Systems stories LO25907

From: Jan Lelie (
Date: 01/16/01

Replying to LO25880 --

Hello Anupam and everybody looking for a change,

The other day i was reading about the history of The Netherlands. Besides
that the name was not intended to mean "low countries" - as i also had
learned - but "near countries", because they were near a capital of the
Burgundy Empire, Brussels, I learned that the reason the Dutch had to
build dikes around their country was because they made canals, thereby
lowering the waterlevel and involuntarily lowering the land. The earth
from the canals was fertile and was spread out over the land between the
canals, but this speeded up the proces of "inklinking", or lowering the
soil. A tragedy of the commons.

And have you ever been in one of those regular traffic jams? Also a
tragedy of the commons. And did you use a MicroSoft application? Success
to the successful. Or do you have loyal customers because you provide
service? Watch out for shifting the burden. The troubles in any country
(Ireland, Palestine, Columbia, Nigeria, whatever): tragedy of the commons,
short term solutions vs long term results, shifting the blame. The
e-commerce growth and subsequent disaster: very nice example of limit of

Every "stable" situation is a systems story, but we most of the times
don't tell it that way. Look for the iterations, the long feedback loops.

ChangeResearch wrote:

> Do you or does anyone on the learning-org list know of short stories or
> even poems and limericks and examples illustrating systems principles at
> work? Any collections of such stories? Any web references? Any concise
> cartoons, pictures driving home the difference between normal and systems
> thinking?

the difference is only a matter of closing the loop.

Kind regards,

Jan Lelie

With kind regards - met vriendelijke groeten,

Jan Lelie

Drs J.C. Lelie CPIM (Jan) LOGISENS - Sparring Partner in Logistical Development mind@work est. 1998 - Group Resolution Process Support Tel.: (+ 31) (0)70 3243475 or car: (+ 31)(0)65 4685114 and/or taoSystems: + 31 (0)30 6377973 -

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.