Introduction to the Viable System Model

My Video Lectures about the Viable System Model

Finally, I am releasing the first three videos about my introduction to the Viable System Model. I decided that I wanted to share everything I have understood so far, but not in a written form anymore. Therefore, I produced a series of simple screen captures and dared to do it freestyle … in English … for the first time! People asked me on different occasions if I could provide one of my books in English. Since I see in the next years no personal capacity to translate an existing book, I will continue to produce some more videos – it’s the easiest and fastest way for me to do a brain dump.

Beware of the German English!

I have to warn you upfront that I am speaking in these videos my special way of “Ginglish” = German English – I make many mistakes. Nevertheless, I hope that I am still able to transport the ideas of the VSM properly. So, what can you expect from the first videos?

The big Why of the Viable System Model!

The first session deals with the question of what makes the Viable System Model so different from other approaches? It starts with a high-level comparison of typical ways to visualize the structure of an organization. This video lays the foundation to understand what makes it so special.


The What and How of the Viable System Model – Pt. 1

This video introduces the fundamental concepts of the environment, operation, management, and regulation. It furthermore looks deeper into the concept of loops and how information is transmitted through the system boundaries via transducers.

If you want to find out more about the environment model, follow this link to my full version. If you want to learn more about loops and how they deal with complexity, then read this article about  Ashby’s Law of Requisite Variety: Last but not least, here the link to my blog post about “Value in Use” and the Service-Dominant Logic concept.


How and What of the Viable System Model – Pt 2

The third video explores the Viable System Model in detail. It explains not only the different systems of the VSM but, in the beginning, the concept of recursion levels within an organization. As you might imagine, this is the longest video (so far).



In the next videos, I want to demonstrate different ways to apply the Viable System Model and ultimately my latest version of the “Viable System Model Agile Cheatsheet” (I know – it’s an awful working title, but that’s all I have come up with right now.).

Furthermore, I predict that my public writing frequency will be lower than before, but I will continue to share my insights – but I will be more selective.

The next book is still in the conception phase, but soon this phase will be finished. The book will still deal with the VSM, but more in the background because I take it for granted (and don’t want to explain it again). The next book will dive deep into strategic and operational matters using data, identifying leading metrics in digital business, and using them for decision making. Furthermore, it will deal with Power Laws, pattern recognition, and inflection points, and … it will be available in English too. 🙂

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