A New Business Management Model
This article is being written to show how the Whole System Model can improve business management. If only because business is the integral institutional instrument with which the Whole System accelerates its own transformation.
Reality is Malleable
We have all grown up regarding Reality as an incomprehensibly fragmented and disorderly collection of different systems, many of which cannot be integrated. This makes for confusion and conflict, among not only us as a species, but also between us and the rest of Nature. Every one of us struggles, throughout our lives, to make sense of the increasing complexity and turbulence that surrounds us. Managing businesses is likewise becoming increasingly difficult. There are ever-larger amounts of information raining upon us ever faster. It is becoming increasingly difficult to process all this information into meaning and clarity for better decisions. (Read how we utilize currents in behavior when branding)
Our deteriorating inability to integrate all this information into a coherent understanding of what is going on both within and outside a business is bewildering. Much of our efforts and investments for business continue to be expended wastefully, simply because our conventional fragmented and scattered knowledge of Reality is not up to the task of enabling us to make sense of everything that is going on around us. It is making it even more difficult to know the surest way to success.
We still make wrong decisions too often, and this results in wasteful expenditures of the limited resources we have. All this disorder, confusion, and waste is tragic, because it need not really happen. Scientists already know that Reality is NOT the way we regard it. They have known, now, for over a century, that Reality is NOT an incomprehensibly fragmented and disorderly collection of different systems, many of which cannot be integrated. On the contrary, Reality is actually a single integrated order of interrelated and interacting subsystems, comprised of components, structures, relationships, dynamics, and processes among them.
All we have to do, in order to make fewer wasteful business decisions, and instead become able to make more effective ones, is to correct the conceptual subsystem with which we interpret our experiences – to be more and more consistent with the systems nature of Reality. All we have to do is to replace our outdated and mistaken fragmented and disorderly conceptual framework – with the Whole System Model – to be consistent with the Whole System Order of Reality.
A Framework for Understanding the Market Reality
The Whole System Model is a conceptual framework for making sense of Reality as the single and integrated system it already is. As business is the primary engine of self-transformation within the Whole System, we must regard business operations as the cutting edge of change and begin to regard, understand, and manage business – with the Whole System Model. The Whole System comprises several domains and has three key feedback loops operating among them.
By getting familiar with these domains and feedback loops, and by understanding how interactions among them generate business, we will become ever less wasteful and ever more effective at business. This article will briefly explore the key domains and feedback loops in the Whole System, and how these work together to accelerate the Whole System’s self-transformation through business. Specifically, the article will provide a sense of the structure, relationships, processes of the Whole System, and our place and functions within it. We will discover that business is primarily about managing pre-existing dynamics in the Whole System, specifically, managing the unbundled domains and feedback loops that comprise the human component in the Whole System. (Read about research methods that are different)
Whole System Development
Before we look into the role of business in the Whole System, let us, for foundation’s sake, consider the development of the Whole System so far. Let us begin with the most familiar component that is matter-energy. Then we can gradually, step by step, layer after layer, overlay the development over matter-energy in order to constitute, first life, then responsive intelligence, and then humanity. We will see how the ‘human’ components and activities relate to, and interact with the base component of matter-energy generate business to accelerate the self-transformation of the Whole System.
The Domain of Matter-Energy – Nature
For some time now, Science has been regarding reality as being made up of matter-energy. The laws of physics, inorganic chemistry, geology, and astronomy all show reality to be a complex and dynamic system. It is comprised of several layers of subsystems, universes made up of galaxies, which are made up of star/solar systems, which are made up of stars and planets, which are made up of gaseous, liquid and solid objects, which are made up of molecules, which are made up of waves/particles, and so on.
Sentience and Basic Life Forms
Then emerged the Sentience function, giving rise to new formations in the Whole System we call basic life forms, which can be mapped with sciences like organic chemistry, botany, biology, and combinations of these with material sciences such as biophysics. Basic life forms are formations of matter/energy that move to the tune of a different drummer than that of Raw Nature. Sentience is the intrinsic capacity of Reality to observe itself. Hence, Sentience may be regarded as Reality’s feedback function. Wherever Sentience is present in the system, there is a formation that is fundamentally different from other formations, feedback in the form of positive or negative experienced content, and motion that is different from the ‘blind’ movement of inanimate matter-energy, by virtue of being driven by the positive and negative responses by the formation.
The positive or negative feedback to any experience is familiar to us as ‘emotion’. Such emotional feedback occurs in a spectrum ranging from extreme attraction to whatever is being experienced through the formation, or extreme repulsion to it, or any point between these two extremes of the spectrum. Hence with the emergence of basic life forms, three additional new orders emerged simultaneously in the Whole System, a) the life forms themselves, b) the Sentience function, and c) the new kind of motion of these life forms. The new kind of motion depended upon whether the feedback was positive (attractive sentient content) or negative (repulsive sentient content), and how much, or little, of either. Basic life forms that move according to such feedback are what we might call responsive complex systems. Because their motions responded according to the quality of their sentient content, their motions were different from the motions of the rest of matter-energy.
Sentience and Smart Life Forms
Then came yet other domains of the Whole System with we call smart life forms, which have been studied with sciences like the zoology of animals. Like basic life forms, smart life forms also involve Sentience. However, instead of merely responding immediately according to the experience that Sentience makes possible, these creatures can also COPY their experiences in an abstract ‘conceptual’ form, and STORE these copies of their experiences, RETRIEVE these as memories, and thus also interpret experiences based on similar earlier experiences, and respond to these interpretations, generating a new kind of motion in matter-energy. Smart Life Forms can respond not just to what is experienced by Sentience through them, but also to the memory of what followed the previous similar experience, even though, the following experience has not yet occurred this time around.
As such, these creatures represent more sophisticated feedback subsystems in the Whole System. Smart life forms therefore move in a way that is different not only from just the natural dynamics of insentient matter-energy forms, but in ways that are also different from the motions of basic life forms that move merely in direct response to what is experienced. Smart life forms go one step beyond and respond according to memories of experiences that followed prior experiences that are similar to the current experience. That makes these smart life forms anticipative complex systems.
The emergence of Anticipative Complex Systems gave rise to a completely new kind of feedback loop. Whenever creatures move in novel ways because of remembering the results of prior movements, they are anticipating (imagining) the possible result from the immediate experience. Finally came yet new part of the Whole System we can call transforming life forms. Transforming life forms which are being studied with sciences like psychology, cognitive science, sociology, politics, and economics.
Transforming life forms also involve Sentience and anticipation based on earlier experiences, but instead of merely being confined to anticipating according to past experience, these creatures can also PROCESS their prior experiences to develop sequential (causal) knowledge and speculative possibilities in the form of ideas. Also importantly, they are also able to transfer their processed memories in the form of both knowledge and ideas among one another via immediate and deferred linguistic media, such as conversations and books, newspapers, magazines, etc. This further enables these forms to organize themselves into various kinds of organizations such as governments, political parties, and businesses.
As such, transforming life forms have a much more sophisticated feedback subsystem in the Whole System than did anticipative life forms such as animals, and basic life forms, such as early life forms and plants. Above all, transforming life forms, i.e., human life forms are able to change their environment proactively by engaging in motions to transform their environment according to their experiences, knowledge, imagination, and communications.
At this time, the human species are the only known life forms that possess high intelligence and comprise instruments of the Whole System that are self-transforming. However, it must be said here that these high-intelligence life forms may eventually include some other life forms on Earth and possible extra-terrestrial life forms as well. In this diagram, for convenience, we have collapsed all non-human life forms with all other non-transforming forms. This enables us to distinguish the salient domains of the Whole System, i.e., the functions through which the Whole System transforms itself.
Overall, this makes for several layers of reality within the Whole System Model. Of course, there is matter/energy, then basic life forms, then anticipative life forms, transformative life forms, and the motions and actions of all these layers of different motions in the matter energy dimension of the Whole System. Then we have the non-matter/energy dimensions or layers of the Whole System. These are Sentience, the Valuation function, the interpretive function, the imagination function, the action function, each of which, both individually, and in concert with other functions, transform all the other layers of the physical (matter-energy) and have even begun to transform the transformative life forms themselves via genetic tinkering, and technology based surgical procedures.
Business involves the organization of human forms in ways that accelerate the self-transforming capability of the Whole System. Over the last couple of hundred years, primarily through business organizations, initially such as the British and Dutch East India Companies, and since through other more recent businesses like Carnegie Steel, Standard Oil, Caterpillar, AT&T, ABB, Bechtel, General Motors, Boeing, IBM, HP, Microsoft and Google, to mention a minuscule few, there has been an accelerating explosion of self-transforming activity in on the planet Earth corner of the Whole System – in the form of the emergence of more and bigger cities, buildings, highways, railways, bridges, tunnels, dams, and all the other technological products and services so many of us take granted. When we regard business from the Whole System perspective, i.e., view IT via sentience and knowledge from within the Whole System; we must wonder what additional feedback functions were added, that made possible.
Building on Business Management
Business is changing. Branding Structure has changed. However the manner in which most organizations conduct business has not changed in many years. How do we look at effective brand management? How to we adjust the accepted brand theory to reflect these changes? To do so, we must first identify the different kinds of motions in the Whole System that arises from each of the different kinds of forms in the system. We will then identify the new domains that arise in the Whole System, and how business is the culminating function of these domains working together.
We have already seen that Reality is a single substance, functioning as a Whole System; and that this Whole System is dynamic, perpetually generating forms of temporary duration, which then dissolve after existing for various durations, only to re-form to generate other forms. We have also seen that the Whole System functions (moves) through six different kinds of forms. We have also learned from the deepest nature of the substance of Reality, quantum mechanics, that consciousness (sentience) is present in it, and influences the movement of quantum particles at this deepest level. However, it must be understood that all the known universes, galaxies, stars, planets, especially the planet earth, their respective moons, the asteroids, all the oceans, seas, lakes, rivers; all the land masses on earth, including mountains, plains, all the life forms, including plants, animals, and humanity, contain just seven kinds of forms, each operating with one or more of six distinct functionalities that make each of these kinds of forms move differently from the others.
1. Inanimate Forms.
By far the largest kind of forms is the one that might be called inanimate. To the best of our current knowledge, almost all of the substance of physical reality, i.e., well over 99% of all of the substance comprising the universe (or universes) – is made up of inanimate forms of different sizes, shapes, and structure. These inanimate forms, although inanimate, are, like the rest of the universe/s in perpetual motion. So the motions that these inanimate forms undergo are entirely mechanical, based on the preexisting momentum and the flows and forces operating in and around them. To the best of our knowledge to date, all the substance that make up the remaining five ANIMATE kinds of forms add up to less than even a single percentage point of the substance of all of Reality. The inanimate forms are not known to be influenced by the presence of sentience in any way.
This is because, even if the sentient function is latent among them, the momentum around and within them so deterministically confines their existing motions, that Sentience could not have influenced their motion in any way. Reacting Animate Forms. On the third planet of the immediate solar system, can be found all the remaining five kinds of forms; i.e., kinds of forms that are animate, because they all move differently from the way that inanimate forms move. Unlike the first and dominant inanimate kind of forms, these five kinds of forms are all influenced by the experiencing function of 2.Sentience.
These five animate kinds of forms are all influenced by the Sentience function; i.e., each of these animate kinds of forms are sentient of the immediate environment surrounding them, and accordingly, move according to the specific kind of experiences that arise from the functioning of Sentience through them. The most elemental of these five are familiar to us as basic life forms. It is interesting to note that the motions of basic life forms are influenced differently via sentience of their immediate environment, according to whether their environment is favorable or unfavorable to their continuing existence, i.e., according to whether they are attracted to, or repulsed by the environment being experienced. This attraction or repulsion may be said to constitute an emotional ‘valuation’ of every kind of experience, or feedback content. Examples of such basic life forms might be single-celled organisms that have not yet developed the ability to store their experiences in genetic content that can be passed on genetically to future generations of replications.
2. Anticipative Life Forms (via genetics).
Then there are the kinds of forms through which Sentience not only experiences their immediate environment, whether attractive or repulsive, but their specific motions are influenced, not just by their immediate experience of their environment, but also via their genetic storage and retrieval of feedback content experienced by previous generations of replication their kind of forms.
This genetic ‘information’ which also includes positive or negative emotional valuation charges, enables these kinds of forms to anticipate experience according to their ‘recognition’ of prospective imminent experiences before the experiences actually occur, and they react, not only react to their immediate experiences, but also to such genetically driven ‘recognition’ of prospective imminent experiences. Examples of these genetically anticipating life forms might be single or multi-cellular organisms like plants that have developed the ability to store transfer experiential content genetically to future generations of replication, but have not developed the ability to store experiential content conceptually, through the same form that had the experience in the first place
3. Proactive Life Forms (via concepts).
Then there are the kinds of form through which Sentience not only experiences their immediate experience through genetic recognition, and directly, but also through recognition. They do this via stored experiences that had occurred earlier, and operate not only genetically, but also conceptually, via abstract copies of earlier experiences that are stored in within the forms of the kind of forms that experienced them earlier.
These future generations of sentient forms through which experiences (feedback content) obtained with Sentience are copied and stored as abstract concepts, enabling them to move according to anticipation of consequences similar to those had with earlier experiences, without having to wait a generation for the earlier experience to become available via storage. This enables these kinds of forms to move differently from inanimate forms, basic life forms, and genetically anticipating life forms. Examples of these conceptually anticipating life forms might be most mobile creatures of nature, such as insects and most animals.
4. Concept-processing Life Forms.
These are the kinds of forms in which experiences obtained with Sentience are not only copied and stored as concepts, but are also processed into inferences (interpretations) and ideas (imaginations). This enables these forms to move not only according to immediate experiences, but also anticipatively via genetics and concepts, but also interpretively and imaginatively, thereby enabling them to move differently in many more ways than the all the other kinds of forms we have discussed so far. Examples of these Concept-processing Life Forms are mostly advanced primate forms, and especially early hominids.
5.Linguistic-Concept-transferring and sharing Life Forms.
These are the kinds of animate life forms that not only possess all the capabilities of the kinds of life forms we have discussed so far, but can also transfer stored and processed concepts among other units of such life forms through the sensory medium of language. Examples of such life forms are human families, tribes, organizations, and the entire species – humanity. For the purposes of convenience, let us collapse all the different kinds of inanimate forms and motions OTHER than the last one, Humanity into just two kinds of physical substance: Insentient and inanimate forms and motions on the one hand, and Humanity’s forms and motions on the other. In addition to these forms and motions, we have also identified four new broad functionalities that emerged, in addition to the physical substance of the Universe, or the Whole System.
These four additional functionalities are: a. Sentience, b. Emotional Valuation, or qualitative feedback content. c. Processed Knowledge, generalities about the way things are; d. Processed Imagination, generalities about possibilities. When we look closely at the two broad kinds of physical forms and motions, and add, to them, the four new domains that emerged, we discover three dynamics that are perpetually operating through every human form, transforming the world in the process:
- Perpetual Expansion. This means that to every ‘human’ point of Sentience in the Whole System, there is always new kinds of content accumulating over and above all the kinds of content that have already occurred.
- Spiral Influence. This means that there is a perpetual spiral operating among the following four domains: 1. Factual conceptual content – (conceptual substance) 2. Imaginative conceptual content – (conceptual substance) 3. The motions of human forms – (physical substance) 4. Changes among all the remaining five domains – (physical substance). Spiral Influence is a cycle (spiral over time) that flows through both physical and conceptual substance in a single ecology. What is known (conceptual) influences what is imagined (also conceptual). What is imagined influences what is done (physical). What is done influences what changes in the world (physical), what changes influence what is known, what is known influences what is imagined, what is imagined influences what is done, what is done influences what changes in the world, and so on and on and on…
- Sentience-based valuation. This is the perpetual assignment of positive or negative value on whatever is experienced by sentience. The attraction or repulsion, and the degree of either dynamic that results from sentience noticing anything, whether it’s something physical or conceptual, whether it’s something known, or something imagined, whether it’s something being done or some change that results. The six domains of the Whole System, Sentience, Emotional Valuation, Knowledge, Imagination, Human Action, and Physical Change in the world, together with the three dynamics, Perpetual Expansion, Spiral Influence, and Sentience-based Valuation, are the means by which the Whole System keeps transforming itself on a continuing basis. It is these six domains and these three dynamics that give rise to more and bigger cities, buildings, highways, railways, bridges, tunnels, dams, and all the other technological products and services so many of us take granted. And what is business? And what is its role in the Whole System? Business is the human organizing principle that accelerates the dynamics. Wherever business is, competing to accomplish things with less waste, and more value, modes of human organization are continuously being created that generate ever more transformation of ever more kinds, in ever quicker ways. This is why business is the organizing principle by which the Whole System keeps transforming itself.