Organizing Learning LO7546

Christian Giroux (lmccgir@LMC.Ericsson.SE)
Wed, 22 May 1996 12:11:15 -0400

Replying to LO7488 --

Recently. John Paul asked the question:

>Have others seen archetypes or other Uses of systems thinking where
>the viewpoint made answers evident that wouldn't seem likely from
>general observation

If answered:

> The whole point of archetypes, as I thought I understood them, was to do
> just that and provide a short-hand for cutting through some of the
> complexity of general observation. It may be my weakness at synthesising
> general information [I hope not] but I have found each archetype helpful
> as a language for describing a general situation [once I had encountered a
> situation where I saw the archetype that is]. Have I misunderstoofd the
> question?

Archetypes, as a common language (if you have a critical mass of people
exposed to and able to manipulate archetypes), are very helpful to
understand others' point of view on a situation. Very often people would
verbally try an explanation, but I might miss some of the connections that
enable me to more clearly understand what they mean. Maybe it's because
I'm very visual person, but the graphic representation through archetypes
helps me to understand a situation from a different point of view.

Moreover, I found archetypes particularly useful when trying to look at a
situation through different lenses, a different archetype (that's where I
add something to If's comment - most of the time, several archetypes can
be used to look at a situation, hence we should avoid to say something
like "...the situation where I saw the archetype that IS."). Doing this,
one can get new insights on a situation. The same insights could occur to
others through different means, very often through their own set of mental
models...And different actions can be quicker agreed to by several people
as the leverage in different archetypes comes from different sources.



Christian Giroux System Support Manager, Technical Assistance Center Ericsson Research Inc. Montreal

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