Definitions Of Systems (What's That For?) LO28164

From: John Dicus (
Date: 04/06/02

Dear LO List,

My wife and I were eating in a local restaurant last evening and a family
of four came in and sat at the table next to us. Two very beautiful
youngsters all excited with the prospect of coloring their menus. The
head of a deer was mounted on the wall above the fireplace. The little
boy, sitting in his dad's lap, looked up and said "Daddy, what's that
for?" I looked at the father and he grinned at me in amazement. "Tough
question, yes?," I said. The dad said "why didn't he ask me what it was?
No...he had to ask what it's for?"

You have to think deeper (systemically) to answer a question like that.

A little bit later, as my wife looked around the gift shop in the
restaurant, I strolled about outside. It's still cold in the Cleveland
area. No leaves on the trees. Some snow on the ground. I suddenly felt
something smack into the top of my head. I looked up and saw that I was
standing under a lone tree in which a lone bird sat waiting patiently for
spring. What are the odds?

To learn about systems:
 1) You need to ask what stuff is for,
 2) Understand they can't be predicted or controlled with any regularity,
 3) Immerse yourself in them and get their feel.

Take care,



John Dicus | CornerStone Consulting Associates - Leadership - Systems Thinking - Teamwork - Open Space - Electric Maze - 2761 Stiegler Road, Valley City, OH 44280 800-773-8017 | 330-725-2728 (2729 fax) |

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