The origin of the OSTO System Model

The System Model or “Organizational Performance Model” is an abbreviation for the Open, Socio-Technical and Economic (“Oekonomisch” in German) aspects of a system or organisation. The Model was developed and tested by David P. Hanna in 1970 and published in 1988. This was the first time the topic of complexity in entrepreneurial activity had been addressed; the intent was to understand the internal and external complexity of organisations and economies. In this, David P. Hanna was particularly interested in filling the gap that had existed until that point between theory and practice.

Later, the Model was further developed by Heijo Rieckmann, a former Professor of Organisational, Personnel and Management Development at the University of Klagenfurt. Rieckmann also transferred the theory of David P. Hanna into a practical learning laboratory – the predecessor of today’s SYMA®s, to which umlaut possesses exclusive rights. After gaining experience in numerous seminars with umlaut colleagues Renate and Klaus Henning, Heijo Rieckmann added the "Mission" and "Ultimate Anchor" to the OSTO System Model at the end of the eighties and published his collected findings in 1997. You can find more information on this publication here. In his role as a professor at at RWTH Aachen, Klaus Henning supported the scientific validation of the design elements of the Model (Siegfried Marks, 1991).