What is Systems Thinking? LO6235

Virginia I. Shafer (vshafer@AZStarNet.com)
Mon, 25 Mar 1996 22:33:23 -0700 (MST)

Replying to LO6182 --

Charles Parry writes:

>This brings me back to my earlier queries about what sorts of reference
>experiences (visual, auditory, kinesthetic) people are relying on /using
>as templates for doing systemic "thinking".

>For example, had you "grasped" the understanding of any of the "official"
>system archetypes (such as the Tragedy of the Commons pattern, for
>example) in your life experience prior to it being named and put into
>diagrams? Take a minute and see if you can discover something... when you
>think of that TOC System Archetype, HOW do you actually represent it
>("think" about it) in your own mind? Is it a series of pictures, a movie
>about a town and cows, a diagram, a bunch of words, the feeling of having
>something precious gradually disappear mysteriously - or in spite of your
>efforts to reverse it - followed by a flash of understanding, stories from
>"Limits to Growth", or what...??

I find when I comprehend an archetype, I re-live past experiences that
apply and interpret the memory using the new understanding. The amount of
information available to me doesn't change, but I derive more meaning from
what I observed. For me, I it's like replaying a video. I see the
scenes, I re-hear the dialog, I understand why people behaved the way they
did. Then I look for the turning point and I recreate the scene with new
dialog, new information sometimes. Then I "suppose" a different outcome
to occur. Collectively, this becomes a new memory I apply to any similar
circumstance I may find myself in. But to answer your question, it's a
series of pictures modified by imagination and clarified by the new

Ginger Shafer
The Leadership Dimension
"Bringing Leadership to Life"


vshafer@AZStarNet.com (Virginia I. Shafer)

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