Life in Organizations LO9933

Rol Fessenden (76234.3636@CompuServe.COM)
12 Sep 96 22:53:14 EDT

Replying to LO9898 --

Julie asks,

As I listen to what Rol has to say about system design and this expereince
I wonder if there are some rigours we could build into system design work
which would help us be open to more rapid change processes as we move

The point I was making was that much is not knowable about the future.
Should the railroad companies have made plans about rail lines based on
the knowledge that people might fly some day? Should the rotary dial on
the telephone have been redesigned because of the possibility of digital
telephones some day in the future? After all, we knew about the
transistor, so it is not a big leap to guess that we might have digital...

Furthermore, we learn from the systems we build. We have learned for
example, that wireless may actually be a better approach to communication
than wired. We still have not figured out all the details from a
pragmatic perspective, but we now understand something that we probably
could not have known until we tried this approach for awhile.

Even the process approach which has been known in manufacturing circles
for a long time, is still today not widely understood in service
industries. This is a relatively new learning. The systems perspective,
TQM, and so forth, are relatively recent inventions that sprang from the
strengths and weaknesses of prior concepts. This growth of newer, more
sophisticated theories from the older ones is a well-recognized process of
growth and learning in science.

it is because we learn, and as a consequence new knowledge 'springs into
being' that systems become outdated.


Rol Fessenden LL Bean, Inc.

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