When organisations shape their networking, whether and how backcoupling between the networked sub-systems is created, plays an important role. backcoupling is the ‘characteristic’ of self-regulating systems par excellence. To put it less cybernetically: what messages and information should a department, for example, react to and where should they purposefully take care about how their own information and messages are understood somewhere else?
How well a system ‘runs’, depends upon whether there is backcoupling in the necessary places (“Still there is no announcement if the train is going to come now or not!”) and whether these backcoupling loops work (“Now they have said something through the loudspeaker but I did not understand a word! I think I will go home.” The train arrives two minutes later …). If organisations run in such a way that the organisation does not know what it knows, then feedback is missing. Which parts of the organisation are systematically provided with information about their own effects by other parts, i.e. where backcoupling loops are connected, is of immense importance for their self-regulation. The design of these backcoupling loops is a central role for leaders, which is often neglected. Frequently, instead of thinking and acting on backcoupling, it operates in linear processes and causalities (instructions, processing steps, plans).