Ohmae's Key success factors LO11879

Myers, Kent (myers@carsoninc.com)
Mon, 13 Jan 1997 17:30:46 -0500

Replying to LO11853 --

You say that arriving at a key "does not necessarily discard system
thinking." I agree with this only if:

- the systems thinking has been done
- the systems thinking is continuing
- the system is sufficiently known such that isolation of keys is
- the keys are always recognized as subsidiary and temporary and aren't
mistakenly accepted as strategy.

We've been pointing to cases where these conditions have been violated,
such as:

- starting with keys prior to any thought (naive simplification)
- going for broke in a domination strategy (semi-systems thinking for
the ambitious)

We've also mentioned something that looks like key thinking but really
isn't. That's complexity thinking, which pokes around in an attempt to
learn about an indeterministic system.

I think the phrases "Pareto principle" and "trivial many" aren't terms of
strategy/design. Soon after you apply those concepts, the system goes
away. Supposedly you have learned something "objective" that lets you
proceed to this level of thinking. That's good, but are you sure, and for
how long? If you don't reserve some of your attention to deal with the
"trivial", then you aren't a systems thinker. Part of strategy is
scanning for weak signals from the periphery and challenging what you
think you know.

If a key thinker says that he is also doing systems thinking, I'd want him
to explain when and how he does it. If he says it consists of eliminating
"Pareto trivialities" based on "objective knowledge", then I'd suspect
that he is running a franchise where the systems thinking has already been
done for him.


Kent Myers myersk@us.net Alexandria, VA

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>