Synthese van Wereldproblematiek : hoe kunnen we overleven?

De titel van deze Seminar is ‘Risico Gestuurd’ ondernemen. Maar wat betekent dit? Sturen we een onderneming door middel van Risico’s? Of besturen we een onderneming door het onderkennen en dus vermijden van risico’s? Kunnen risico’s worden voorkomen en of beheerst? Deze vraag zal ik proberen te beantwoorden, maar niet op de gebruikelijke manier om een risico analyse te doen, maar op een nieuwe, meer effectievere wijze en dat is om een risico synthese te doen. Het verschil zit hem in de details hoor je wel eens of op zijn Engels: ‘The Devil is in the details’. Waarom hebben we het steeds over ‘analyse’. Op tv zien we politieke analisten, voetbal analisten, medische analisten, wetenschappelijke analisten, enzovoort. Maar zo goed als niemand neemt het woord ‘synthese’ in de mond, terwijl er een belangrijk verschil is. Dit komt door een fenomeen dat het reductionisme wordt genoemd en dat is er bij ons ingepeperd vanaf kind zijn door onze ouders (ze wisten niet beter) door onze leraren (zij…

Understanding Complexity

When an organisation, corporation, industry or political process are understood as living systems, their interconnected and interdependent relationships within and outside of their networks change all the time. This complexity, due to dynamic and perpetually changing information feedback loops, can’t be managed by direct causal action (cause and effect reactions) but can only be maximally controlled by steering with that information in real time. Adaptability to constantly evolving changes by using all information directly is needed to ensure continuity and longevity of the living system. Nature works like that too. Complexity is a consequence of a myriad of unknown factors, relationships and reliance which nevertheless have a direct impact on organisations and can only be ‘controlled’ by learning and actual adaptation in real time. These so-called non linear effects or non causal stimuli from often unknown, but interconnected and interdependent sources, can’t be controlled by old-fa…

Aliens (published in HCB Magazine)

When I sit down to write this column, I usually don’t know what to write about just yet. It normally comes to me when I start typing words onto my keyboard but today, for some reason, it seems more difficult than before. I know I have written about risk management, HSEQ control and the use of Systems Sciences and Cybernetics quite a bit, so those subjects I will give a rest, because I feel that not many of you seem to have understood what I was trying to tell you. Few people contacted me to ask about these sciences. But now we are nearing summer and it is getting warmer, although now, as I am writing this, the temperature dropped 10 degrees. I have mentioned climate change before, but is man actually causing this? What man is certainly doing is using up earth’s resources at an exponential rate. In 2018, Earth Overshoot Day fell on August 1. That marks the day when humanity has exhausted nature’s budget for the year. For the rest of the year, we are maintaining our ecological deficit …

March 29, 1986 - 33 years ago

33 Years ago
There's rumors of war
Men dying and women crying
If you breathe air, you'll die
Perhaps you wonder the reason why? 
This is how the song 'Are you ready' commences. The song was a hit by a band called Pacific Gas and Electric in the sixties of last century. I was ready in the eighties to work in all kinds of places, even in war zones like the Persian Gulf. The name of the ship was 'Hawaii'  and it was hit and destroyed by an Exocet Missile which was fired by the Iraqis during the first Gult war between Iraq and Iran. This news message was hidden in some obscure newspaper: 
The 372,201 dwt Liberian tanker Hawaii, was loaded with 320,000 tonnes of Iranian crude oil, when she was attacked by an Iraqi warplane about 60 mi South of Kharg Island in lat 28.20N, long 50.50E at 0310 am on March 29 1986. The Exocet missile struck her in a starboard fuel tank, causing a major fire in the aft section. 31 man crew. 
I was on board and was rescued by the Dutch towing an…

Paradise Papers

Law of Requisite Variety (First Law of Cybernetics) and The Paradise Papers
A situation can only be controlled if the variety of the controller matches the variety of the situation to be controlled. •The system/person with the most flexibility of behaviour will have the most influence on the system. The more choices one has, the more freedom is felt and the better the quality of life. •It is impossible to control for every variable so most variety is absorbed through relationships with other systems •Only Variety can absorb Variety •It means that in Risk Management, only enough variety in your system can absorb, or control risks originating from outside variety. •By using feedback, this information is fed into the system to allow the system to adjust and learn constantly. •It is impossible to control all Risks as systems fluctuate by information from a constant changing variety (environment).
       An organism or organisation generates tremendous variety and tries to control it in its own wa…

Risico Analyse of Risico Synthese?

Een paar weken geleden werd ik uitgenodigd door Cofano Sliedrecht om een lezing te geven over Risico-gestuurd Ondernemen. De titel werd; 'Risico Synthese' met als subtitel: 'Informatie reduceert Onzekerheid'.
Ik begon met het verhaal van Cassandra, de dochter van de koning van Troje. Zij had van de God Apollo de gave gekregen om in de toekomst te kunnen kijken onder voorwaarde dat zij op de avances van Apollo zou ingaan. Maar toen Cassandra door had dat de bedoelingen van Apollo niet in het voordeel van de Trojanen zou zijn, moest ze niets meer van deze God hebben.Daardoor werd hij boos en zei haar; 'Ik kan je de gave om in de toekomst te kunnen kijken niet meer afnemen, maar ik kan er wel voor zorgen dat niemand je ooit zal geloven.'  Dit vind ik zeer relevant. U en ik kunnen best een stukje in de toekomst kijken als we maar alle informatie willen gebruiken, maar meestal luisteren we niet naar goede raad of ontkennen zelfs informatie omdat die niet bij een do…

Coltan, Congo's Curse

This week my political thriller was published in London by Austin Macauley Publishers. I am quite excited to tell you this story. It is about Coltan, an essential mineral which allows our smartphones to work. The book is a fast- paced fiction/fact tale and I often use symbolism to express the urgency of finally solving the Congolese armed conflict over natural resources that started right after the Rwandan genocide in 1994, but historically commenced through a reign of terror by the King of Belgium, Leopold II, in 1885. The protagonist Erik Luyts is a trader who works in Geneva for Metalore, an oil and minerals trading company. When he is back in Congo, he decides to do something about the killings, the rapes and the pillaging of Congolese miners, women and children who work in the Coltan, Cobalt or Cassiterite mines. He develops a responsible manner to operate the mining area, but has to deal with hostile actions from businessmen, politicians and the military who profit from a status…