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  • Zina

Systems thinking - TexanAgain style

Spoiler alert: this post is not a "call to action" nor is it going to be interesting to everyone. It is literally, "just what I was thinking about today."

A Facebook friend speculated about a medical system they had interacted with lately. It got me thinking. Systems are awesome. Photosynthesis. Circulatory. Central Nervous. Hydrologic. Meteorologic. Pollination. Soil composition. Our lives literally depend on systems we have no control over.

A significant part of BEING human has ALWAYS been about harnessing natural systems.

We humans are so enamored with natural systems that we create our own! Manmade systems have been around since Adam & Eve left Eden.

Does that make all manmade systems bad?

Absolutely not!

Human beings have God's own propensity to do good. We are made in His image after all. But, we live - by our own corporate choice - in a world without God's order and discipline.

To be sure, the natural systems work as intended - even when we humans interact, interface, intervene, and interfere. And, manmade systems often work, too. Most manmade systems we interact with were imagined and instigated as a method to do good.

Another fascinating thing about being human is our uniquely-wielded capacity for self-awareness and self-evaluation.

That brings me to the retrospective! Oughtn't we to stop periodically - on a cadence - and evaluate our system for FIT. Is our system fit-for-purpose? Is our system fit-for-use? Is our system affordable? Does our system cause unintended harm?

Basically, the 5 ethical questions...

Does it harm anyone?

Does it make things better?

Does it respect others?

Is it fair?

Is it compassionate?

Those periodic halts - on a cadence - are built-in to most of the good systems I've ever joined! They are built-in to the best government system on earth - democratic republics. And, part of the strength of the US and its individual states is surely to be found in its election cadence.

My preferred business project model similarly operates on a cadence where we stop - at pre-defined intervals - and evaluate our own performance. (It's called Scrum.)

My favorite non-profit organization holds a cherished tradition of a meal and a business meeting every year.

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