Re: Incentives LO1116

Richard Karash (
Mon, 8 May 1995 23:00:31 -0400 (EDT)

Replying to LO1100 --

I believe that Systems Thinking must be practiced in concert with other
disciplines to be effective; that Systems Thinking practiced without a
framework of vision and values is inherrently flawed.

In our work, we do try to place the individual in a system, and we always
try to connect the Systems Thinking work with the vision and values of the
people involved.

As to Systems thinking being a "descriptive science," I believe we can
distinguish descriptive models (such as Kepler's "laws" which describe
planetary motion) from structural models which contain a reasonably
sufficient explanation of how and why (e.g. Newton "proved" Keplers laws,
needing only the assumption that gravity follows an inverse square law).

Most Systems Thinking models try to be a structural explanation, not just
a description of the trends and patterns observed.

It would be possible to practice Systems Thinking without morals and
ethics, but I see that as bad practice.

Richard Karash ("Rick") | <>
Innovation Associates, Inc. | email:
3 Speen St, Framingham MA 01701 | Host for Learning-Org Mailing List
(508) 879-8301 and fax 626-2205 | <>

On Mon, 8 May 1995, Ketan Lakhani wrote:

> More and more I believe that what is lacking in systems thinking is the
> whole human aspect of MORALS and ETHICS - thus far I have seen less than
> satisfactory answers to these questions from systems thinkers.
> Thus your question is ultimately rooted not in the system but in the
> morality of individuals - which leads me to consider that systems thinking
> is largely a descriptive science and does little to acknowledge to
> INDIVIDUAL in tandem with the system.