Why I care about systems thinking

If I worked in a real job I mightn’t care, as I’d have the job to care about so I might never have got interested.
But I don’t, so I did.

My job is promoting and implementing an incorrect theory. Something that is as wrong as saying the sun goes round the earth, and more easily testable. Just plain wrong in a provable way, just through finding out if reality follows through on the theory.

I ‘care‘ about systems thinking because it is correct.
Correct in the sense that it is a good and useful model. Correct in the sense that reality and it tie up nicely together, tightly so. When I read that customer’s sent bouquets of flowers to a team that went systemsy, and then right in front of my nose I see the same customer joy happening to a team here that went systemsy, I knew I could feel happy with thinking it correct.

As correct as targets, policies and management meetings are incorrect like astrology and homeopathy are incorrect. They have scarce and poor quality evidence to support them and rely on a flawed theory that is easily exposed through testing against reality.

My job is working in the management equivalent of homeopathic astrology, so every day I am faced with people talking bollocks. Clear obvious WRONG nonsense. When people are wrong it riles me. I can’t let it lie. Not the people, but how the theory is spoiling things. It’s like seeing some toilet paper stuck to someones shoe when they come back from the toilet. Is it nicer to let them clump round with it? Would they thank me for keeping schtumn?

Epistemological concerns about the concepts of right and wrong put to one side for a moment.  ‘Right‘ is my shorthand for the most useful model I have for understanding and doing work, I care about systems thinking because it’s right.


This entry was posted in command and control, systems thinking, thinking and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Why I care about systems thinking

  1. dancarins says:

    Like Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden.


  2. I feel the same, though I do have a job I care about. This is mostly because I try to apply this stuff to our clients, which I’ve had varying degrees of success with over the last couple of years. Usually it works when you don’t talk about it and pretend you’re doing something else more day-to-day.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s