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The Structure & Dynamics of Viable Systems
 

The Beyond Masterclass Series

The Structure & Dynamics of Viable Systems with Patrick Hoverstadt, Marie Faire & Paul King 

 
What are the features of viable system?  What can we do as leaders, consultants and coaches, to enable and sustain the viability of a system, whether that is an individual, a team or an organisation, and perhaps in society? 
 
In this Masterclass, we will explore these questions by bringing together two distinct but related bodies of knowledge and practice, Stafford Beer’s Viable System Model (VSM) and NLP. We will also be looking at how the meeting of VSM and NLP can help us address the often conflicting relationship dynamics between the individual and the organisation (a larger system).
 
VSM comes from a systemic and cybernetic tradition that is close to the work of the polymath Gregory Bateson whose work was also seminal in the foundations of NLP. Connecting through this common heritage of thinking and wisdom, our intention is to explore how these two approaches might inform one another: NLP which primarily focuses on the individual and their relationships but can be applied to larger systems; and VSM, which is more commonly used to model organisations but can also be applied to individuals. 
 

The Workshop Outline:

VSM Modelling
We will start with an introduction to VSM and explore the two most common ways of modelling using VSM – one as a ‘static’ model of different structures and relationships in organisations and the second as a ‘dynamic’ model where complexity-balances drive patterns of energy and direction. 
 

VSM Pathological Archetypes
We will then in groups look at how an understanding of organisational dysfunction described by the 21 VSM pathological archetypes can be used to see how these common dysfunctions can affect individuals. We will ask what can be done about these dysfunctions and how we would know whether it is best to intervene at the organisational level, with the individual or in the relationship between the two. 
 

VSM as a Personal Construct
In the afternoon we will explore VSM as a personal construct. One of the original development stages of VSM was applying the model to, or deriving the model from, humans as viable biological systems. In this section of the workshop we will take VSM back to the person and explore its applicability to human psychology, learning and change. 


** The workshop will assume NLP knowledge and experience and will focus on introducing you to VSM and some of its key aspects. As we do so we will bring the knowledge and wisdom of these two approaches together to address real practical challenges.
 
Patrick Hoverstadt
Patrick is a systems expert in organizational design and strategy, a visiting research fellow at Cranfield and author of The Fractal Organization.
 

Date: 29 June 2017

Fee: £180+VAT

Location: Wiltshire

Booking: Please contact us providing you name and invoicing address.

 

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