Why systems fail LO10156

Dale Emery (72704.1550@CompuServe.COM)
24 Sep 96 13:10:42 EDT

Replying to LO10038 --


Thank you for your summary of Adams's points. I'll quote just the major
steps here:

- Have clear goals.
- Have a model.
- Predict the future.
- Plan, decide and act.
- Be prepared to acknowledge that a solution is not working.

I think there's a very important step missing from Adams's model:
feedback. Feedback is *implied* by the last step, I think, but it's not
called out explicitly.

>From Adams's caveats and my own experience, I would rewrite the steps this way.

- Have clear goals, and always remember it's just a goal. You'll know
more later.
- Have a model, and always remember it's just a model. You'll know
more later.
- Predict the future, and always remember it's just a prediction.
You'll know more later. One thing you can predict perfectly is that you
can't predict perfectly.
- Plan, decide, act, and get feedback. Always remember that your plans
are just plans, your decisions are just decisions. After you've acted (or
while you're acting), pay attention to how the world responds. Get
feedback about where you are, and about your goals, models, predictions,
plans, decisions and actions.
- Be prepared to acknowledge that your actions took you somewhere
(slightly?) different from where you expected to be. That's okay. Your
solution was limited by what you knew at the time. Now you know more.
Adjust your goals, models, predictions, plans and decisions. Act, and pay
attention to what happens.

Building in feedback as part of the process can keep you from going too
far before you realize the non-linearities in the system have taken you
*far* from where you wanted to be. Act early and act small.



Dale H. Emery | 27 Tall Pine Road Consultant | Berwick, ME 03901 Relationship and Communication | (207) 698-1650 For Successful Organizations | 72704.1550@compuserve.com

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