This example demonstrates how easy it is to influence a result based on an initial belief, without ever realizing the result is being influenced by the belief.
Being that I am responsible for two individuals, Sue and Tina, it may be that I perceive that Sue is more talented and capable than Tina. Realize that I may or may not be consciously aware of this belief. Because of this perceived talent of Sue relative to Tina I tend to provide more support to Sue. This support may be in terms of planning, coaching, etc. This support to Sue enhances the success of Sue, which simply serves to reinforce the perceived talent of Sue relative to Tina. While this perception influences me to provide enhanced levels of support to Sue it influences me to provide less support to Tina. This reduced support to Tina hinders the success of Tina, which simply serves to further enhance the perceived talent of Sue relative to Tina.
This situation results in two Reinforcing Loops both driving the system in the same direction; the success of Sue relative to the success of Tina. And, isn't it interesting how the situation turned out to prove that my initial perception was in fact true!
- Get a grip on reality and pay attention to what you're doing. Proactivity begins when one realizes the extent to which they are part of the problem.
- For additional information regarding this structure see: Success to the Successful Systems Archetype.
Systems Thinking World Discussions
Systems Thinking World Q&A * Gene Bellinger