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Autopoiesis is one of the core concepts of system theory. In principle it means something simple: ‘Something, emerging from itself, ensures its survival. We know that we don’t have to tell a geranium, a dog or a little child that it must grow and how it must grow. It does this with the help of occurrences (=cells or thoughts), which it ‘consists’ of. This applies to all processes, here called ‘systems’: organisms, psyches, groups, organisations, social function systems etc. For this to succeed, systems utilise their environment (water, nourishment, light, warmth, other people or living systems, communication, language etc.). The processing and the incorporation, however, organises itself exclusively by internal system processes. This train of thought is so relevant, because it makes it comprehensible that you cannot alter a system from the outside. You cannot help the grass to grow by pulling on it. Even though this idea is illuminating, nevertheless you can constantly observe, in the context of attempts to change (consultancy, management etc), that this is attempted anyway. For example, the coach tries to bring the client from A to B, or the management tries to motivate the employee.

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