How to spoil someone for work (for ever more)



There were 7 reasons why you shouldn’t touch systems thinking, and here’s an 8th…

8: You might get a sniff of systemsy heaven, but then end up working in command and control hell.

Systems thinking makes no promises about being the route to a vast fortune and an enviable A-list lifestyle. However it does offer an explanation of the Alice in Wonderland unreality of a normal ordinary command and control organisation. And a method to make it better too.

However, if you’re not in charge, it doesn’t matter if you’ve gone a bit systemsy, you’ve now just got yourself a burden to carry if you end up working somewhere normal, ordinary and as rubbish as any command and control organisation.

This is the story in their own words of a ThinkPurpose reader who is in two minds about whether they should have taken the red pill…









This entry was posted in systems thinking, systemz comix, targets and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to How to spoil someone for work (for ever more)

  1. posiwid4me says:

    Sad but so often true


  2. Frank Wood says:

    1. Never ever mention the phrase “systems thinking” or similar ones if you want to survive.

    2. Be aware of the principle “the purpose of the system is what it does” (saved my sanity when I understood why a certain system was trying to eliminate me).

    3. Understand Ashby’s Law of Requisite Variety – what controls/regulates a system needs to be as complex as the system it’s controls. Or as Ashby succinctly put it “Only variety destroys variety”.

    4. Never tell anyone what you’re really doing. Go in under false pretences, get the job done and get out leaving everyone blissfully ignorant as to what your real purpose was as this story illustrates:

    Once upon a time there was a man who strayed, from his own country, into the world known as the Land of the Fools.

    He soon saw a number of people flying in terror from a field where they had been trying to reap wheat. “There is a monster in that field,” they told him. He looked, and saw that it was a watermelon. He offered to kill the ‘monster’ for them. When he had cut the melon from its stalk, he took a slice and began to eat it. The people became even more terrified of him than they had of the watermelon. They drove him away with pitchforks, crying: “He will kill us next, unless we get rid of him.” It so happened that at another time another man also strayed in to the Land of the Fools, and the very same thing started to happen to him. But, instead of offering to help them with the ‘monster,’ he agreed with them that it must be dangerous, and by tiptoeing away from it with them, gained their confidence.

    He spent a long time with them in their houses until he could teach them, little by little, the basic facts which would enable them not only to lose their fear of watermelons, but even to cultivate them themselves.

    Always remember you work in the “Land of the Fools”.


  3. giantknave says:

    Nice! I just love your line “[he says what he thinks and]…I’m not getting the job am I”

    I’ve had a post half-written for ages that is an attempted riposte to your ‘7 reasons why you shouldn’t touch systems thinking’. I’ll try and finish it sometime soon 🙂


  4. Bob Ainsworth says:

    Hey, that’s me 🙂 Thanks. That’s made my day, more so than where I currently am.


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