Ray Ison, Professor in Systems at the UK Open University since 1994, is a member of the Applied Systems Thinking in Practice Group. From 2008-15 he also developed and ran the Systemic Governance Research Program at Monash University, Melbourne. In this blog he reflects on contemporary issues from a systemic perspective.
Sunday, May 02, 2010
General Stanley McChrystal and the 'sprawling spaghetti diagram'
The media seem unable to deal with the systemic complexity encompassed in a large systems dynamics causal loop model as this recent article demonstrates. On the other hand, as we have known for some time from our 30+ years of teaching Systems diagramming techniques to Open University (UK) Systems students, a diagram produced as part of an inquiry/learning process is not the same as one used for communication purposes. Perhaps McChrystal fell into a common trap that some of our students do?
That said the US is unlikley to extract itself from Afghanistan unless it understands the systemic complexity and acts in relation to that understanding. This is much more than slick powerpoint presentations.