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The Law of Requisite Variety Monday, 3 October 2011


Now here is a law you probably were not taught at school, neither physics,nor chemistry! The law of requisite variety. It is a simple law both in meaning and execution and is this:
 The person with the most flexibility of behaviour will control the environment. Sounds straight forward! Doesn't it?

Behaviour appropriate for a specific purpose (Requisite) and simultaneous flexibility (Variety).The ability to change ones behaviour dependant upon what is happening, indeed what you create through your behaviour. You must be able to adapt if the system or the environment is running away from you and if you cannot, and others are able to, then they will control that environment. In business, losing the control of the system or environment, whether that is as a manager, a leader, a negotiator, an appraiser, a coach or simply planning the future will mean that somebody else has that control.

If somebody else has that control then you are on the back foot. There is a lot you can do from there though, learn new approaches (perhaps even the unexpected) then you can begin to regain the control.

When you hear part of you saying "I can't do that" question it and demand the answer to the following, "why can't I do that? " and when the "because" comes, as it inevitably will, question again "So why can't I do that?"

There are few things in life we simply cannot do, other that the things we choose not to and it is usual to think this way so learn to think from a different perspective and respond in a way that you haven't yet. The law of requisite variety holds true- make it work for you!