It's Systemic

A word I've been hearing recently is "systemic." For example:

~ "Pakistan stands on the brink of systemic failure."

~ "The government's Troubled Asset Relief Program was meant to maintain systemic financial market stability and spur lending."

~ "Systemic problems existed at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq where U.S. troops abused Iraqi prisoners."

Interesting, eh?

I recently conducted a management training program on Problem Solving where we looked at different kinds of problems. One type of problem, that the quotes above seem to be talking about, is systemic problems. Problems at the system level.

What is a problem at the system level?

Apparently, such a problem is one where, if not solved, the system itself --whether a political system, a banking system or a prison system-- would be in danger of collapse.

Who is prepared (i.e, educated and trained) to handle such problems?

The only people I can think of are OD (Organization Development) professionals, especially those steeped in General Systems theory and systems thinking.

Maybe it's time more OD people ran for political office?

Posted by Terrence Seamon, April 23, 2009


Anonymous said…
Agree - OD people probably are the main group that work constantly in systemic challenges. Of course, there also are OB people too !
Terrence Seamon said…
And someone described Engineers the other day as people who see systems.

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