The Story of My Turning Points with The Fifth Discipline

MY BACK STORY:

LATE 1980s QUESTION: HOW DOES MANAGEMENT WORK IN PRACTICE?

IN THE EARLY 1990s ASSUMED POSITION OF HEAD OF CRIME STATISTICS IN THE SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE. SEES DISTINCT BEHAVIOUR OVER TIME (BOT) PATTERNS FOR CRIME. Became curious about the persistent nature of the pattern.

IN THE MID-1990s, PART OF MINISTRY-WIDE MASTERPLANNING TEAM. ONE-WEEK INTRODUCTORY PROGRAMME WITH DR DANIEL KIM & DIANE CORY, associates of Peter Senge based in Singapore conducting programs on the Fifth Discipline from 1993.

SAW THE PATTERNS AS BOT GRAPHS FOR SYSTEM ARCHETYPES – Recognised what the crime pattern graphs had meant. Same data. Now with new meaning.

AND WHAT WE HAD NEEDED TO DO, TO TREAT CRIME SYSTEMICALLY – That we isolate the BOT graphs, uncover underlying systemic structures and treat them as “The Uncle” would in the healing poison story.

BEGAN NOTICING MORE SUCH BEHAVIOUR OVER TIME GRAPHS. They were always there. We just did not have “the eyes” to understand them. Believing is now seeing.

NB*: Each system archetype has a unique behavior over time graph that it creates as the archetype plays out in our realities. https://lnkd.in/gNhpVCXS

The search for BOTs (Behaviour over time graphs), deepening my training practice of the five disciplines and meaning-making led to THE DISCOVERY OF THE ONION

RECOGNISED THAT JOURNALISTS / SUBJECT MATTER EXPERTS WERE BOGGED WITH DETAIL COMPLEXITY to build the language TO STRUCTURE DATA IN CIRCULAR CAUSALITIES (DYNAMIC COMPLEXITIES). THEREFORE, COULD NOT PICK ON LEVERAGES (areas of highest leverage at often the least obvious). Recognizing it was important more understands the five disciplines and the system archetypes.

RECOGNISED THAT THE ENTRY POINT TO SYSTEMS THINKING IS THE IDENTIFICATION OF PERSISTENT ISSUES.

CLARIFIED MY INTENTION TO BE PART OF GLOBAL BODIES such as the United Nations, EU, and AU and the setup of tertiary institutions to train sectoral leadership and researchers and study these behaviors.

RECEIVED INVITATION TO BOTSWANA. Became my playground to practice and deepen training and isolate as many patterns over time graphs as possible.

KICKOFF OF THE PROJECT:

INVITATION TO FACILITATE CABINET RETREAT. THEIR FIRST.

Missing plans are identified when the issue is automatically seen systemically as well as linearly. It is likened to seeing the blind spots that have persisted in the problem.

CORE TEAM SAW CIRCULAR CAUSAL STRUCTURES THAT ARE CONSISTENT OF PLANS FROM THEIR NDPs BUT NOW HIGHLIGHTING IDEA PLANS THAT WERE NOT IN THE NDPs. [NDP = National Development Plan]

WAS INVITED BACK IN 2007-8, BY THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT WHO EXPRESSED INTEREST IN WANTING TO LEARN THE FIVE DISCIPLINES. TARGETED AT THE TECHNOCRATS, FOR THE PERMANENT SECRETARIES AND USED IN THE UPCOMING NDP PLANNING WORKS.

IDENTIFIED FOUR OTHER CAUSAL STRUCTURE LOOPS. They described the span of works covering central government. Each Ministry then develops circular causalities that explain their persistent issues. A total of 20+ circular loops were identified.

TURNED INTO ANOTHER THREE-YEAR CONTRACTUAL WORK PROVIDING TEACHING AND USE OF INTERVIEWS TO ELICIT LIKELY BEHAVIOURS OF DATA OVER TIME AND DEVELOP SYSTEMIC STRATEGIES (LEVERAGES)

The conduct of training was a breeze and a joy. Data, however, was mostly anecdotal as non-financial data is dependent on census surveys. While research works were limited, forays and frontiers were still nevertheless being made. Implementation traction, however, was not as strong as it would have been seeing the research results with actual data. AS THE NEXT STORY SHOWS.

CONCRETE RESEARCH IN 2018 ON UNEMPLOYMENT THAT STATISTICS BOTSWANA PROVIDED. RESULTS DID NOT DEVIATE SIGNIFICANTLY FROM ANECDOTAL INFORMATION. BUT NOW THERE WAS NO RUNNING AWAY. AND DEEPENING OF UNDERSTANDING WAS MUCH EASIER. PRESENTED TO THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT SIX MONTHS PRIOR TO COVID 19 GLOBAL LOCKDOWNS.

KEY LESSONS:

STRATEGY IMPLICATION:

THE REASON FOR PERSISTENCE. Single-headed households led by females meant children, particularly the boy-child gravitating and excelling at feminine subjects compared to their male counterparts in nations that do not face high divorce / non-marriage rates (as high as 75% among the marriageable age population). Students take the easy way out to score grades.

https://sheilasingapore.blog/case-study-national-unemployment-botswana-short-notes/

Impact development of soft-sciences leanings by the nation on economic structure.


GOOD EXAMPLE OF THE NEED FOR NATIONAL REFLECTION WITHOUT ACTION. BUT GOVERNMENT COULD DO A FEW THINGS: DIRECT AGRICULTURE AND MANUFACTURING GROWTH BY LETTING MARKET FORCES DICTATE THE CHANGES.

SIGNIFICANT STRIDES:

  • DEC 2021 – AFTER A YEAR OF LOCKDOWNS, THE GOVERNMENT BANNED THE IMPORT OF ALL VEGETABLES FROM THE REGION. RELIANT ON SOUTH AFRICA, TILL THEN, THE COUNTRY FARMERS WERE NOW EXPECTED OVERNIGHT TO PRODUCE THEIR OWN. THIS HAS NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE. TOOK THE COUNTRY BY SURPRISE. BUT A SURPRISE THAT HAS BEEN WELCOMED AND EMBRACED BY FARMERS AND COMMUNITIES.
  • THE GOVERNMENT UNLIKE IN THE PAST, SHARES 50% OF COSTS. SIEVES THE SERIOUS FARMERS THAT HAVE LONG-TERM FORESIGHT FROM THE HUSTLERS.
  • FARMERS WHO PRODUCE EXCESSES ARE NOW LOOKING TO MANUFACTURERS TO OFFTAKE SO AS TO MAKE PROFITS.

COVID ACTIVITIES:

2019-2020 KEPT UP TRAINING OF SOL GLOBAL MEMBERS DURING THE LOCKDOWN PERIOD. THIS REINFORCED MY BELIEF OF THE SLOWDOWN IN THE APPLICATION OF SYSTEMS THINKING HAS BEEN HAPPENING.

HAD BEEN BUSY WITH THE INFRASTRUCTURE SETUP OF THE FOOD MANUFACTURING ENTITY IN 2012 (CONCEPT-BUILDING)-2021. CURRENTLY IN MARKETING AND PRODUCTION DEVELOPMENT STAGES.

THE NEXT STEPS:

BRANCH RESEARCH WORKS IN THE REGION, INCLUDING EUROPE, ASIA, AND THE AMERICAS.

WITH A VIEW TO PREPARING A BOOK AND CONDUCTING & SCALING OF TERTIARY TRAINING PROGRAMME FOR LEADERSHIP.

MANAGEMENT WORKS WHEN WE “‘SEE AND UNDERSTAND” OUR REALITIES AS A WHOLE AND BY ALL WHO ARE IN IT. THE NEED FOR MANAGEMENT MIGHT EVEN DROP OFF. THOSE WHO NEED TO BE MANAGED LEARN TO MANAGE THEMSELVES. THEY DO THIS BY BUILDING A CLEAR PICTURE OF THEIR ASPIRATIONS AS A WHOLE, LEARNING TO BUILD LEARNINGFUL CONVERSATION (GENERATIVE), AND RECOGNISING AND UNDERSTANDING DYNAMIC COMPLEXITY. PEOPLE WHO LEARN TO LEARN ARE THE ULTIMATE ORGANISATION DEVELOPERS.