From: Jan Lelie (janlelie@wxs.nl)
Date: 11/24/03

Replying to LO30793 --

Hello Jorge, dear fellow system thinkers,

Interesting question, but shouldn't you pose it to politicians?

I can do some mind reading and apply some experience. My first guess
is that politicians are survivors and just ride the tide. They have a
large stake in maintaining the status quo, but are also able to shift
sides. They do not inititiate change, but use the movement generated
by change. They prefer to maintain systems like "accidental
adversaries" and "tragedy of the commons" because these systems have
their own stability. To use systems thinking would expose this system
and might lead to a transformation. I've seen this a few times.

Another guess is the use of dialogue, skilfull discussion. Politicians
are conventional people and like a debate ("politics is war with
different means") or polite discussion. They also have to "talk"
solutions to get votes. Nobody talks about christmas with the turkey.
So a politician wouldn't dare to talk to the people about their (the
people's) part in the problem. It is easier to create an opposition.

Thirdly - and this is more complex - politicians do have a double
agenda, because they want to be a leader ("a liberator") and have a
group that needs to be led. So they think they cannot afford to free a
group from their leadership. I think that to be a learning
organization, one has to learn people to learn for themselves.
Inevitiable, people will discover that they can master their own
leadership. Politicians seem to "know" this and prefer groups that do
not develop themselves. They're "stuck" in ineffective groups
behaviour. As Bion wrote: "All basic assumptions include the existence
of a leader, although ... the leader might be "non-exisent", i.e.
unborn." Or dead - i would like to add. It always strikes me that on
the level of Theory Espoused they preach change and improvement, but
on the level of Theory in Use they prefer control and stagnation.

You might have noticed that the majority of people in large
democracies are no longer interested in politics. Non voters are the
largest party. Is this a good sign?

Kind regards,

jan Lelie

Jorge Sepulveda-Haugen wrote:

>I am Systems Thinking Professor at Universidad de Valparaiso, Chile,
>and I worke very close to politicians.
>I would like to have different opinion about the current political
>process (not democrats or republicans, system as a whole) and to try
>to undertand why is it so dificult to implement systems thinking (L.O)
>at the political level (Congress, Senate, Federal and State Powers,
>etc), to have a diagnosis, how to change the system, and benefits of
>implementing a real Learning Government...Thanks
>Ing. Jorge Felipe Sepúlveda-Haugen
>Académico Universidad de Valparaíso


Drs J.C. Lelie (Jan, MSc MBA) facilitator mind@work

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