The Law of Requisite Variety

Every disturbance in an organisation must be compensated by a counter response. The issue here arises in this: responding to new situations with existing practices is not enough to continue the organisation effectively. New stimuli require new and innovative responses. Once an organisation becomes too big and too rigid, it is almost certainly doomed to fail in a changing world.

It used to be that an business could go centuries without radically adapting or overhauling it’s language, processes and approach to the world. No longer is this the case. The rate at which the world moves is simply too fast. Signs of your current shortcomings in emerging markets will begin to shows in months not centuries. And, within a matter of years your ability to adapt will determine your whether your business remains open and flourishing.

The solution

The Law of Requisite Variety is a concept in Cybernetics, and it comes with a mathematical solution, a formula for business success:

V(E) ł V(D) - V(R) - K

That probably means nothing to you. Stated plainly: the system/person with the most flexibility of behaviour will control the system. In business, only variety can overcome variety. New practices for new problems.

It leads to an interesting observation. A business must have a sufficiently large variety of actions in order to ensure a sufficiently small variety. You must have a multitude of responses to ensure a single outcome of your definition.

If you want to grow your business, you must be able to adapt your practice to reflect the changing market. Today, a part of this means digital growth marketing. If you do not have an online growth strategy, your solutions (responses) are too narrow to respond to the changing business world. You’re running at the back of the pack.

In order to deal properly with the diversity of problems the world throws at you, you need to have a repertoire of responses which is (at least) as nuanced as the problems you face.

Now, adding established digital marketing strategies to your business is a start. Not an end. As you know, the world changes. Fast. You need to be able to keep up with this change, or better yet, be leading it. But an issue arises here. You want to do the work relevant to your business, not be worrying about growth strategies and technological concepts or algorithm updates; it’s not directly relevant to you and it can detract from your work.

From a strategic point of view you still need to address the issue. That’s where we like to come in. Contact us today to find out more.

A caveat

Do not confuse this to mean you must never rely on what has worked in the past. Without your past as a starting point you have path to the future.

If you’ve got a working solution. Double down on it. But understand that at any moment you may have to give it up. Do not become so heavily invested in a marketing practice, or a business ideal, or a mission statement that you can’t see the world around you for what it really is. The market is tough, it will destroy your ideals quickly. And in respond, you can adapt or die.

It really is up to you.

Going meta

On the flip side a paradox arises. Sometimes the correct response to the issue is to keep going, do not deviate and do not change. This is an intricate business problem that can require serious contemplation and guidance.

To use an analogy. Sometimes you have to keep drilling down, just keep going with what you’re doing before you see results. There is a time to be static. Most businesses just stay static for too long.

These tips are just to get you started, we’ve created a comprehensive strategic solution within our organisation to help businesses like yours pave the way to future success.

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