Chapter Twenty-One: Homeostasis – Achieving Equilibrium with Cybernetics

ConPriDigm AvatarQuality IS…a sustainable state of feedback mechanisms.

Why does an organization gain the ability to maintain a constant internal state of equilibrium – in spite of external conditions?



Conceptual Pattern for Homeostasis

Homeostasis is a stable situation in which forces cancel one another and reach equilibrium resulting in the presence of feedback mechanisms which can adjust the state of the system to compensate for changes caused by the external environment. It is an influential response to an inquiry resulting in a stable state.  Homeostasis is an effective, valid or applicable change that produces a powerful effect. It results in an equal distribution in which opposing forces or factors balance each other out.  Part of the output of a machine, system or circuit is returned to the input in order to regulate its further output. (Pattern Engine – Homeostasis N=12 © 2014)

If the meaning of homeostasis is understood then the meaning of Quality will follow.

First Principle: The purpose of cybernetics is to achieve a stable, sustainable, state through the coordinated response of its systems, processes and activities to feedback mechanisms to maintain dynamic self-regulating equilibrium.

Second Principle: Cybernetics studies the flow of information round a system, and the way in which this information is used by the system as a means of controlling itself.1

Third Principle: Cybernetics incorporates the following three key ideas: systemic dynamicity; homeostasis around a value; and recursive feedback. 2

Fourth Principle:  Cybernetic systems must have the capacity to sense, monitor, and scan significant aspects of their environment and be able to relate this information to the operating norms that guide system behavior. 3

Fifth Principle: Cybernetic systems must be able to detect significant deviations from operating norms. 3

Sixth Principle: Cybernetic systems must be able to initiate corrective action when discrepancies are detected. 3

Key Conceptual Patterns 


Dynamicity is a driving or energizing force, characterized by action while providing an efficient incentive. It is an influential goal seeking activity that incites. Dynamicity is a positive motivational influence that is effective, valid or applicable and produces a powerful effect of change. Dynamicity results in action as a means of increasing output caused by some previous phenomenon that brings about an outcome. (Pattern Engine – Dynamicity N=12 © 2014)


Recursion is the use of repeated steps, each based on the result of the one before generated by a particular operation which defines a function or calculates a number by the repeated application of an algorithm.  It is a procedure maneuvering a series of functions. Recursion details a sequence of rules or sets of rules performed to solve a problem while controlling or managing the way a process works. Recursion is a part of a stage in a progression of a series of actions to achieve a particular goal. (Pattern Engine – Recursion N=12 © 2014)

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1 Stafford Beer, 2000,, 2000,

3  Gareth Morgan, Images of Organization, 1986.

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