Archive for 2021

Q: What is cybernetics?


A: The study of self-managing systems. Any system, to be considered cybernetic, must manage itself in an environment towards an outcome (a goal or objective), i.e. it must have integral capability to recognise and respond to the gap between its actual position or condition and its desired position or condition. Examples: A regulator on a […]

A Doctor Calls: A Treatment for Efficiency


An email to the local medical practice to request medical advice produced a response advising to ‘call at 0800 for an appointment with your doctor’. Called, waited a few minutes, selected appropriate option, 20-minute wait to be placed in a second queue. Machine: ‘Press 1 followed by the # key to speak to a doctor’ […]

Behind the Facade: Check your Perceptions


A friend of mine, semi-retired and financially comfortable had been constructively using his time up a scaffolding tower and roof ladders repairing some loose roof tiles on his son’s house. Task finished early and with the son still working he left his trailer and Range Rover on the drive and, wearing the clothes he had […]

The Obvious is Not Always Obvious


Received this from a friend and thought it worth sharing: My mobile phone bills keep getting sent to my old address, forwarded by the post office service we have in place. I have told the mobile provider that I have moved and given them the new address, however the bills keep going to the old […]

Opening Doors


Apr 2014 Originally published on Loughborough University’s School of Business and Economics website While thinking about this post I enjoyed a conversation with my adult sons about the nature and use of organisational power. The conversation considered markets and their failures, the impact of dominant actors in those markets and the often distorting effects of […]

An Intelligent Nation? Covid, Cybernetics and Systems Thinking


In this guest blog, Catherine Lawes offers a personal perspective on Covid 19, vaccines and vaccination considered as a system. I took my mother to have her Covid vaccine on a bitterly cold evening in mid-January. While I waited in the car, I thought about the pandemic, the incredible scientific work to get to a […]