Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Text Size
So What is Going On?

So What is Going On?

Action Science - So what is going on?

Now to some thoughts about what is going on. Central to the seminar design is the proposition that we human beings are designing systems. Moreover, it is possible to elicit data through the case studies, and to create an image of each of us as a processing system that uses sensory input to produce outputs according to our personal designs. In other words we design what we intend to do.

Since it is not always possible to design and implement behaviour according to intention, from scratch (life and opportunity would pass us by), then we have rules in our heads that dispose to act in certain ways when challenged by certain situations. A conclusion from this reasoning is that we must also have rules that in our society at this time, to produce errors, specifically those listed as phenomena in the prior article and shown below:

1. Perpetuate misunderstanding and ineffectiveness, even though to ourselves we act to increase understanding and effectiveness
2. Cause us to blame others or the system for what we define as poor decisions
3. Contribute to organisational inertia in the face of a pressing need for change
4. Cover up or sanitise upward communication of difficult issues
5. Builds contingency into budgets as part of corporate games
6. Contribute to situations in which we act against our own self interest
7. Create team processes where members have yet to learn how to deal with issues that are embarrassing or threatening.

So now let us revise the list to show that actions are rule based and that each of us is causally responsible for how we contribute to the creation and maintenance of error. The above revise as follows:

1. When dealing with difficult people problems, produce consequences that are not intended, and stay unaware of the fact
2. Avoid responsibility for contributing to situations or problems by holding others or the system to blame
3. Repeat defensive reasoning and the errors that arise, so skilfully, that the very ease of repetition guarantees they will be repeated
4. Lose (go blank) and/or distort the flow of information, particularly face to face, when communicating in an hierarchy
5. Design performance controls that mask true financial costs whilst increasing the human cost
6. Have unreflected assumptions about performance improvement that makes it unlikely that performance will reach its maximum level
7. Avoid conflict by developing myths of team or performance excellence that perpetuates sub-optimal performance and encourages individual complacency.

Most Chairmen, CEO?s, directors and senior managers express disbelief that they hold such rules. Yet our seminars reveal the reasoning that underpins such errors, and offers each of us the opportunity to reflect on our own design rules and thus truly take responsibility for our own development through the way we engage with difficult people and situations.