Shift to seeing systems LO5519

Doug Seeley (
11 Feb 96 16:04:23 EST

Responding to Charles Parry in LO5406,

Charles I think you have focused in on a very important question...

You said...

> I'm sure there are more! I would like to know what else is out there, and
>can anyone remember and describe their experience of making a bridge to
>*seeing systems* from seeing cause & effect?

In our approach to Whole Systems Understanding in our discrete simulation
platform, a good number of our clients make such a transition from simple
cause & effect to systems thinking, by seeing a visualization of the
threads of system interactions (including feedback) in an animated manner.
The light usually goes on when they notice that one system interaction
affects another some " distance " away. Other steps include what we call
" looking over the wall " how one sub-system is influencing a direct
neighbour, and getting the " environment loops " of how the productivity,
the marketplace and the demand form a large loop.

At this point we talk about a " big picture " where various opportunities
to collaborate with suppliers and clients on the outside, and reducing the
damaging effects of " sub-optimization ".

Are these some of the sort of things, which you are looking for?

There seems to be a readiness for systems thinking amongst some
individuals who have not been exposed yet to tools for articulating what
they are beginning to understand about their own organization, and what
the organizational culture often prevents from participation and
description. There are others whose attachment to the culture is tighter,
who then resist seeing systems.

I wonder what whether the psychologies or corporate positions of people
makes the difference in these two levels of readiness?

Doug Seeley
			Is it emergence all the way down?

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