Monday, December 3, 2018

Systems Thinking for Real Solutions and Desirable Outcomes

        The effects of multidirectional mind-bending change, social fragmentation, and disjointed human communication are continually destabilizing the foundations of the structures of several of America’s organizational institutions.  Systems thinking emerges as a clear and effective alternative method to the current exhaustive linear reductionist quantitative analysis used to debate our social and organizational problems.
        Today, more than ever, systems thinking is needed—because we are overwhelmed by volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA conditions), which can easily undermine confidence and responsibility.  A Systems thinking approach can move us beyond debate and into problem-solving; creating the solutions that produce the desired outcomes we need.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Systems Thinking and How it Affects Your Life

Systems Thinking born out of Biology —with a focus on the interconnection, interrelation, and interdependence of the elements that form an integrated unified whole (holistic) that achieves a purpose or function.  Systems Thinking puts a new emphasis on complexity, networks, and patterns of organization in living systems. It involves a new kind of thinking—taking a holistic view of our biologically, cognitive sociological, and ecological systems and how they affect our everyday lives.

Ø The elements/components of any system may vary—there’re not necessarily tangible, they can be intangible (cultural traits, educational prowess, a sense of community pride, etc.) depending upon the system, whether it be biological, sociological, ecological, or cognitive

Ø All Systems maintain organized networks that take on patterns that produce their own holistic structural and behavioral properties that have a purpose or function; structure determines what behaviors are latent within the system

Ø The whole is greater than the sum of its parts!  Systems Thinking requires a paradigm shift in your thinking (metanoia)—from seeing individual objects or parts to recognizing the patterns in the network of relationships

Monday, October 8, 2018

The Paradox of Racialism

Racialism: A Broken, Dysfunctional, and Failing System

When we juxtapose the system of racialism (the social construction of a society rooted in systemic organization and differentiation; using artificial signifiers/values—skin pigmentation/melanin, hair, nose, lips, eyes, and bloodlines) with the qualities of a dynamic, optimal, efficient, and highly functional social system, we can begin to understand its brokenness, dysfunctionality, and failing properties.  The cognitive characteristics of Racialism including: mental models, outdated language, ignorance, and racial binary-disjunctive paradigms are what keep this system alive.  Also, we must consider the philosophical, educational, employment, economic, healthcare, political, and social structures that are impacted by this system.  Then, we can begin to understand racialism’s systemic nature.  

It is a divisive system that creates boundaries and barriers that only allow for the optimization of its elements (different races) separately, but not as a whole society.  Clearly, its trajectory—leading to a future filled with even more volatility-vulnerability, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA) conditions, which will only exacerbate the inefficiencies and brokenness of the system. When we think of racialism as a system, it becomes quite clear that its purpose and function prohibits the desirable outcomes (the equality and parity in the distribution of goods, services, resources, and opportunities for advancement) that we seek.

The Paradox of Racialism

          It is precisely because the system creates values and advantages for certain individuals and groups with a particular set of interests and creates a narrow range of values and more disadvantages for other groups which produces disproportionate outcomes within the system. The result—major inefficiencies in the methods and processes in which we use to create values and equal opportunities for society as a whole (holistically). The brokenness and dysfunctionality of the system leads to inevitable undesirable outcomes--unintended consequences, injustice, inequality, and the wrong line of conduct, which results in conflict and a bifurcated society!