What is Systems Thinking? LO6171

Rol Fessenden (76234.3636@compuserve.com)
22 Mar 96 10:31:47 EST

Replying to LO6139 --

John Godfrey asks what is systems thinking, and offers, "Systems Thinking
is the search for consistent dynamic patterns in complex adaptive systems
in order to predict behaviour."

His next question is "If an organisation could demonstrate reasonably
consistent competence in and practice of systems thinking, then is it a
"learning organisation"?"

My answer would be no it is not necessarily a LO. If I understand Senge
correctly, a LO learns at a meta-level, not just the way individuals
learn. In other words, individuals working together learn more, and more
powerfully by always using the 5 disciplines to direct their way of
interacting and their way of thinking.

To answer John's question, I can envision an organization in which there
is the normal corporate jealousies, in-fighting, and functional
compartmentalization. At the same time individuals could demonstrate
competence in and practice of systems thinking, and this work could result
in other people having a greater understanding of how the company
functioned. However, they would be learning as individuals, not as a
corporation, they would be only scratching the surface in their
understanding of their systems because not all participants were involved
and participating and using the 5 disciplines, and they would not be a LO.

What do others think?


Rol Fessenden LL Bean 76234.3636@compuserve.com

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>