Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Systematic Government!

Orrin Woodward has always impressed upon me the power of systems, and the importance of systematic thinking. I was reviewing some of the key points to systematic application and thought I'd share a few with you....

Pushing harder and harder on familiar solutions, while fundamental problems persist or worsen, is a reliable indicator of nonsystematic thinking-what we often call the "what we need here is a bigger hammer" syndrome.- Peter Senge

This principle was also spoken of by Albert Einstein,
"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results".

I sometimes wonder if those in Washington have ever been introduced to these principles? I think after reading the next few you'll agree that's doubtful.

The long term consequences of applying nonsystematic solutions is the increased need for more and more of the solution. Does this remind you of what Washington says about the stimulus money spent to jump start the economy or what? This is why ill-conceived government interventions are not just ineffective but addictive in the sense of fostering increased dependency and lessening the abilities of people to solve their own problems. I'll point to the never ending war on poverty and the more recent increase of people who are addicted to food stamps and unemployment entitlements as proof positive this principle is true. Or we could just accept Washington's word that we just haven't grown these programs large enough yet, you decide.

Tackling difficult problems is often just a matter of seeking where the highest leverage lies, and after application with a minimum effort, we find lasting, significant improvement. This is the art of process or systematic thinking. Instead Washington seeks solutions that'll be popular and garner more votes. The cure here lies in the relationship with your enemy. The enemy being the temptation to do what's popular, rather than apply the principles of systematic thinking.

The cure is a shift in the culture in Washington. Perhaps we should remove the winners of the popularity contest and replace them with representatives that actually have the interests of the nation in mind. This will also require a shift in the culture of the voter as we are the root cause of the problem. In the end it was us who elected these officials, and we are reaping the rewards. I'll suggest each voter list a set of priorities. Evaluate the candidates against that list, and should the offerings fall far short, demand better representation. The representation comes from within the culture, so doesn't that indeed suggest the more improved our list of priorities and how we live them, the better represented we will be?

Just food for thought!

God Bless!
Capt. Bill

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