Thursday, 17 January, 2013 Leave a comment
‘Systems Thinking’ isn’t about change for change’s sake and if/WHEN someone tells you that it is I would encourage you to question their motivation and knowledge!
John Wenger explains WHY in this, typically well-crafted and informative article…
Originally posted on quantum shifting:
A poll in October of 2011 put the approval rating of the US Congress at just 9%. When Rasmussen pollsters asked Americans if they approved of the US going communist, a full 11% said they were OK with that; two points ahead of Congress. To put that into context, during Watergate Richard Nixon’s approval rating was 24%. BP, during the Gulf oil spill, hit 16 %.
To me, these figures illustrate the erosion of trust in those who set out to lead us and, I suspect, an erosion of faith in the systems that puts those leaders there. It’s not just a crisis of democracy, it’s a much wider crisis of leadership: in government, in business, in churches. The expenses scandal in the UK. Widespread sexual abuse perpetrated by Catholic priests and covered up by bishops. Credit ratings agencies giving the thumbs up to banking systems at the heart of the global financial crisis. Bankers gifting themselves ever larger bonuses with the taxpayer money that bailed them out. Politicians and police exposed as bed-fellows with News International as the cruel depths of their phone hacking emerges. So-called ‘democratic’ world leaders sitting close-lipped on genuinely popular uprisings in Egypt and Syria unless it suits them. In response, first the indignados and then the occupy movements around the world mobilise in an effort to give voice to their myriad frustrations with ‘the system’ because they see little joy in working within the systems which already exist, seen as corrupt, untrustworthy and anti-democratic. The faith that people have lost is not simply in the people who purport to lead; it is in the actual systems.
In this article, “America is Better Than This,” Burdett Loomis, a political science professor at the University of Kansas comments on the spectacle of the US Congress classifying pizza sauce as a vegetable in deference to the fast food lobby, who wish to continue serving it to America’s schoolchildren. Loomis is quoted in the article as saying, “…if they can’t get it right on pizza sauce, how can they do something on the deficit, or healthcare?” Politics has, for many folks, been reduced to a source of entertainment rather than a channel through which to effect real change in our societies. ’Election promise’ has long become a byword for mendacity. In New Zealand, the incumbent National Party, led by Prime Minister John Key, is seeking a second term in the upcoming general election, having raised Goods and Services Tax only 18 months after undertaking not to do so during the election campaign of November 2008. This, despite Prime Minister Key stating during the 2008 campaign, “I intend to campaign on trust. I intend to be a Prime Minister that earns the trust of New Zealanders and I’m going to keep that trust.” Loomis has a good point: if we can’t trust those in positions of leadership to act with integrity and common sense on small matters, how on Earth can we trust them with larger concerns?