I’m a big fan of the Think Purpose blog. It gives me a good hearty laugh, and long may it continue.
Some time ago the author promoted the blog’s most viewed post to a ‘page of its own’ status under the heading ‘It’s not all cream cakes and beer in systems thinking’. Go on, have a read.
I enjoy this post immensely (it has so many truths within) and, as such, I have it on my wall in an attempt to keep me sane.
I was pondering it the other day as yet more madness happened around me and something struck me: I wanted to add something of an optimistic/ positive nature to the list (‘item no. 8’ if you will)….and here it is:
Once you begin to understand the basics of systems thinking and intervention theory then much of what you observe around you becomes ‘the gift that keeps on giving’.
There isn’t a day that goes by in which I don’t read an email or intranet communication or become involved in (or overhear) a conversation in which I start to chuckle (even ending up crying with laughter) at what is happening before and around me.
So, yep, I’d add to the list that systems thinking is the gift that keeps on giving. Just think – all that comedy was occurring around you beforehand…and you never knew! How could you?
…and to follow up this positivity, ‘item no. 9’ is that ‘systems thinking’ conversations are hugely stimulating.
Since starting my journey, and in particular from when I began to write this blog, I have never had such fabulous, important, liberating, energising, therapeutic, cathartic etc. etc. conversations with some truly inspirational, humble, genuine, passionate and well-meaning people, searching for a ‘better way’ for them, for society and for our planet.
Sure, much of the command and control cr@p still remains around them but it’s a great feeling to be able to talk to a fellow human and ‘you know that they know’ and ‘they know that you know’! It’s a bit like having a magical secret.
Obviously it gets better the more of you there are1…but even just two of you can hugely enjoy a daily exchange about another “you couldn’t write this stuff” instance of ‘item 8’ comedy (see above).
Conversations beforehand were just so bland, boring and irrelevant to the world.
Ho hum, roll on tomorrow’s fun 🙂
1. I see these stimulating conversations as the pioneers of a ‘new way’ connecting and nourishing themselves along the lines of the Berkana Institute system change model. (Thanks to Charles Beauregard for sharing this video in the comments section of a much earlier Think Purpose post.)
3 thoughts on “The gift that keeps on giving”
Your post has made me smile, particularly because it’s true. I have a special ‘systems thinking’ friend, funnily enough I have just got off the phone to her. It’s a rare day when one or the other of us doesn’t have one of those ‘you couldn’t make this thing up!’.
I’ve been a little despondent recently at work feeling it’s all a little futile and I’m just banging my head against the wall but your post has cheered me up and actually I should shift my thinking and embrace somewhat the madness and keep on chipping away. Next time I encounter something that frustrates me in command and control land I’ll laugh instead of going ‘argghh!’. The problem with all this systemsy stuff is that people who get it also care deeply about the service areas they work in and the organisations they work for (not that others don’t of course) and that passion and belief that there is an alternative way to do things better means it is hard to roll ones eyes and laugh.
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Thanks for the mention!
If you’ve not done so already, I recommend reading Margaret Wheatley, who founded the Berkana Institute. Don’t know if she’ll make it on to your list of giants, but she’s pretty good.
Here’s a good article to start with: http://margaretwheatley.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Leadership-in-Age-of-Complexity.pdf
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Thanks Charles. I will have a read 🙂