Aerial view of ZZ2 Head Office

strategic management

the open system Philosophy

ZZ2 adheres to the open (living) system philosophy rather than a closed (mechanistic) system. The following comparison can be made:

  • open (living) system

  • Adaptable, changing

  • Growing, in process, irreversible

  • Aimed at the future

  • Seeks contact and interaction

  • Processes are managed horizontally and regulated through interaction

  • closed (mechanistic) system

  • Adapted, fixed

  • Process repetitive, reversible

  • Based in the past

  • Self-centred

  • Processes are managed vertically and controlled centrally

The open system philosophy has been applied in the strategic planning and management systems of ZZ2 through its Meta-strategy (ZZ2 term). We are conscious of our system’s four main drivers (according to Aristotle): Purpose, Design, Operations and Resources, as well as the intense regulating interactions required between these aspects. We understand the relationship between the subsystems and supra-systems and the role in the social, economic and ecological supra-systems in which we are subsystem players.

We use the best information technology and pay special attention to communication to keep our own subsystems in balance and harmony – "converters" such as production, packaging and marketing.

Strategic Management  Cycle

The key to efficiency is to create sensitivity amongst our subsystems. Sensitivity towards supra-systems outside is key to adaptability and survival. We use the Balanced Scorecard/Strategy Map concepts of Kaplan & Norton as a useful framework for strategic planning.

ZZ2’s aim, as an open system, is to create value for all our stakeholders. In the first place, naturally, through delivering quality agricultural produce to our customers – our primary supra-system.

But we also wish to provide value to other stakeholders (employees, surrounding communities, government, fellow farmers, market agents, suppliers and shareholders) in a sensitive and interactive way.

We wish to design and strategize our industry in such a way that we make ZZ2 as useful (value creating) and indispensable as possible for these greater human systems in which we operate, because that will create sustainable survival. Outside of human systems there lies the greater natural system of this living planet, and this is our chief stakeholder. All our interactions with people and nature are aimed at replacing antagonism with symbiosis. We believe that our deeply contemplated ethical code is also a rational recipe for sustainability in agriculture.
Watch this short video on ZZ2’s Open System approach:

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