Workshop: Engineering Organisational Resilience and Agility


It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent  that survives. It is the one that is most Agile and thus adaptable to change. In the struggle for survival, the agile win out at the expense of their rivals because they succeed in adapting themselves best to their environment.
But what is agility and how does it relate to resilience? Robust systems are stable they can resist short term change but they are incapable of adapting to a change that persists, whereas resilient systems can recover form a perturbation they still retain their basic structure and behaviour, they continue to strive. Agile systems are different, they change structurally and continue to excel, they are survival worthy. These systems thrive when other systems fail.

Workshop description

We intend to enrich the language we use when we speak about resilience and agility.
In this workshop we will explore an Agility continuum from failure to excellence by looking at the various strategies used by nature and the consciously engineered world of social systems.
We will discuss and apply cybernetic concepts for design principles for agile and resilient organisations.
We will discuss design proposals for two companies, one is a large telecom organisation the other is a hub and spoke airline.

Workshop presenters

Steve Brewis is senior research scientist at British Telecom and Business Modelling Consultant. He is visiting fellow at Manchester Business School researching Management Cybernetics.
Arthur Dijkstra is Master Human Factors, airline Captain B777 and pursuing a PhD in Safety Management Systems.

Suggestions for your preparation for the workshop

Below you find links to material that will be discussed in the workshop. You will benefit from some preparation.