Re: Incentives LO1184
Sat, 13 May 1995 03:14:36 -0400

Replying to LO1100 --

Hi Ketan:

I had some questions and thoughts I wanted to share with you about your words
in LO1100. My comments are preceeded by a <:

More and more I believe that what is lacking in systems thinking is the whole
human aspect of MORALS and ETHICS -

< Have you not been able to factor in Morals and Ethics into a
<systems approach, such as that described in the 5th discipline, to
<build understanding of a particular issue? If not, do you think it was
<the method or the peoples thinking that was actinig as a barrier to

thus far I have seen less than satisfactory answers to these questions from
systems thinkers.

<What questions?.

Thus your question is ultimately rooted not in the system but in the
morality of individuals -

<I've recently been exposed to the "beer game". Have you ever
<played it? It's a game used to teach some basic systems
<principles. One of the primary lessons it teaches is that the
<system influences behavior. Thousands of people have played this
<game and the results are pretty much the same. How many times
<have we (the <public) replaced congressional members with new
<members who want to change the system for the good only to find
<the same type of shady behavior several years down the road?, The
<system influences behavior. I don't think the systemic structure can
<be ignored.

which leads me to consider that systems thinking is largely a descriptive
science and does little to acknowledge to INDIVIDUAL in tandem with the

<I've come to a different conclusion regarding my understanding of
<systems thinking. Indeed, I've found systems thinking, as taught in
<the 5th Discipline, to be an effective way to factor in the individual.
<Some of the primary questions one must ask oneself as the
<systemic structure for a particular issue is pieced together, say via
<causal loops and archetypes, area a follows: "What is my role in
<this issue?". "How are my mental models influencing my decisions
<and actions?" There is no blame, therefore, I must acknowledge
<my part in the system. I'm also learning that the application of
<systems thinking via causal loop diagrams is truly a useful way to
<include all voices in examining some problems.

So the measure of what is the RIGHT pay is not a systems one but an ethical
and moral one.
Whaddya say?

< I think long term solutions to the problems related to incentive pay can
only be arrived at by using a systemic approach. Quick fixes applied to
these problems will only make things worse in the long run as they will
probably set into motion strong negative reinforcing actions that will
eventually, after some delay, overcome the short term fixes. AndI agree
with you that morals and ethics are important factors that need to be
factored into the structure.

It's late and I'm tired. Does any of this make sense to you?

Steve Presley