Shift to seeing systems LO5564

Charles Parry (
12 Feb 96 19:58:37 EST

Shift to seeing systems LO5519

Charles Parry said:
>There seems to be quite a bit of information and discussion of "learning
about" systemic seeing, thinking and organizing LO's. I have an interest
in exploring the (from the inside-out) subjective experiences people have
as they are engaged in being part of any shift *toward* systemic seeing.
For example, in order to become an effective part of a LO, the mass of
people are often coming into new ways of perceiving and thinking over some
sort of bridge from having been (always) experiencing being a part of a
"non-learning" organization.

>Are there examples of transitional experiences that people have that we
can zoom in on a bit and sort for some patterns in the subjective,
personal experience of the doer?

So here's the list generated so far of available venues for people to make
a cognitive and experiential bridge to *seeing (whole) systems* from
seeing cause & effect, each with an attempt to capture something of the
inside-out experience of the bridge-making in progress - trying to capture
the processes by which it "makes sense":

--Participating in a (re: Barry Oshry) "Power and Leadership Laboratory"
Seeing group after group of people (randomly selected) come up with a set of
behaviors, complaints, breakdowns, etc. (when participating in a multi-day
community laboratory) which they initially experience as unique and
personality-driven. Then they get to see the set of data gathered from other
groups following the same lab situation. The light begins as an "Aha, maybe
it's not personality!" or a "Wait a minute - I recognize that problem - that's
exactly what the middle managers say at my company", or "Honestly, I don't
normally act that way".

--Having participated in a (re: MarvinWeisbord) Future Search conference
In the feedback on a FSC, some participants reported that what had changed for
them was that, before, they knew only their own local reality and the
perceptions that they had from there of why things were a mess "out there"...
and now, they could also see more of what was out there involved in the
"gridlock" and they had some sense of a few other's "local reality" (? also
from a local level - someone else's local) and so weren't so angry at "them"
any more. It was sobering, somewhat disheartening and overwhelming to see how
interconnected all the stakeholder groups were and how many different
stakeholder groups there were. However it was also surprising, inspiring and
hopeful to find that there was actually common ground that potentially could be
worked with to make things better, and that it seemed that some people in the
different camps were starting to see us as people/possible resources rather
than just as positions/obstacles to be overcome.

--Seeing a visualization of the threads of system interactions (including
feedback) in an animated manner (re: Doug Seeley).
The light usually goes on when they notice that one system interaction affects
another some " distance " away... (and) what we call " looking over the wall "
(at) how one sub-system is influencing a direct
neighbour, and getting (drawing a pictorial representation? of) the "
environment loops " of how the productivity, the marketplace and the demand
form a large loop.

I'm sure there are more!! It seems to me that change agents offering cool
tools (for example, System Dynamics modeling diagrams, software, etc)
without plenty of ways to communicate (provide /offer an experience of)
the ways of seeing which are based on could be a bit of an obstacle to a
wider adoption of the sensibilities of LOs!

I would like to know what is out there as existing venues for facilitating
this bridging. I am also very interested in some tales of the shift in
awareness told from the inside out - I aspire to drawing out some useful
generalizations that will aid in teaching systemic thinking out there
inthe "real world" of (mostly) C->E thinking.

Can you remember and describe your personal experience of making a bridge
from seeing cause & effect to *seeing systems* ?

Has the "Beer Game" been a venue for people shifting to *seeing systems* ?
If it was for you, please consider remembering and reconstructing your
subjective experience here.

Likewise for experiencing a facilitated model-building with SD tools on
your own firm's behavior (if this provoked a shift in yourself or

Thanks for your continuing inputs,

Charles Parry
Specialized Resources International
Boston University Sargent Camp
36 Sargent Camp Road
Hancock, New Hampshire  03449 USA
Fax: 603.525.4151   Tel:  603.525.4451

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