Re: Creating a Company Vision

From: John Conover <>
Subject: Re: Creating a Company Vision
Date: Tue, 10 Jan 95 21:08 PST

Art Kleiner writes:

 >   Actually, just on the point about predictions:
 >   A startling number of people predicted the peaceful collapse
 > of the Soviet Union, back in the 1960s. Three that come to mind
 > were Warren Bennis, Philip Slater, and Herman Kahn. (Herman
 > Kahn was so certain about it that he called that the "surprise-free"
 > future.)
 >    Unfortunately, they were 25 years too early.

Some of these were based on "Catastrophe Theory," a formal,
mathematical methodology that attempts to address why social and
economic systems fail. It was a presented by Rene Thom in a book
"Structural Stability and Morphogenesis." For a "light" rendition,

    address = "New York, New York",
    author = "John L. Casti",
    publisher = "HarperCollins",
    title = "Complexification",
    year = 1994}

It tries to address economic and social/organizational structural
issues that result in catastrophic failure, and the premiss, (in a
grossly over simplified statement,) is that organizational structure
increases over time, and at some point can no longer support itself,
and a catastrophe or collapse ensues.

The concept had a very significant initial reception, but has since
kind of cooled, faded into the sunset, although there are still

        For what it is worth,


Oh, BTW, the reason folks used it to "predict" the down fall of the
Eastern block, etc., is that those social/political/economic systems
were structured to the max. So, according to the theory, a
catastrophic outcome was eminent.


John Conover,,

Copyright © 1995 John Conover, All Rights Reserved.
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