Why the world isn’t a triangle (and what happens when we act like it is)


I started talking about systems thinking at work, and elicited interest. This is of course good, but I was asked to write something up on different management models. So I decided to do a cartoon instead. This is it, attached. Cheap recycled blog fodder.

This entry was posted in command and control, me doing it, public sector, systems thinking, systemz comix, vanguard method and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Why the world isn’t a triangle (and what happens when we act like it is)

  1. L’ha ribloggato su Carlo Favarettie ha commentato:
    Add your thoughts here… (optional)


  2. Charles Beauregard says:

    I have been pondering lately on the origins of ‘usual management’ (i.e. command and control).

    My thoughts have lead me to wonder if it comes from larger cultural norms that began way back when we moved to a gatherer-hunter society to an agricultural society.

    Before the invention of farming, humankind was part of the system – at one with nature and its ecosystems. This meant a minimal impact on the natural environment. Studies of gatherer-hunter societies have also shown increased leisure time, better gender equality and a more egalitarian society in general, less violence, more sharing of food and other resources, a community based approach to child care, better diet and fitness, and a higher value on individual autonomy.

    Then farming came along, and the concept of ownership came about. This led to the division of labour, and functional specialisation of jobs and roles in society. This then led to hierarchies, and the need to control people in the hierarchies with rules and subjugation (often of women). The way to enforce this control was inevitably through violence, and also through the invention of numbers and bureaucracy.

    People in these societies toiled in the field, and spent less time talking, laughing and having fun; so counter-intuitively agriculture doesn’t sound that efficient either. Diets became worse, which lead to diabetes and other diseases. And I haven’t even started to talk about the damage farming has done to other species and the environment.

    There are obvious parallels here – systems thinking organisation are closer to gatherer-hunter societies, while a command and control organisation is closer to an agricultural society.

    By moving away from command and control, we are moving to organisations that are more attuned to their (work) environment, and work with their systems rather than trying to control them. By thinking in systems we can take our working lives to a simpler, happier, yet more efficient place where we are valued as individuals and not controlled by a man-made hierarchy, much like our gatherer-hunter ancestors.


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