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Humberto Maturana: 16 Surprise
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Biosphere, Homosphere, and Robosphere: what has that to do with Business?
Humberto Maturana Romesin and Pille Bunnell

You will notice that there is always a whole domain that is intrinsically outside our niche, outside our existence, but elements from it may suddenly appear in our existence, because the medium has a dynamics of its own. For example the homosphere is embedded in the biosphere. When something happens in the dynamics of the biosphere that we do not know, do not see, something new may appear in our niche. Suddenly we find ourselves facing a situation which is completely unexpected, and our niche expands. Similarly we also have an internal dynamic which is invisible to us, and sometimes suddenly in our reflections an idea, a notion, or an emotion appears... which surprises us.

There are always circumstances which arise in the independent dynamics of our intrinsically invisible medium, and this we cannot control. Last March I made a presentation at the American Society for Cybernetics about something that Peter Senge also mentions in his book "The Fifth Discipline", something that all you know from your personal experience: namely plans never work. I mean they work for a little, but then they begin to fail because there is this tremendous dynamic of things which go on in the environment, and then suddenly appear in the niche. Something unexpected is always something that could not have been imagined because one can only reflect and make plans in the niche. Inevitably something unexpected does arise, and we can treat it as a failure that deserves punishment, or as an opportunity for expansion of our niche. The only possibility for remaining in adaptation, is to be open, to see failure as an opportunity for expansion of reflection, both personally and for the community, or the company. In order to treat it as an opportunity the company would have to be open to accept these things as legitimate and to talk about them.

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