Monday, January 16, 2012

A System That Failed To Teach Systems!

A few posts back I'd mentioned the difference between systematic and linear thinking. The more I research this, the more it becomes apparent our education has become shortchanged as most of us were not introduced to systematic thinking. For some reason we've become a linear society! Most of us use a thought process where A+B=C in a defined process, but very little is that black and white! Systematic thinking demands we consider all the influencing factors, so the equation looks more like this (A+B)+(C+D)+E,and the rest of the alphabet = the results. Let's look at the real life example...

George decides to buy solar panels for his house. He's looking to become energy independent. During the process he talks to his envious neighbor Sam who decides if George enjoys the benefits of energy independence, he,(Sam), will make the same investment. A+B=C, rightly applied. Linear thinking works in this application.

George decides to go into business producing and selling those same solar panels. He's going to make a killing! He talks to Sam about his wonderful idea, and Sam decides if George does well, he, (Sam), will start the same business. A+B=C, NOT!. Sam isn't George. George maybe a better salesman, craftsman, or have more knowledge or better financial backing than Sam. Sam has not considered all the factors. He's not just adding an accessory to his house, he's relying on other influences that determine his outcome. He cannot expect the same success as George, as he is not George. It maybe better, it maybe worse, but it'll never be the same.

It's important we discern between when it's okay to make a decision based upon linear thinking and when we have to use a systematic approach. Even in a linear thinking situation we have to apply systematic thinking to be certain we've considered all the influences. Were you ever taught this type of logical thinking when you attended school? Chances are unless you were trained as an engineer, or someone whose career is based upon systems, you were taught A+B=C. We don't have to look far to see that logical thinking is absent in the education system. Was that by design, or for a purpose? A system that failed to teach systems.

God Bless!
Capt. Bill

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