STAGE ONE: CREATING A GENERAL SYSTEMS MODEL

In my earlier work, I constructed three systems models; a systems-environment model, a functions/structure model, and a process model; all of which are applicable to understanding and working with social systems. I prefer to call these models "lenses." As I use the systems-environment lens, I can see and understand relational arrangements and dynamics between the system and its context. The functions/structure lens helps me to see the system at a given moment in time. I understand what it is; it projects a snapshot of the system. The third lens shows how motion: the behavior of the system through time. None of these lenses give me a whole picture of the system, Only as I integrate the three images can I capture a comprehensive view -- the wholeness of the system. The process of using the lenses and describing a system provides the first experience of internalization and application of the systems view.

STAGE TWO: TRANSFORMING THE GENERAL MODEL INTO A SPECIFIC CONTEXT At this stage we transform the general models into the context to a specific social systems. This transformation enables us to portray, characterize and use social/societal entities and systems and work with them relatively in four complementary domains of organizational inquiry. These process domains are:

* The ANALYSIS and DESCRIPTION of social systems, by the application of the three models presented above (The systems environment, the functions and the process models)

* SYSTEMS DESIGN, conducting design inquiry with the us of design models, methods, and tools appropriate to social systems and the specific type of system chosen.

* IMPLEMENTATION of the design by SYSTEMS DEVELOPMENT and the INSTITUTIONALIZATION of the new system.

* SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT, the management of systems operations, and the management of change.

and based on findings of this stage, revisit Stage One and revise it if indicated. Then, move to Stage Two again, learn from the application and proceed in a spiralic fashion. The spiral never ends...The spiral is the method of the continuing development of systems inquiry.

Thus we gain insights and ideas for shaping the future of our system by using models to provide a comprehensive characterization , a plan for development and implementation of our new model, explicitely stated and shared perspectives to ensure the attainment of consensus, co-participation in design to enhance commitment, commitment to idealized design so that its realization can be evolutionary, learning by and from our design , and, as new realities emerge, reimagining the ideal like a horizon forever moving ahead of us. We design systems that value and serve people. We design systems that build and nurture human qualities. We believe that it is our destiny -- and it is within our power -- to guide our evolution and the evolution of our systems and to shape our individual and collective future by design. Therefore, we should embrace systems design as an essential part of out professional repretoire. We can attain this by developing organizational capacity and individual and collective capability in systems design...