By Angela Espinosa
How can communities, businesses, regions, and nations – which can all be thought of as organisations – be designed to be capable of dealing quickly and effectively with environmental fluidity and complexity?
The Viable System Model, often referred to as VSM, is a theory that posits that a complex organisation is more capable of responding to a changing and unpredictable environment, if it is:
- composed of autonomous, effective, and agile subsidiary organisations,
- highly connected to each other, and
- cohesively operating with shared ethos, purpose, processes, and technologies.
A complex organisation therefore has multiple levels of nested organisations, each adhering to these principles.
The building blocks of the Viable System Model are five interconnected systems.