Always Change a Winning Team

P. Robertson, Always Change a Winning Team, Marshall Cavendish Business, 2005

156 Pages Posted: 15 Jan 2013

Date Written: January 24, 2005


De nederlandse versie van dit document kan gevonden worden op:

This paper (short book actually) is an attempt to integrate evolutionary theory (especially ethology), cybernetics and complexity-theory. This attempt is used for creating a model for the human mind.

The first topic is a short overview of the growth-curve. Special focus is on the cybernetic characteristics of growth-curves (S-curves) in general. A growth-curve can be seen as a flow from feed forward-steering to feed back-control. This is a non-linear process, becoming more and more linear until the process is destroyed by its own overload of control.

The second topic is a cybernetic understanding of the instinctive exploratory system and instinctive attachment system human beings share with all social animals. This is based upon the research of Nobel Laureate Konrad Lorenz.

The human exploratory system can be defined as a feed forward-steering system. This allows for a direct conceptual and practical connection with growth-curves. The strength with which human adults express exploratory (feed forward) versus more stability (feedback) focused behavior can be used to define their contribution to the growth-curve. Connecting people's personalities this way (like a relay match) creates a cybernetic human resources concept for designing teams and strategic management of talent.

The third topic is to focus on the importance of the intrinsic capacity of the healthy instinctive attachment system to develop both matter-attached (non-people attached) as well as people-attached human beings. Preliminary, but well documented (for example D. Thomson, 2006. Blue Print to a Billion, Hoboken, New Jersey, Wiley and Sons) observations show that most technological discoveries are made by matter-attached exploratory personalities.

The fourth topic is to apply Ashby's Law of Requisite Variety as a measurement of how human beings connect to their ecosystems (maturity in dealing with external complexity).

The fifth topic is applying the combination of stable personality characteristics (based upon the attachment and exploratory instinctive systems) and dynamic characteristics (based upon the Law of Requisite Variety) of dealing with external complexity in a single model. This single model is dynamically connected to the growth-curve based upon the cybernetic similarities of each phase of the growth-curve and the cybernetic characteristics of human beings. The model allows for a full dynamic Human Resources management that follows the phases of growth and allows talents to be re-utilized, aligned to the growth-curve. Practical corporate examples are used to illustrate the topics.

The original dutch version was written in 2003. This version is the extended version of the dutch original. It was possible to include in this English version the illustration of the use of the theory and methods during the Hewlett Packard/Compaq merger.

The English title "Always Change a Winning Team" refers back to a dialogue between Barbara Braun. Bob Sadler, Jim Arena and the author about the team assessment of the Merger Integration Office (reporting to Mr Webb McKinney and Ms Carly Fiorina) responsible for the HP/Compaq merger.

On the 29th of November 2012 the publication rights are returned to the author by Marshall Cavendish (represented by Ms C. Newson for the English version) and Scriptum Publishers (represented by Mr H Ritman) for the Dutch version.

This situation allows for a more easier and broader distribution of this version now via the SSRN. Since its publication, theory, research and practical developments continued world wide. A new re-edited version will appear during the next 24 months in a series of papers published as working papers at the SSRN. This version serves as a reference base and starting point for those who are already contributing to the next version and those who we assume will do so in the near future.

Keywords: s-curve, growth-curve, aem-cube, exploration, attachment, ethology, cybernetics, law of requisite variety, teams, diversity

Suggested Citation

Robertson, Peter Paul, Always Change a Winning Team (January 24, 2005). P. Robertson, Always Change a Winning Team, Marshall Cavendish Business, 2005, Available at SSRN:

Peter Paul Robertson (Contact Author)

Nyenrode Business University ( email )

Straatweg 25
P.O. Box 130
Breukelen, 3620 AC

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