(P = … = P)

bord-01Derek Cabrera and others have introduced a way of explaining Systems Thinking based on DRSP: Distinction, Relationships, System and Perspective. I do not disagree, but like to put things into perspective.

As I see it, it is the other way around.

First you’re having a perspective (P = You), as you cannot be without your self. Any observation and statement about that observation is made by you. You are reading these lines.

This perspective consists of relationships, which work both ways: you’re connected and connected to (and connected too). In a way, your perspective consists of the set of relationships (P = You = {relationships}). In its own way, this Linked-In we’re using, consists of a subset of these relationships. It mirrors what we call reality. The word reality consists of “res”, things and “li”, connection, so reality “is” connecting with things.

Your set of relationship is complex, you’ve adapted yourself to it and you’re adapting to it continuously. This is what living systems do. So, basically, this set is the Complex Adaptive System. (P = You = {relationships} = System). Systems Thinking is one way of adapting your self to system. I assume there are other ways to.

Then we’re at distinction: Systems Thinking is a way of making distinctions. As it is made by you, your way of Systems Thinking is truly yours, your own way of thinking about yourself, your relationship and your system. Its your own invention. (P = You = {relationships} = System = P ). Systems Thinking, like any other model, is a tautology. Interestingly, the very word tautology is derived from the Greek: t-auto-logos, “to say to one self”.

Here You see, as Spencer-Brown also observed, that universe (please note that I’ve dropped the article “the”: I’m referring to the archetype of universe, not the universe itself). seems to observe itself. This is of course how Spencer-Brown and I see our universe. In fact, and in my opinion, I cannot make a sensible distinction between my self, my way of perceiving universe, my system and my system thinking. As a result, to me, the universe seems to be alive.

As a part of the system, the universe, I cannot contain the whole of the system. And: being a living part of system, I have to accommodate, to adapt, to appropriate, to adjust, to attune to system of universe. Human beings have been evolved to do just that. We’re a fractal mirror image looking at ourselves and wondering: What shall I do next?

In order to survive, we do what we always do, adapt. So Systems Thinking is being adapted continuously. It is not that I’m not convinced of the usefulness and adaptability of Systems Thinking; for me, it is just as good as any good tale, story or narrative.

About Jan Lelie

Met diversiteit kom je verder, wanneer je elkaar beter begrijpt.  Jan Lelie kan helpen. Ik faciliteer besluitvorming met behulp van mijn mind@work methode. Sommigen noemen het agile, anderen lean of serious play. Het zit er allemaal in. Daarnaast geef ik workshops en master classes aan professionals die zelf beter willen faciliteren.
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