Tuesday, March 5, 2013


Dear readers and system thinkers.

It's my purpose to give you and to share with you information , articles, blogs, case-study, etc ...on systems thinking and complexity.
In a complex world , we have to consider that everything is related to each other and forms a dynamic system.We have to see the reality through a systemic lens.

...I call it systemeering! 
Looking at the whole from different perspectives!!

For that purpose I've created a new website "Systemeering" where I present my different offerings and new blog.
From now on , I will blog on www.systemeering.be/blog, where you can inscribe on the systemeering newsletter.
Enjoy the new website !!


Tuesday, February 12, 2013


On a nice day in January, there was a Big layer of snow in my garden I was looking for a movie , where some systems thinking and holistic ideas were used ......and I found "Mindset "
The trailer , which i want to share with you was marvellous.

Based on the book "The turning point" by Fritjof Capra.
It´s the beginning of the 90´s, the world collective consciousness is still focused in mass production to feed the mass consumption. Ecological consciousness was still for a few, seen by others as fanatics.
In the middle of that consciousness scenario three characters meet: a physicist away from her job due to ethical conflicts, played by the wonderful Liv Ullman, a U.S. presidential candidate beaten in the last elections (Sam Waterson) and a poet, who has just gone through a love disappointment (John Heard).
Along the script no great romantic story, just conversations about ideas which are not new today, but at the time were quite revolutionary. Based on Fritjof Capra novel and brilliantly translated to a movie by director Bernt Capra (Fritjof's brother).

The majority of the movie is a conversation among three characters: a Norwegian scientist, Sonia Hoffman (played by Liv Ullmann), "the only woman in my department, the first in Norway doing quantum field theory"; an American politician and former presidential candidate, Jack Edwards (played by Sam Waterston); and poet Thomas Harriman (played by John Heard), a former political speechwriter, as they wander around Mont Saint Michel, France. The movie serves as an introduction to systems theory and systems thinking, while insights into modern physical theories such as quantum mechanics and particle physics are also given.

This is a film to watch again and again, specially in the present days, when we are moving into a more ecological consciousness.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Mastering Complexity

I have 37 years worked in a international company where there have been regularly conflicts between parts of the company , and this mainly due to culture differences, but also due to lack of awareness of the fact that the success of the company was depended on the connectives and relationship of his different parts .
Inspired by a article of Mr  Shawn Kent Hayashi, I can summarize the following:

Business is more complex than it has ever been.Companies have to compete in a global economy, and must collaborate in and across teams and learn their way through complexity.
Companies are open systems, consisting of subsystems , but also belonging to bigger systems such as market systems, legal systems, etc....
Each system has a different behaviour created by the structure of the system.This structure is made of the interconnection of people, all with their own mental model:values, beliefs,...
So we can say , that all elements of the system has their own culture, and this is leading to complexity in collaboration and very  sensitive for conflicts.
For a international company , doing globally business it is very important to be aware of this , to acknowledge it ,to respect it and to look after different paths to be successful.

What can be done ?Here some tips:

Raise awareness about potential conflicts.Acknowledge and learn that cultural differences, thinking differences, physical distance , greeting habits, meeting habits ...can separate team members.
Understanding and communicating around this will allow leaders to prevent conflicts.
Learn about communication styles :Everybody is communicating in different styles depending his education , knowledge , country of origin , etc..Communication by telephone  and mail will make it still more difficult to assure that the communication is well understood.A common language has to be created so that everybody of a team can communicate effectively with each other.
Acknowledge that conflict and frustration is inevitable in solving complex problems.It is not likely that we will see things the same way but we have to be open to discuss it and to create a shared vision.
We'll all need to put our puzzle pieces together, and explore ways to fit them together to see what possible solutions emerge.
Establish a different mindset of failure, because each mistake will give us feedback for learning.Therefore failure stories should be shared across the teams , not only from your own teams but also from others in your industry.
5.Create the learning organisation:these are the Five disciplines ( P.Senge)
- Think in systems
- Accept mental models
- Team building
- Shared vision
- Personal mastery

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Seeing the whole

Dear friends,

The month January is nearly finished....time flies at the same speed we are living.It was a hectic month full of food , drinks , best wishes and now it's time to think how we will make a happy and peacefully 2013.
I found this poem for reflection and want to share it with you:

               To see a world in a grain of sand,
                      And a heaven in a wild flower,
                            Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
                                 And eternity in an hour.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Organisatie cultuur

Waarom is het zo moeilijk om een strategie door te voeren?

Het invoeren van een nieuwe strategie heeft steeds veranderingen tot gevolg:veranderingen in structuur, verandering van processen , verandering in jobinhoud , enz…
Wanneer deze veranderingen geen rekening houden met de organisatiecultuur , krijgt men veel tegenstand  en wordt het spreekwoord” Kultuur eet strategie als ontbijt “zeker een waarheid.
Als de strategie niet rechtlijnig loopt met de organisatiecultuur , zal het zeer moelijk worden die strategie door te voeren!!
Maar eerst , wat is  een organisatiecultuur?
Organisatiecultuur is gedefinieërd door de waarden , overtuigingen en gedragspatronen die leven in de organisatie , en die zich uiten in de systemen , processen , beloningsvormen, procedures, communicatiekanalen, verhalen ….enz die in de organisatie  gebruikt worden .
Organisatiecultuur kunnen we ook door een systemische bril bekijken en de definitie terugvinden in de figuur van de ijsberg, hieronderaan.

Wat zichtbaar is boven het wateroppervlak , zijn de dagdagelijkse gebeurtenissen die gezien worden in de organisatie.
Juist onderaan het oppervlak hebben we de gedragspatronen die er uit voortvloeien , en die de normen van het bedrijf bepalen :een beetje zoals de “Code of Conduct”.
Die gedragspatronen worden ondersteund door de systemische structuur van rollen , verantwoordelijkheden ,en de relaties ertussen.
Gans onderaan vinden we de mentale modellen :waarden, veronderstellingen en overtuigingen die de drijvers zijn van het gedrag.
Samen bepalen deze verschillende niveaus onder de waterspiegel de organisatiecultuur, en de meest effectieve manier om de cultuur te veranderen is in te spelen op de mentale modellen , die het grootste hefboomeffect hebben voor het gehele.
Waarom is het dan zo moeilijk dit te veranderen??
Laten we daarvoor de karakteristieken van cultuur bekijken:
-       het is meer impliciet dan expliciet
-       het is versmolten in dagelijkse praktijken
-       het leidt tot  groepsdenken
-       het heeft zijn gronden in de historiek van de organisatie
-       de cultuur bepaalt het type van beslissingen
Hoe veranderen we die cultuur?
De toon moet gezet worden door goed leiderschap, maar iedereen heeft de verantwoordelijkheid er toe bij te dragen!
De Vijf Disciplines van P.Senge kunnen ons daar bij helpen:
-       Persoonlijk meesterschap: Iedereen moet zich ontwikkelen , om de mentale modellen van anderen te kunnen begrijpen en inzicht te krijgen in het systeem waartoe ze behoren.
-       Mentale modellen : Begin om Uw eigen model in vraag te stellen , en het doel van het systeem te begrijpen.Begrijp ook je eigen inbreng in het systeem en de gevolgen daarvan.
-       Teamwerk: Voer dialoog , werk samen en maak verbindingen 
-       Gedeelde visie: Communiceer over de doelstelling , en maak een gedeelde visie om dit te bereiken.
-       Systeemdenken: Denk in relatie’s, geef niet de schuld aan anderen en denk op lange termijn
Dit gaat niet over één nachtje , maar de doelstelling is om met cultuur en veranderingen aan dezelfde tafel te zitten.