re: Studying the details
Tue, 13 Dec 94 10:16:35 EST

> Dr. Robert S. Polster
> But if that is the case, I am not sure that
>focusing on the details is going to lead to high level systems understanding.
>On the other hand, I suppose that if starting out looking at the big picture
>does not work, it might be worthwhile to look at some facet of the system in
>detail for new insights.

The concept may be twofold.

First, people (particularly managers) are often certain they know how things
work and what is going on, regardless of reality. There is a tendancy to ignore
or rationalize individual facts that do not fit. In addition they are
accustomed to 'fight fires' in a reactive manner, dealing with individual
'problems' rather than taking a systems perspective. When they are focused
upon a myriad of details and so cannot attempt to force fit them to their
preconceived 'big picture', they are more likely to discover the reality.

Secondly, large systems or concepts are often a gestalt phenomena where a
certain critical mass of facts or facets is needed for understanding. When the
pattern crystallizes (the 'aha!' phenomena ) the person is capable of
recognizing the 'big picture' and acting upon it as a whole.

There are two kinds of a fool:
One says 'This is old and therefor good'
The other says 'This is new and therefor better'
Paul C. George Email:
Sr. Methods Specialist Phone: (216)585-8675
Elsag Bailey Process Automation,
Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Disclaimer: I am neither a ventriloquist nor a dummy