Re: Unskillful decisions LO42

Sydney Boydell (
Thu, 9 Feb 1995 14:59:04 +1100

>You might find some of Peter Checkland's work interesting in this regard
>-'Systems thinking, Systems Practice' (around 1989)
>From: (Sydney Boydell)
> -----
>Host's Note:
>If I remember right, Peter Checkland created an approach to systems
>thinking which was called "Soft Systems Modelling" with a certain amount
>of rigor. It's reputed advantage, I was told, was that it was more
>approachable for many people than creating Causal Loop Diagrams.
>My own personal preference for developing system understanding is to
>approach groups with the systems archetypes, as described in Senge's The
>Fifth Discipline and Senge et al, The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook.
>I've never read Checkland. Those who have... please share you
> -- Rick Karash,, host for learning-org
> -----
Certainly the Senge approach is easier to understand. At first sight
Checkland is difficult to get the 'full picture'. However one aspect I
found very usseful was that in addition to 'modelling' the situation as
itwas and (perhaps how one might like it to be, one needed to investigate
(in parallel) the folowwing:
1 the system that would occur if intervention/change was to occur
2 an analysis of the 'social system' of the institution involved
(which will probably be quite different to the way the institution wees
3 an analysis of the 'politics' of the institution - where politics
is taken as the process by which different interests accomodate to each

Without these parallel analyses the systems analysis is incomplete.
Syd Boydell