Sunday, November 7, 2010

Living Systems--Feedback Cycles 202

Or, "Why We Can't Get Good Government or Business Practices"

My brother sent me a link yesterday for a news article George W. Bush calls Katrina photo a "huge mistake" .
There's several aspects to this story that I'd like to explore.
One, is in retrospect, Bush takes ownership over his handling of Katrina. In retrospect. In real time, during the crisis, we've evolved a system that makes that kind of ownership and responsibility either highly difficult or nigh on impossible.
The feedback loops of media and voters that vilify that kind of leadership. Instead, we get spin, and cover-our-butts type statements and actions.
Leading in politics and in business, in other words, in this world we've created, that we are a part of, becomes very difficult. We are part of the feedback loops that create this dynamic.

Two of the largest systems that have enormous effect on the general living systems that is general society--government and publicly traded companies--are governed by these feedback loops that are us.

It's easy to want to blame capitalism and/or government for the plights of society. Yet, who are the voters? Who shapes the media? Who are the people that have shares on publicly traded companies? Who is supporting all this? Oh, yeah, that would be us.

This is the tough part of systems thinking. Taking ownership, taking responsibility in our part of these systems. We may understand our ideological political beliefs (this is highly debatable, by the way) but we do not understand how government works, we may understand our own economic needs, but we do not understand how economies work.
We are the feedback loops. But understanding that takes responsibility, ownership, and a desire to improve on our ability to be part of a sustainable system.

Leadership and a real desire for sustainable change starts with you. Yeah, you. Yes, it's work. Yes, it means adapting new mental models as to how the world works. Yes it's grasping the very graspable concept of systems thinking and that we are all part of living systems and that we all play our roles in the feedback loops of these systems.

A former President is taking ownership of some of his roles. How about you?

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