Not all managers will need to become cyberneticists, but every complex organization will need one or more specialists who know how to handle complexity correctly. For some of the managers it will be enough to adhere to the most important principles of effective management, as explained, for example, in easy to understand articles by Fredmund Malik and in his book "Managing Performing Living". Anyone who does not want or is not able or is not allowed to be dependent on specialists would do best to stick to firsthand literature that describes the fundamentals.

It is hard to imagine modern society without many of the results of cybernetics. However, so far the science of cybernetics itself has not been able to establish itself in society anything like as successfully as its products. What is the explanation for this? It isn't possible to lay the "blame" solely with the abstract nature of the theory. The very pioneers of the science, including Professor Stafford Beer, have not just left behind mathematical formulae and models. They have also made their knowledge available to us in their books using extremely precise language and particularly apt images and examples from all areas of life and work. However, Stafford Beer and the other authors from the pioneering period of cybernetics demand completely logical, clear and accurate thinking from their readers. This is the main difference between these books and many other books about management.

It seems in many respects as if the secondary literature about the fundamental works is better and more simply written. However, the essential core concepts of cybernetics often get lost in the process. Many conscientious authors have already tried to write about cybernetics in a more understandable way than the founding fathers of the science did. Most of them have had to admit in the end that their efforts did more harm than good.

Professors Fredmund Malik, Frederic Vester, Fritz Dörner, Franz Reither and Rupert Riedl amongst others have written well-grounded works in German on the issues of complexity management.


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