When did systems theory get hijacked by process engineers and change management stormtroopers?
When did we allow our organizations to be built and led by analytical, causal, deductive, drones and an over-adherence of frameworks to analyze past events?
Frameworks and theories that rely on past events ignore all opportunity for organizations to interact in an interdependent co-generative way: systems theory.
Systems theory and systems thinking relies on interface, feedback, organizational goals, input, throughput, output, differentiation, and integration.
Systems thinking is relational.
People are relational.
Systems thinking has moved us beyond deductive, logical analysis to context, association, meaning, value, and perception.
People seek association, meaning, and value.
Systems thinking introduced the wholeness of an organization’s personality, integration, cohesion, and environment as a key determinant for choices the organization has made.
People’s personality and environment are clear determinants for decisions and choices they make.
Who hijacked systems thinking from pattern recognition to process mapping?
Who advanced the practice of analyzing parts of the organization away from the whole?
If I had a nickel for each time I have heard the word silo as a description of corporation, federal agency, college, hospital, startup, or boy scout troop organization dysfunction, wow, consider me retired! Hmm, there is a pattern to be recognized in how each group feels a divine right to their silo mentality, but I digress…
When did we forget that organizations are interdependent and that process summation of individual elements cannot account for the whole?
Anyone who relies on interaction to achieve a desired outcome needs to stop thinking about engineering process maps. We need to stop dehumanizing our relationships. Are we in such fear of political correctness or liability that we avoid interaction and dialogue with a preference to believe a process map or blue print will not offend?
We need to start building accountability for outcomes. We organization development practitioners need to step up our abilities to add process, rigor, data sets, and accountability or we will lose our place at the business table.
In short, organization development needs to take back systems theory.
Systems Theory Series:
- Change management stormtroopers and system theory
- Mergers and acquisitions systems thinking strategies, part 1
- Mergers and acquisitions systems thinking strategies, part 2
- Mergers and acquisitions systems thinking strategies, part 3