Limitations of Systems Thinking LO25906

Date: 01/16/01

Replying to LO25887

Malcolm writes:

>... But the tenor of their remarks does seem to me to deprecate the
>efforts of front-line practitioners like myself, whose organizations and
>personal professional possibilities make total immersion in formal
>programs out-of-reach, and who rely on the LO approaches begun by "The
>Fifth Discipline" to improve our workplaces.
> From the vantage of my own learning and practice, the simple tools we
>have learned make a difference. Am I just deluding myself? If we can't
>have Systems Dynamics in its fullness, should we just fold our tents?

If we accept that 'systems thinking' is mere first-aid (with my inference
that 'systems dynamics' then is brain surgery) my question is this: how
many brain surgeons do we need? How many people proficient in first aid
do we need?

Frankly, I would like nearly everyone to understand something about first
aid. That way when I need it (and at some point I likely will) there will
be lots of folks who can help, readily available, and for no fee. On the
other hand, when I need brain surgery (which I probably won't) I will
gladly pay a premium price but I expect supremely qualified people.

In my mind it's a matter of matching the skills or competencies or
whatever to the scale of the problem. And, with some fear of possibly
offending the brain surgeons in the audience, I detect a certain arrogance
in the attitude that if you don't know brain surgery, then you really
don't know anything useful.

Michael A

 - Michael Ayers

Mailto: Voice (651) 733-5690) FAX (651) 737-7718
IT Prof.Dev. 3M Center 224-2NE-02 PO Box 33224 St. Paul MN 55133-3224
Sometimes the right question is, 'Are we asking the right question?'
Ideas contained in this note represent the author's opinions and
do not intentionally represent the positions of anyone else in this galaxy.


Learning-org -- Hosted by Rick Karash <> Public Dialog on Learning Organizations -- <>

"Learning-org" and the format of our message identifiers (LO1234, etc.) are trademarks of Richard Karash.