The Proliferation of Junk LO26365

From: John Zavacki (
Date: 03/16/01

A few cycles ago, I said:
> > Organizational theories have no limits from where I stand,

And Gavin replied:
> That is absolutely true. But the proliferation of junk is
> what concerns
> me.

After more was said, Gavin commented:
> It would be a rather interesting day when philosophy came
> into business
> the exact opposite of systems thinking. Philosophy is a structural
> discipline whilst systems thinking is a processing concept.
> On their own
> they are both helpless like a youny child taking its first steps.

I suppose my mental models are rather the left field kind. I'd always
thought that philosophy was a part of everything we think, but rarely
written, save by those of us blessed with insanity. The people I have
converted to systems thinking who I have taught philosophy had both in
their everyday life all along. They tend to be either somewhat religious
or somewhat intellectual (I'm not sure if there's a real difference

I have worked with some business school folks who are trying to formalize
a theory of spirituality in the work place. This is best taught by example
through openess, honesty, and the resultant trust. The philosophy becomes
a second wave of learning, when theory and practice meld into an web of

This is making my brain hurt. I'll try to put it into more depth by
linking to one of my webs eventually, but for now, I do believe the
proliferation of junk is an excellent example of the student missing the
theory, but getting the practice.

I agree, Gavin, there is the ubiquitous publishing of junk. It is without
theoretical underpinning. This is why Deming, Senge, and others are
poorly understood. The junk makers see "tools" the world makers see tools
which teach the theory which teaches the tools.


So long, and thanks for all the fish.


"John Zavacki" <>

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