Nowhere! It’s still there.
Ever been in a plane when the plane is ascending, going through the clouds then bursts out above them into sunshine? I’m always surprised that it’s sunny above the clouds. Being under them it’s like the sun isn’t there, gone away. But turns out it never goes anywhere. It’s always sunny above the clouds.
So what’s this got to do with systems thinking then?
A few weeks ago I went to a session with a load of intelligent articulate smart quick-witted and thoughtful people, I thought to myself “God, these are good. Makes a change. Wish I worked with these people” Then I looked again…I DO WORK WITH THESE PEOPLE!
Not all the time, but in the same organisation. So, how come I hadn’t noticed before? What could possibly have obscured this obvious talent? THE SYSTEM! Who knew?!
Well I should have, for a start.
I type about it here, read books about it there and bang on about it everywhere. Doesn’t matter, I still have a human brain and despite all the theory, you’ve still got to work it.
So how was their talent hidden by something as, quite frankly, theoretical as “the system”? Just like clouds are in the way of the sun……things are put in the way that stop people doing what they’re good at.
People are natural problem solvers…
…so make problems into something that only complicated Japanesey sounding tools can solve.
People are natural communicators…
…so stop them by calling it engagement, cascading or publicising and nobody will ever speak normally again.
People want to do a good job…
…so give them something pointless to do or tell them to do a good thing in a silly way
People like to work with other people…
…so ensure there is some team-building, that normally puts a stop to that.
None of it is intentional! All those things are put there to help, not hinder. But they hinder, not help. It’s not complicated, just stop doing the things that get in the way of people doing a good job and you’re more than half way there.
It doesn’t take much to stop people shining, just as when it’s cloudy, no matter how weak and pathetic the cloud is, and it is only water vapour, it obscures the vast nuclear fusion reactor in the sky.
How do you keep the sun shining?
Remove the clouds, the sun will do the rest.
How do you get a person to do a good job?
Give them a good job to do, they’ll do the rest.