Category Archives: General

Real objectives, value and the systems approach

Client-purpose relationships, unfolding, evaluation and systemic agency It’s always wise to raise questions about the most obvious and simple assumptions. (Churchman, 1968: ix) What proof exists of any real, actual value added by the systems approach? At the beginning of … Continue reading

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Systems approach as teleological concordance

A complete concise understanding of the systems approach When I started this blog (CSL4D, i.e. Concept & Systems Learning for Design) almost 5 years ago (January 8, 2012), I had just discovered concept mapping as a great learning tool. At … Continue reading

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From efficacy to efficiency to effectiveness

Four approaches and two meanings of ‘approach’ When I first read Churchman’s ‘The systems approach’ I was missing a bit of structure to let everything fall into place. I went on to read more of his books and other systems … Continue reading

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Solving the wrong problem precisely

“A problem well put is half solved.” Dewey, 1938 In 1998, Ian Mitroff adapted an article from his book Smart Thinking for Crazy Times, which dealt with preventing misdirected thinking, or the time, talent, and resource drains that result from … Continue reading

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Constructive journalism

… and how it could benefit from the systems approach This morning (Dec. 2, 2016), the somewhat sceptical article on constructive journalism by Adri Vermaat in Trouw (a Dutch newspaper, article not free) triggered me to write this post. We live in a … Continue reading

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The pure land of a(nti)teleology

Reversing the table on rationality, again and again Reading Churchman is like riding a conceptual rollercoaster. He never shies away from looking at things from totally different angles, opposites in particular, and not just occasionally but in quick succession, again … Continue reading

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Philosophic inquiring systems

The foundations of the systems approach Churchman (1971, p. 17-18) suggests that “.. we can regard the history of epistemology [..] as a description of how learning can be designed and how the design can be justified. This way of … Continue reading

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