The evolution of Meggitt Bird’s interest in organisational dynamics is too long a history to capture the attention of readers. Suffice to say that it spans decades from the mid 70s to the present day with an intense curiosity with the management of information and the supporting technology. And as Chartered Civil Engineers in its current manifestation as a Limited Liability Partnership, we take a realistic view of the art of the possible provided diagrams are used to supplement text in describing situations and plans.
On reflection, it seems that our evolution can be captured in the phrase “Using the old to forge the new!” which is the subtext of this note.
To illustrate this transformation of old to the new over time, return to the 1980s and work for the Ministry of Planning in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia undertaken over a few weeks when the task was to identify the flow of information elements in the preparation of the Fourth National Five Year Plan referred to here. Using techniques available to business systems designers at the time, the assignment objectives were met to the satisfaction of all stakeholders, from database designers to planners. 25 years later, with one small change to the meaning of the diagrams, with experience honed by testing and applications in the field since 2003 and written up in the VES Handbook of 2019, the same diagrams are found to be capable of representing how organisations really work, with people at their core.
The result of this is that people in whatever role they may play in an organisation can begin to face with growing confidence challenges arising which involve collaboration with others, enabling leaders at every level to facilitate change, to grow and achieve success.
At the same time, perceptions of our own organisation also evolved. This note, in the briefest of ways, illustrates the current position.
The green block is a representation using VES of a business model in its simplest form: two of our articles are here and with a more extended treatment here The VES Handbook elaborates on this to show the inter relationships between business ecosystems, business models and internal transactions.
The yellow block shows three entities and the corresponding URL's:-
Metisa is focussed on collaboratively sharing insights in key areas, currently, "We Spaces," Viability, Assurance, ICT Applications and Project methods. (Metis-Greek Titan-goddess of wisdom and much else plus "a" for action).
Meggittbird is the legal / administrative / financial entity (Partners David Meggitt and Christie Sarri below).
Cataleyes is currently focussed on applications: tackling virtual work spaces, devolution, investment planning in sustainable infrastructure and property: each containing a mix comprising diversity, productivity, and "Star Enterprises" (refer VES Handbook) and associated Metisa insights.
The red block shows how the VSM (Viable System Model) maps on to the above at a high level.
The Organizational Dynamics block is a glimpse of the 15 years' development of colleague Professor Charles Ehin's research on that topic, specifically incorporating the power of informal networks, and summarised in his recent publication here with reviews, including ours, here.
Meggitt Bird's contributions within the fee payable regime are focussed on video and coaching materials which are either sector related general problem situations, or organizational specific requiring detailed enquiry.
VES has been described as a general problem solving tool. (It underpins the emergent "Catallactic Theory of Organization Design" and its capacity to unify hitherto unrelated disciplines and streams of knowledge.) Current extensions include spreadsheet inputs that incorporate We Space characteristics, flows of value, and linkage from causal modelling to project roles and responsibility allocations via deliverables. The staggering potential of advanced AI is slowly being absorbed within Metisa.