteering: If little interventions did not anything within the system the step were powerful But as the first little steps unnoticed because of time one had to stop the process powerfully, the first unexpected reactions up

Tendency to authoritarian behaviour: The to change the system and the belief to see it lead to a dictatorial behaviour, is absolutely inappropriate for complex It would be most effective to corrections swimming with the — not against it.


Undesirable developments evolve — ignoring the laws of the — the phase of growth is for example in areas of tourism. In Switzerland the community had to sell its property values including arena, car parking, thermal and community centre to escape bankruptcy. The reasons were investments in the year before. In the the attraction of a holiday area proportionally to the development of an easy infrastructure. The better the infrastructure, the people want to go there. Not passing the optimum, the repercussions increased traffic, annoyance of disfiguring and loss of the original are brought up. And then attraction rapidly.

New view of reality

Instead of the system from inside, you from now on leave it and cast on it from outside.

Linear view of businesses

Normally, the of reference is the competitor what your neighbour do, what do the do, what’s the exchange rate of the — the cybernetics of the own system unknown. The aims are sales short-term profit maximisation, in production, a bigger share of the

Systemic (new) view of

You primarily examine your own and its behaviour. In this respect, you ask different questions: where are the and where are the buffering fields, kind of lever can I use to control the and what kind is useless. The are: strengthening of the system’s and the possibility to navigate the company. One strive for states but abilities.

As a The technocratic model comes to an Just like the uninhibited and the boundless consumption come to an We need a new and ecological way of thinking.

If we do not to destroy the biosphere we must pay to certain basic rules of the while managing our affairs. the result of disregarding it was not the creation of ecological systems of economy but sick creations which are in a

In many fields the previous of aggressive technology and mismanagement has replaced by a repairing phase e.g. sewage works, plants or catalytic converters. But phase of repair can again be a transition stage heading for a technology and way of management.


With its huge annual of many hundreds of millions of material, the biosphere still no increase of biomass and stayed the for aeons. And moreover with an variety of products: with a of creative development and an abundance of forms. The reason: nature’s follows a handful of cybernetic rules these principles are and highly up-to-date at the same It is a company without worries resources and unemployed people, distribution problems and debts. It is a source of technical refinement, saving tricks and elegant of high-developed technologies. To study system and copy it in an intelligent way become the real question of for us.

8 Rules of Bio Cybernetics

1. Negative must dominate positive

Negative feedbacks imply by circuits, e.g. the autonomous system controls the concentration of the carburettor controls the petrol Self-regulation is the most important of organization of a subsystem the controller is in the system, too. Or: everything keeps on growing will everything around one day and consequently itself. This was perhaps the for the extinction of the prehistoric tiger giant teeth did not release any As the tiger’s population was growing one day there was no prey left. As the regulating circuit was burst, a regulating circuit intervened and the species.

2. The vitality of the system be independent from quantitative

If a system wants to grow and it will have to go through At a certain size a caterpillar not be viable anymore. So it switches to growth in the nick of time, innovative, pupates and becomes a A good example for the fact sheer growth cannot metamorphoses and restructuring this is valid for complex systems. The of connections is essential for the stability of a With unstopped growth and a amount of connections — could even lead chaos stability declines Best example: the human A few months after birth it is growth can be disturbing where it is to function.

7. Symbiosis reciprocal usage of by the employ of coupling and exchange:

The example is the mitochondrion, a relict of a bacterium. Provided with by cells, they manage the energy-supply. The advantage of symbioses is a saving of energy, transport and raw for all participants.

8. Biological design of procedures and forms of organizations by planning:

Everything that to the survival of our species has to be compatible human beings and nature. A example is the Internet that anything with anybody structure here dangers because of the unrestricted transfer of and faults.

The Sensitivity Model

model was developed by the author and has integral part of software has been used frequently great success. In 1984 it was with the Philip Morris prize. In German language the Sensitivität means even sensitivity than Sensibilität (in the model is called Sensitivitätsmodell). means a very big sensitivity of a system even to the slightest or external impulse. A sensitivity-model not only the dynamics connected to development it is also a kind of that is capable of describing its cybernetics. As this procedure the flows of effects, the user is to set a new course for them. Furthermore, he can the behaviour of the system, including all by means of simulation.

Fighting diseases

As all planning is ultimately an change of existing systems the objective to make them viable) one could also the necessary actions as a diagnosis of a and the following therapy.

Description of the Using the analogy mentioned the basis of the system-approach is also the level of the sensitivity-procedure: it’s the of the patient’s data to obtain a and still relevant set of influences. of its structure the special feature of the model is, that every even the description of the patient is to changes. This makes updating possible.

Pattern-recognition: On the level of the procedure the interrelations in the system are examined and visualized in a We want to recognize the different of parts with their in the system and we want to characterize the behaviour.

Therapy: On the third the bio cybernetic evaluation is carried This means the assessment of the system with regard to the of its viability. Important points are its and capability of self-regulation.

Strategy: In the the chosen therapy can recurrently be for its suitability, e.g. by means of


When describing a there is always a delicate regarding its dimensions and borders. On the one every complex system is of an even bigger system. On the hand it contains subsystems. the terms that will be for the key-variables later on should quite the same dimension. At time the classification information to advantage. Very soon it be noticeable, that some are too detailed whereas others represent aggregated terms. The should be united in generic the latter should be subdivided. One never use more than 100 or relations.

As connecting always in overlapping, the border area systems of the same extent be very precise. A usable is drawn best where few flows of matter, energy or exist.

A new culture of learning

the description of a system, which on the co-operation of many dedicated can be very helpful for solving a Example: In a project of town in Jena (Germany) for the first co-operation on a complex topic was possible with the help of preparation. The organizers succeeded in together officials, representatives of the trade, public transportation, planning and conservation in order to the future of the town in Thuringia. A impulse of a new culture of learning.

In to obtain the necessary key-variables for a cybernetic model, the infinite of data must be reduced to its components similar to the permanent of the brain. We have to sketch the patterns, the face even systems have their The respective name of the variable is just a short term of a component. That’s why every needs a description of its indicators specify it and that should be kept in mind during For example the number of members in automobile associations is an indicator of the main variable criticism of

All collected influences and relations (of energy or communications) between the are classified and structured in this This is made possible by of subdivision or grouping, examination of contents and exact description of in order to recognize overlapping One or another variable will out to be unnecessary for the description of the system or it is included in another.

The set of variables cover all important system Therefore every variable be examined which criteria it The seven fields of life, energy and information, the four of system dynamics and four of system relations of a variable: all of belong to essential parts of a Altogether, eight criteria up the set of variables of a model that is for the system.

Definition of the seven of life exemplified by structures of a

The persons involved (Who is Customers, visitors, supervisory employees, assistants, shareholders, of the works council.

Volkswagen Constellation

Activity are they doing?): Turnover and jobs, service, purchase/sale, investment.

Space (What where?): position and size of places, storekeeping, distances.

of feelings (How do they motivation, identification, competition, creativity, number of sick

Environmental relations (How the distribution of resources work?): of raw materials, energy and water, waste, waste gas, products.

Internal circuits ways of communication do exist?): and access roads, processing of and information.

Internal order is everything regulated?): management, legal form, house salaries, corporate identity,

Physical criteria

Matter: buildings, raw materials, means of people, animals, plants,

Energy: e.g. consumption of employees, energy carriers, strength, power of decision.

e.g. media, decisions, exchange of information, orders, acceptance, attraction


Flow items: e.g. consumption, traffic, commuters, attraction

Size of structures: park area, population traffic system, accessibility, of jobs, central and peripheral hierarchy.

Time: e.g. business, election meeting, factors, schedules, taxation

e.g. volume of traffic, nature reserve, structural

System relations

Enter the by input (variables that the system by influence from e.g. rainfall, refuse imports, tourism, supraregional subsidies.

Enter the system by (variables that influence parts of the system): e.g. offs, commuters, exports, taxes, image, advertising.

Can be from inside . variables can be controlled by decisions that are inside the observed system. are a measure of the system’s autarky.

Can be from outside . variables can be controlled by decisions that are outside the observed system. are among other things a of the system’s dependence.

Frederic In the global cyclic process man is cause as well as receiver

The strength of the connections between is rated with numbers 0 and 3. In this way the distribution of variables an immediate impression of the whole It can turn out to be rather vulnerable or the way round it could also be inert.

EXAMPLE 1: Abattoir in

The question was whether the slaughtering of which cost about million German Marks year, was to be maintained by the city of shut down or sold to a company in the meat industry. In the of the local government an examination of the without consideration of the surroundings was not The actual problems of an abattoir the rate of capacity utilization, of investments and competition were by typical subjects like diseases and hormone scandals. was also the changing attitude of towards battery farming, transports and pollution and the generally consumption of meat.

Together with all people a system model was developed, revealed the connections that beyond the limits of the mere It became clear that down the abattoir would meant Eliminating all other of the abattoir and the adjoining stockyard and neighbouring trade industries.

would have had secondary too:

short-term profits for the finance

Increasing social

Decreasing quality of life in the

Neglect of local trade of outside contracts

Closing of the associated cattle market

No of origin

Further If then with alternative possibilities that the whole thing turn out differently, if the city to a private company but also a guarantee of stock and took on controls.

EXAMPLE 2: Ecological workshops

Also related to processing was the project of the proprietor of — sausage factories, Schweisfurth. In his opinion his company, was capable of processing 300 pigs per had become too big to produce meat in an ecological way and with the quality he A system model showed how the of in-process storage, cooling, packing and transport could be Due to the mono structure of the large-scale the above-mentioned actions deteriorated and boosted running costs helping to improve the product.

the concept of a new type of small, country workshop was originated. workshops cooperated with the around and were managed the help of cybernetic compound based on the eight basic

Some positive results of the Hermannsdorfer Landwerkstätten (country in Herrmansdorf):

Decentralized production and areas promote symbioses the surroundings.

Compound solutions production and waste disposal, production of biogas from and liquid manure.

Communication producers and consumers allows support and creative interaction regard to biological food, and conservation.

Direct-Marketing and natural like the processing of warm and proofs of origin bring and consumers together.

Combinations of make symbioses of recreation, gardens and keepings of small animals possible.

Mutual of psycho-biologically reasonable animal and nature redevelopment, waste quality-improvement, animal welfare and of costs for keeping and veterinary

Eco-friendly style of architecture and on buildings support a balanced and the use of regenerative energies. That’s why conservation and profitability are increased.

structure of production demands and of different workshop components from each other.

system connection is made by cooperation between production, management, small brewery, production and other non-meat

External system connection: acceptance of the workshops supports of products and vice versa and exchange of waste with

Decentralized marketing promotes of symbiosis because of small This reduces transport, preservation and packing.

Compound with adjoining companies and for recycling, utilization of energy and of manpower.

Cooperation with public authorities, associations. of that: stimulation of workshop with consolidation of a positive access of the public and media.

All of complex systems reveal we should stop concluding the state of a system from one By the way, this reduces the to change the model deliberately in to manipulate a system analysis. A or a bad condition of variables can be either or bad for the system, depending on the whole But it is different with real of the entire system. If they are this will stabilize the system and vice versa.

Bestseller 2000

Volkswagen Constellation
Volkswagen Constellation
Volkswagen Constellation
Volkswagen Constellation


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