The transducer carries a message across a Boundary, between a system and its environment, between departments, between management levels or among participants in a network.

In each case, messages are conceived in the special language of the system or subsystem and must be transduced to another which has its own special language.

The **variety of the transducer must be least equivalent to the variety of the channel**. A good transducer should **neither amplify nor attenuate variety**. A mechanical device or a human being may serve as a transducer.

In an organizational setting, the **individuals who operate at the boundaries** of the organization must be aware of the languages and distinctions which prevail on both sides of the boundary to be an effective transducer. Differences in language include those of marketing and R&D or 'the board' and the division as well as the obvious differences associated with nationality and culture.

# SOURCE The word comes horn the Latin to lead across.

# EXAMPLES • a sales representative who knows his or her territory • a manager who listens carefully to subordinates' reports and conveys their essence in turn • the computer's operating system • a company brochure • a training package

# NON-EXAMPLES • an interpreter who translates the words but not the nuances of a speaker • a partisan news story of an international dispute • a report presented to a board in technical jargon • a financial report presented to non-financial staff

# PROBABLE ERROR • Not noticing the extent to which variety is increased or cut down when it is transduced. • Not designing transducers to be 'variety efficient' so that they just happen to destroy variety. • Not realizing the extent to which different systems speak different languages