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4/2013 從5C的角度來看系統思考 | Systems Thinking from a 5C Perspective

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5C 的角度來看系統思考

朝邦文教基金會04 2013年對話新訊息

陳穎堅 ( Joey Chan),  joey@birdview.com.hk, 博念學習型組織顧問公司創辦人, 朝邦文教基金會國際合作夥伴

5C是一個很漂亮的指導流程:Curiosity(好奇心)、Clarity(清晰度)、Compassion(同理心)、Choice(選擇)、Courage(勇氣)。這是由系統思考專家Peter Stroh提出的,我很喜歡這五個C的處理,因為它們讓原本很深澀沉悶的系統思考充滿了生命力。因此我很喜歡用這個方式來帶系統思考課。

這樣說來,系統思考只是一個工具。最後我們關注的,其實是我們到底能不能夠讓參與者有這五個C的經歷。至於是不是系統思考反而並不是那麼重要!但系統思考仍然是超級有效的工具。我們往往從自己的失效中,開始思考「為何我那高超的策略會如此失敗」,這成了我們第一個C(好奇心)的開始。在此處所謂的好奇,其實是一種反思(reflection)的開始。系統思考真的是超棒的反思工具。

反饋、時間滯延、系統基模等等概念都是系統思考的語言,有了這些語言,我們便可以建構一種新觀點:原來我一直在自己的問題上火上加油而不自知,而更嚴重者是,透過「飲鳩止渴 (fixes that fail)」我們終於知道我們一直為負面的不良效應賦與動能(momentum)。這是一個看得更清楚的過程,這也是所謂的Clarity。

雖然系統思考的過程是很有震撼感,但同時也是令人感到很大的挫敗。不少參加者看到自己原來是「問題的一部分,而且是頗重要的一部分」都很意外,但我們卻不想案主因過度的沮喪而失去採取新行動的動能(更不用說採取這些新行動是需要很多勇氣)。因此我們必須要做到「同理(compassion)」,知道案主們往往都是因為自己卡住在某種困苦之中。理解他們的困苦,並指出他們其實並不是沒有選擇 (choice)的。

系統基模有趣的地方,是它們可以是互相關連的。我們用「捨本逐末 (shifting the burden)」來擴展原本看似沒有選擇的「飲鳩止渴」。案主談論「治標解」,同時也談論「治本解」。這些都是他們自己提出來的解,然後我們會問「為什麼多做一些/為什麼我們不少做一些?」等問題,這一刻我們終於來到屬於「心智模式 (mental model)」的世界,這也可能是案主所面對問題的最高槓桿所在!

通常「捨本逐末」的基模給與我們看到的「選擇 (choice)」,這些選擇很多時候其實並不是什麼容易的選擇。所以這才誘使我們希望可以用快捷、或省力一點的「飲鳩止渴」方式來應付這些問題。但面對所謂的調適性問題 (adaptive problem) 時,這些臨時招數卻只惹來更多問題,而不是更少。因此我們可能是時候鼓起勇氣 (courage)來做一些「本來就應當要做的事」。

經過這5C的過程,利用系統及整體的角度,我們重新得到一種新的能量、一種新的鼓動,加上一點點宏觀一點的智慧,去開始一些沒有捷徑但有意義的改變。

參考文獻: "The Systems Orientation: From Curiosity to Courage” by Peter Stroh, The Systems Thinker, November 1994

參與者反饋:

課程的回顧與反思: 李桓瑞

在兩天的課程中,我們玩了“Job Shop Game",並分組以自已的案例,從“實際問題出發”,思考我們的對策及果關係,實地操作地畫出了:飲鴆止渴(Fixes that fail), 捨本逐末(Shifting the burden) 等系統基模。

課程中,每個所使用的工具與觀念,其實以前都是知道的,但這次學到的是把它們以一個很有邏輯性的方式串起來,成為一個可操作的過程。於是感覺到,終於在學習多年的第五項修練之後,有機會在老師的帶領之下,走過一次把問題的系統基模畫出來的過程,在自己心中觀察到,如何在無限多的變數之中,逐步地明確我們的問題,我們的做法、抱怨與看法,然後反思自己為什麼做與為什麼不做的心智模式,在願景的引導下,產生信心與動力去做自己可能原本內心就已經認為對的事情。或許,整毎世界本來就都是一體的,所有事情必然都會聯結在一起,而我們其實只要每一次都只要專注於選定與所選定的問題即可。

最後有伙伴來跟我說,他也有看到類似的問題,令我驚覺,啊!我一直覺得很複雜講不清楚的事,同樣的故事的背後模式,或許真的就是那麼簡單,只是我陷在我所煩惱的細節之中!

『站上陽台。看到光』  2013系統思維工作坊    林祖威教 Coach4pl@gmail.com

在這一次Joey系統思維工作坊裡, 他提到面對適應性問題時的原則之一是”站上陽台”。這段話非常發人深省:“如果在晦暗的房間裡你一直沒有頭緒,甚至越用力想越亂,這時候,你不妨打開扇窗門,走到陽台上。暴露在新鮮空氣的同時,站在陽台上的你,可能不經意發現今夜的月娘,正隱隱幽幽,顯著光。回頭望望房間內部,你是否發現了一道光影, 而它可能正牽引著你到新的線索....  (哈,Joey可沒說這麼多,都是我在想的!) 無疑,這句" 站在陽台上" 確是養成系統思維的關鍵。在線性思維的世界,我們都奮力要找出頭緒,其實就像窮追思緒或情緒的源頭一樣,難以捉摸。殊不知我們事實上同處在一個系統裡,而這系統是以循環交錯的形態出現,任何企圖釘下一個因跟一個果的關係,不是不可能,但更可能的是~誤導你走向一個無效的迴圈。再加上一個隱形變數:時間滯延(time delay),一切都將更混亂不清了。

整個工作坊精神以5C 「 Curiosity(好奇心)、Clarity(清晰度)、Compassion(同理心)、Choice(選擇)、Courage(勇氣)」作為核心,無論是在引導,教練或自我修練,都是可以拿來應用的model. 以教練為例,好奇心基於可能性,也讓傾聽專注; 專注地傾聽帶來良好的區分,對事物產生清晰度或新觀點; 除了理性的觀點,客戶更需要同理的包容與接納,相信一定有故事讓他走到現今這一步。 教練基於這樣的同理,才能協助客戶找出更多的優勢與過去成功經驗,作為下一步行動的多重選擇。然而在千思萬想之後,要採取離開舒適區的行動,更需要勇氣的支持,才能躍下改變之谷。 走過5C, 彷彿是一趟英雄的蛻變之旅。

這趟學習讓我看見,我們常用齒輪關係來比喻公司組織運作,並不是恰當的,它頂多能呈現單純“工作“(task)流程,一旦有人的決策涉入,就不能適用說明。這就是系統組織與齒輪的不同,齒輪作為一個線性系統,中間沒有存在其他可能性,而環狀系統的可能性會是有增強與抑制的平衡。

最後,對於東方人,從陰陽互變的觀點,環狀系統思維,應該是再熟悉不過了。一句中國俗諺 " 善有善報,惡有惡報,不是不報,只是時候未到" 改成“ 只是時間延滯(time delay),你早晚看到“,也算是對系統思考的簡單應用吧。


Systems Thinking from a 5C Perspective

CP YEN FOUNDATION: April 2013 Newsletter

by Joey Chan, joey@birdview.com.hk, Founder of Birdview Learning Organization Consultant, CP Yen Foundation International Partner

5C is a beautiful systems thinking process guiding one from a state of curiosity, to clarity, to compassion, to choice and to courage.  Introduced by systems thinking expert Peter Stroh, this approach enlivens the seemingly austere discipline. This is why I like to lead my systems thinking workshop with the 5C process.

Ultimately, systems thinking is just a tool, and what we really care about is participants experiencing the 5Cs. It is an amazing tool, but just not so important in its own right.  When meeting failure, people often wonder “why did my excellent strategy fail?”, this question is the start of the first “C” - Curiosity.  Reflection is a form of curiosity, and systems thinking is a wonderful reflection tool.

The language of systems thinking is communicated through feedbacks, time delays and archetypes in order to construct new perspectives.  For instance, the archetype “fixes that fail” reveals counter productive forces fueling one’s own problems.  Systems archetypes enable one to see with ever greater clarity.

People often feel shocked or defeated when they discover themselves to be part of the problem.  But instead of cause for depression, this knowledge can motivate renewed action and courage, and compassion to understand both one’s hardship and one’s choices.

The interdependence of systems archetypes is rather interesting.  For instance, “shifting the burden” can open up what once appeared to be a choiceless “fixes that fail”.  Using different archetypal perspectives, the difference between quick fixes and fundamental solutions become more evident, and one’s mental models become revealed as the problem’s highest leverage point!

“Shifting the burden” usually provides choices that are not easy to make and causes one to resort to quick fixes that require minimal time and effort. Therefore when facing adaptive problems, quick fixes often attract more problems, not less.  So courage is needed to make what could be a more difficult yet more necessary choice. 

 

The 5C process enables a systemic perspective that generates a new sense of energy, encouragement and the wisdom of a macro-perspective to begin meaningful change without a shortcut.

Reference: "The Systems Orientation: From Curiosity to Courage” by Peter Stroh, The Systems Thinker, November 1994

PARTICIPANT COMMENTARY: 

“Course Feedback and Reflection”  By: Henry Lee (李桓瑞)

During the two day class we played a “Job Shop Game” and divided ourselves into case study groups; starting with practical problems, we thought about the relationships of cause and effect and drew a “Fixes that Fail” and “Shifting the Burden” systems map.

Prior to the course I was already familiar with each of the concept tools that were introduced to us, but this time I learned how to logically string them together in a workable process.  After studying the Fifth Discipline for so many years, I finally had the opportunity under a teacher’s guidance, to walk through the drawing of a problem using systems archetypes.  I learned how to gradually clarify a problem’s infinitely changing variables, as well as clarify one’s approach, complaints, perspectives, and reflections about our mental models, all within a facilitated vision.  This approach produces confidence and motivation to do what one perhaps intuitively knew was the right thing to do all along.  Perhaps the whole world already is one, all things are inevitably linked together, and all we need is to do every time is to focus and the problem we’ve chosen. 

At the end of the case study exercise, a partner said to me that he’s also seen a similar problem as mine; Ah! what I’d felt was so difficult to talk about actually shared the same basic model as other people’s problems! Perhaps it’s just that easy and I’m only stuck in the details of my troubles!

“Standing on the balcony and seeing the light”.  By: Wesley T. Lin 林祖威  Coach4pl@gmail.com

In Joey’s systems thinking workshop, he mentioned one of the principles for dealing with adaptive problems is “standing on the balcony”. This phrase inspired in me an insight that if one’s in a dark and gloomy room, clueless and the harder one tries gets increasingly confused, at some point one may want to open the screen door and walk onto the balcony.  Exposed to the fresh air, perhaps the evening’s faint moonlight can be seen, and looking back into the room’s shadow the contrast may reveal some new clues... (ha! Joey didn’t say as much, it’s just my own reflection!)

“Standing on the balcony” is a major  key to systems thinking.  In a linear-thinking world, we are all struggling to find a clue, but if pursued it becomes elusive, as is the case with seeking the source of thoughts and emotions.  We are all part of the same system; made of interwoven loops, any attempt to nail down a cause and effect relationship will likely mislead one into an invalid loop; add invisible variables to this, such as time delays, and everything gets more confusing.

The whole workshop was imbued with the spirit of Curiosity, Clarity, Compassion, Choice and Courage and can be applied as core values and a model in facilitation, coaching or personal development.  In coaching for instance, curiosity is based on possibility and focused listening; listening attentively makes a big difference in generating clarity and perspective.  Clients need empathy and acceptance even more than rationality in order to believe in a story that will allow them to step into today.  Coaching is based on this same notion, to help the client discover more advantages and successful experiences for forming the multiple choices of the next action step.  Leaving one’s comfort zone and jumping into the valley of change needs courage and support.  Walking through the 5Cs is therefore like a hero’s journey of transformation. 

In this course I realized that describing a company’s operations with the oft-used metaphor of gears is not entirely appropriate because gears represent task processes and as soon as individual’s decision-making engages the process, the gears no longer apply.  This is the difference between organization systems and gears; gears work in a linear system where no new possibilities exist, but loop systems produce dynamic possibilities.

Finally, from the perspective of yin and yang, dynamic systems thinking should be quite familiar for Asians.  The Chinese proverb “what goes around, comes around” (善有善報,惡有惡報,不是不報,只是時候未到) is actually a matter of time delay; sooner or later you’ll see the outcome, it’s a simple matter of systems thinking.

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