Self-organising complex marketing systems LO26664

From: AM de Lange (
Date: 05/09/01

Replying to LO26629 --

Dear Organlearners,

Gavin Ritz <> writes:

>I believe that concept of marketing can never be a whole.
>This is an example in business (not only marketing) where
>the mental boundaries of real wholes and the boundaries of
>fake wholes clash and it's where we get massive amounts
>of mental trauma. I once mentioned before it is like me turning
>up on my neighbors doorstep and wanting to behave like their
>children's father. We get Massive role confusion.

Greetings dear Gavin,

You have a point here in distinguishing between wholes and "fake wholes".
For me a "faked whole" would be anything which cannot respond to the 7Es.

For more than a century the noble gases were presented as the only pure
wholes because they do not react at all. This notion was indeed a "faked
whole" because one day somebody demostrated that Argon does react with
fluorine. The notion in this case is a "faked whole" because it was
assumed that a pure whole has only being and not also becoming.

You have also a point that between wholes and "faked wholes" much mental
trauma ensue. I would say more -- much mental entropy is produced which
manifests in many immergences (the trauma) and few emergences.

The question remains, is the marketing division of a business an
"irreversible self-organising system" itself or not. Well if it is a "fake
whole", then it cannot be one and thus even the complete business itself
also not one. You have argued this very well to many fellow learners.
However, these arguments do not entail that "therefore, the marketing
division cannot be self-organising even when it is a whole". More than
wholeness is needed to make the marketing system irreversibly
self-organising. Neither do they entail that "therefore, marketing
divisions which cannot self-organise are faked wholes". Other things may
have been impaired rather than wholeness.

It is possible for a business to be a self-organising system while one of
its divisions like marketing is not. But it will be only the case when
management (team) know it and has taken the necessary steps to make up for
this lack of self-organisation in the other divisions. However, when
magement do not know it and have not taken the correct actions, the
business itself will lack self-organistion just as the division.

My one daughter works as the production manager in large baking factory.
She is part of a team of managers for the marketing of her products. She
tries to run her production lines as a self-organising unit. But another
manager, as has happened a couple of weeks ago in the maintenance unit,
does not care to do the same. Thus the entire marketing disvision fails to
operate as a self-organsing system. Consequently the whole factory with
all its divisions fails. No wonder that CEO plays the role of a dictator
trying to keep the factory operating.

Lastly, in a sense you are close to another crucial point when you write:

>...because the only wholes are the people themselves.

I would alter it by adding .... "when they increase in deep wholeness".

Is a person who do not increase in wholeness still a "whole"? This is a
question which troubled Smuts all his life.

It is is easy to claim that the person is "not-whole". But this can be
interpreted as a judgement in which the very judgement makes the person
"not-whole" rather than the person implicitely being "not-whole".
Furthermore, the person may not increase in wholeness because of one of
the other six 7Es not increasing. For example, openness may be fixed. In
that case the person is a "closed whole" rather than a "not-whole". Should
otherness fail to increase, the person is a "same whole".

It is exactly here where natural language fail to tell with simple
adjectives more of the whole. Should I write that a person is a "static,
dumb, blunt, low, same, closed whole", I have indicated that all the other
six essentialities (in the order liveness, sureness, fruitfullness,
spareness and openness) constrained the increase in wholeness. How is that
for calling that person names! Therefor, it is even dangerous (for me) to
speak of whole as a "fake whole" or as a "whole".

I now have the opportunity once again to explain why I avoid at all costs
to speak of "sin". The Bible defines sin in a number of cases as
"not-whole". Now, for example, assume I refer to the essentiality liveness
as "life". I then want to tell that wholeness is lacking in a person.
Using the same pattern as before by wring "closed whole", I will have to
write that the person is (has) a "sin(full) life". How on earth will I
help that person to increase in wholeness by the designation "sinfull
life"? My mission is not to evangelise, but to get self a better
understanding of creation so that other people an also understand creation
better by questioning my understanding. Thus I speak of "not increasing in
wholeness" rather than "sin" to reflect the complexity of the latter.

Gavin, as for myself, I think that what applies to persons individually,
also applies to organised units of persons. An organised unit of persons
like the marketing division of a business is a "whole" which has to
"increase in wholeness" to sustain itself as a "whole". When that unit
increases in all 7Es (form) while also producing entropy (content) in
harmony with entropy changes in the environment, then it is indeed a
self-organising system. But when when one of the 7Es in it gets
constrained, that unit will self-organise less and less until it dies and
perhaps pull the whole organisation with it into death. It is not
immediately a "not self-organising system".

Lastly, I think that Chris had in mind a system so giganic that it
involves global marketing. That is why he selected the cell phone business
as his example. Through private discussions with Chris I know that except
for having a cell phone, he has not any other connection with the "cell
phone marketing system". He actually has a very soft heart for "farming"
and realises better than most of us that the "marketing" of "farming"
usually makes of breaks a farmer who wants to farm as a business rather
than merely stay as a "subsisting farmer". Africa in the modern world as a
result if its own huge populations needs more "business farmers" and less
"subsisting farmers" to help decrease at least the famine.

He is deeply under the impression that the "farming system" is a very
complex system and that a successful "farming system" of even a local
farmer, few as they are, corresponds breath takingly close to a "living
system". Perhaps the closest descriptive qualification for the latter is
"self-organising" (Prigogine) or "self-making" (autopoiesis, Maturana). I
think he tried to avoid farming as a business and focussed on cell ohining
because farming is so incredibly complex. I realised this myself with the
schock os shocks ("shock shock" ;-) in the late sixties when my eyes
opened to the fact that the soil as as subsustem of the farming system is
itself incredibly complex.

Chris, I wonder whether the LO-dialogue on this topic of yours has helped
you to learn more of what you need to know to help farmers better?

With care and best wishes,


At de Lange <> Snailmail: A M de Lange Gold Fields Computer Centre Faculty of Science - University of Pretoria Pretoria 0001 - Rep of South Africa

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