Self-organising complex marketing systems LO26741

From: Chris Klopper (
Date: 05/28/01

Replying to LO26716 --

In reply to:

Dear Chris and other LO-ers

Thank you for your contribution from which I learnt a lot.

I know for sure that I do not understand the meaning (or the MM's) of the
concept 'complex self-organising [marketing] systems' (here-after C-SOmS).

Perhaps no-one does yet, or will ever. On this subject we are at best:

a) thought -exchanging
b) exemplar-sharing in order to become better at
c) problem-solving.

Towards the end of your contribution three sentences starting with
'You....' are tucked into an important paragraph:

1. You don't have a strategy without the right brand architecture
2. You won't have fast communal knowledge-sharing...
3. You don't know if you have an efficient or clueful way of interacting....

Who might that YOU be, making these statements? Here are some (but not
all) the possible alternatives:

1. A priviledge external observer, one of many
2. Chris Macrae, with his own unique experiential horizon of understanding
3. The decision-making self-conscious complex mind of the organisation
itself reflecting upon itself
4. Analysts playing in front of the grandstand filled with stakeholders and
5. etc

I work with organisations large (as large as the get here) and small,
publically and privately owned. Should I agree (and for the record, I do)
with you, then who do I walk up to, muster all the conviction I have and
say: 'You don't have a strategy without....'? Like most of you I have
learnt a great great deal by participating on this LO. Putting it into
practice responsibly is the next big challenge and it is at that point
where I encounter C-SOmS.

What a company is *being* and what it is growing into *becoming* is - in
larger organisations, shaped by a complex set of events, people, processes
and forces. Marketing is a particular slice through this living, dynamic
reality, and one which I find compelling. In many of these large
organisation marketing has *become* far too complex for one person to
understand or control (allthough the illusion persists). That, however, is
good rather than bad since I too believe that marketing, through which
value is added, is far too important to be controlled narrowly.

A large and important part of what makes up the dynamics of New York (for
instance) is not controlled, and yet it is never without food, recreation
or people. No single bee controls the swarm and they come and go in
unison. 1500 brands sounds like and awful lot to manage and I agree the
traditional command and control model will surely lead to immergence, but
that is no longer the only alternative.

Most of Eli (who I had the priviledge of meeting earlier this year)
Goldratt's writings are about production processes, and so are most of the
sustainably successful implimentations. TOC can be very effective
(devastatingly so I agree) when the contraint is located within the
organisation. What happens when the constraint is (in) the market?
Marketing is not linear in the way production is. Marketing is (to use
your words) ' organisational pathway to something unique that
every-one will miss if the company did not exist.' Path Analysis (cf
Sewall Wright et al) will still come into its own within marketing. When
it does it will map (one-to-many) the form and content of C-SOmS.
Presently I am 18 months down the line mapping the concept *persistency*.

Winfried succinctly articulated how the market measures the organisation
by expectations. Intuitively more and more companies realise this, which
is why everything CRM is growing non-linearly. In many large companies, I
fear, CRM implimentations will fail because marketing is not understood as
the complex self-organising system I suspect it to be.


"Chris Klopper" <>

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