The word entropy is derived from the ancient Greeks meaning the “in turning or forward motion of the universe”. The concept of forward motion causing change is fundamental to the understanding of entropy. Originally, entropy was not viewed as a measure of disorder in any particular system or the dispersion of energy but was more akin to a “life force” that moved the universe and those souls within it towards their ultimate destiny. One important aspect of the philosophy of the Stoics (Zeno, 334 – 262 BC) was their belief that a natural ‘logos’ (the happening and the reasoning) existed in the universe. This set the pattern for human behaviour and flowed through as a belief in “pre-destination”. Events happen for a reason (good or bad) and there is no point struggling against the inevitable. Conformity with destiny was inevitable and the Stoics described this inevitability as fate. It has taken approximately two millennia for humankind to progress much beyond this point.
It can now be demonstrated that entropy is not simply expressed as predestination but rather follows an intricate and complex set of geometric forms (the logos) that comprise a spectrum of behaviour spanning what was previously viewed as a paradox of determinism and free-will. A new paradigm is required to describe the expression of entropy in nature. Until recently one factor was still missing in expositions of entropy in nature. What generated the “forward motion or life force” in the first place? Current views favour either the tendency to disorder or the dispersion of energy as the driver of change. Entropy is seen as the measure of this change.
Willett departed from this thinking. He made a single assumption and explored the consequences. He assumed that the only pre-condition for creation was one of non-sustainable instability. From this precondition energy and matter could be created in the instance of the ‘big bang”, and instability (expressed as turbulence) would be alleviated by any mechanism of change that allowed a condition of relative stability to be attained. The template of evolution (developed by Graham Willett) has given us the geometries of those mechanisms. It was assumed by Willett that the “life force” would always move towards a state or condition of relative stability that resulted in benefits. Benefits could include profit, satisfaction, and relief to name just a few. This new and more stable domain would anchor the system and allow it to be repeated in the same or similar manner. The pathway that formed would be determined by the rules of process geometry and those rules were derived from Willett’s template of evolution.
From here Willett began to build process systems from their component processes and to examine the balance and behaviour of individual systems, their aggregation into clusters and the further agglomeration of those clusters into “sloppy” formations that could give rise to “living” structures. Structures described by Willett as “living brains” can be simulated using this method with predicted behavioural patterns being akin to human thinking and creative activity.
An Introduction to Processes and Systems Thinking
A series of related processes that form an integral operation (process system)
Pathways of change that link needs to benefits (moving from instability to relative stability)
How Change Occurs
According to Science, change is a unique phenomenon that sustains all existence. In nature (and business), it represents a constant push towards increased stability and benefits (eg. profit).
For change to take place, mechanisms are required to facilitate that change. These mechanisms are called processes. When processes are linked together, they form a pathway called a process system. At the front end of the process system is the need for benefits and at the conclusion there are benefits (eg: profit). The need for benefits initiates the change and the realisation of benefits anchors the process system and allows it to be repeated. With each repetition, the system will tend to enhance its performance through experience/use, thus evolving superior benefits/results.
Systems not designed for performance and adaptation to change (ie. dynamic) become inflexible or static, and will fail.
Business Process Systems
Businesses consist of many process systems – sales, marketing, finance, manufacturing, distribution, research, customer service and information technology – to mention a few.
Your process systems are your unique way of doing business, manufacturing a product, delivering a product, etc – ie. what you do and how you do it.
Your business processes/process systems form part of your Intellectual Property (IP). Therefore, they should be understood, protected (a growing number of businesses are patenting their business process systems) and developed to their full potential. Your intellectual capital is an important business asset.
The Unifying Theory of Entropy – A New Paradigm for Systems Thinking
From a knowledge of the geometry of processes and the rules controlling the action of processes (the basic natural codes that, when combined, form the structure that controls evolution), Willett was able to construct a new systems theory relevant to all living and non-living systems. An important part of the theory is a re-definition of entropy. The theory is called ‘unifying’ because it brings together and agrees with many major scientific theories, like a jigsaw where the ‘big picture’ is made up of many individual pieces. These other theories include Chaos Theory, Theory of Relativity and Complexity Theory, to name a few.The Unifying Theory of Entropy allows complex systems to be analysed much more easily than by using traditional mathematics. Instead, the Theory uses a new paradigm based on geometries and their behaviour. Once understood, this new paradigm allows complex systems to be analysed much more quickly and effectively than by using other methods.
A methodology has been developed out of Graham Willett’s Unifying Theory of Entropy, by Graham and Living Business Systems (Aust) Pty Ltd. The methodology can be used for the analysis and design of linear and non-linear systems, across a wide range of fields such as business, information technology, medical research, education, government policy and many others. The method of analysis has been filed for patent (AU Pat App # PS 1938, April 2002).Living Business Systems intends to licence this methodology and the associated Intellectual Property to third parties for:
Keys steps in the Methodology
The Unifying Theory of Entropy describes the formation of a system from processes and the rules for systems to combine into arrays and clusters. For use in existing organisations, technologies, strategies etc. the method of analysis is based on mapping the component systems and their composite processes as flow charts.
The steps involved are:
1. Determine the “systems chain” that leads to the direct goal of the systems array
This is the core business of the organisation involved, what it delivers as a service or profit or outcome. This is the prime function of the organisation. The systems chain may appear as a linear or nonlinear array (including natural networks) of systems or any combination of these geometries that deliver the desired outcome.
2. Map out the systems comprising the “systems chain”
Once the systems chain is identified, subdivide the chain into component systems (key steps along the road to delivery and profits). Systems are linked through value-adding steps that are anchored when the desired outcome is achieved.
3. Re-design individual systems within the chain or alter the juxtaposition of systems within the chain
Once the key systems chain is understood, the problems experienced by the organisation will have apparent causes that can be eliminated by either re-designing or removing systems from the chain or by moving systems into a new configuration. The Living Business Systems’ methodology describes the rules for doing this.
4. Map out the supporting systems that inhibit the progress of the systems chain
Where problems cannot be resolved within the systems chain then it becomes necessary to drill down through the supporting systems to locate the problem. Layer upon layer of systems support most system chains. The same rules apply to supporting systems as to the systems chain.
The Unifying Theory of Entropy allows complex systems to be analysed much more easily than by using traditional mathematics. Instead, the Theory uses a new paradigm based on geometries and their behaviour. Once understood, this new paradigm allows systems to be analysed much more quickly and effectively than using other methods.
The Unifying Theory of Entropy can be applied to any systems analysis project. The Theory can also be used to create systems that exhibit specific behaviours including:
Smarter drugs and vaccines, based on a better understanding of virus/disease behaviour and evolution;
Anti-virus software for computers, which analyses the way viruses propagate and the system behaviour that is required to combat them;
Advanced government policy, designed for better outcomes in the community;
Crime prevention strategies, based on analysis of criminal behaviour/crime structures
Products and services, with specific behaviours in the marketplace
The theory can also be used to redesign systems already in use to alleviate problems in performance.
The ‘Entropy Computer’ is an application that is set to revolutionise the IT industry and accelerate new technology. This new computing platform will permit operations that are, at present, “unthinkable” on today’s conventional computers, allowing for the development of software that is capable of creativity, independent thinking, decision-making and intelligence.
Unlike binary coding, the new system will use a new programming language, based on natural coding of processes, that will form a new operating system. The computer will have the capability of modelling the behaviour of living systems such as viruses, bacteria, animal and plant ecosystems as well as non-living systems such as financial markets, the Internet and new products