Counter-Intuitive Rules of Learning Org LO28793

From: chris macrae (
Date: 07/07/02

Subject: what are the simplest system rules of learning organisation which
numbers men might find most counter-intuitive?

At the transparency standards community and web, we are
collating and continuously co-editing together examples of where system
principles would warn that numbers men might get things precisely wrong

If anyone has any examples, we'd love to feature them and of course
reference them to their origins

We're trying to write system laws up in ways that dramatise things for
people who may have over-believed in monetisation and in some cases may
not have a first clue about what system's theory/dynamics might indicate

For example, whilst this may jar as a bit of an over-simplification, is
this broadly true or how would you edit it to make the point without
over-stating what the systems expert would wish to be represented:

one reason why most M&A's fail is that system's law states when you merge
2 systems you will get the lowest common denominator productivities of the
2 systems unless you work very hard indeed; whereas those addicted to MBA
business case theory usually assume a magic wand will be waved and the
merger will stretch to some projected new performance heights.

Incidentally, my family has recently had quite a dramatic experience of a
somewhat similar law. My brother-in-law is a General Practitioner (ie
family doctor) in the UK. Our government and National Health Service in
its infinite auditing wisdom in April brought out an order that the more
efficient general practices had to take over one inefficient one. Since
this happened to my brother-in-law he's had to work 20 hours a day because
he's inherited 3000 patients who are on medicines he'd never prescribe,
several hundred dangerously so. Naturally in most pure business contexts
any good manager put in such a position would just move on rather than get
all the punishments and no rewards for such a system-careless
organisational merger...

chris macrae


"chris macrae" <>

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