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On January 29, 2010, I participated in a panel discussion about Systems Thinking on Today with Beverley Manley, a news and current affairs program that airs on Hot 102 FM in Jamaica.

The host, Beverley Manley, has an impressive resume that includes:
  • Former First Lady of Jamaica
  • Visiting Professor at Harvard and Cornell University
  • Distinguished Carnegie International Fellow at Radcliffe/Harvard
  • Author and Journalist
Manley has also participated in workshops organized by the Society for Organizational Learning (SoL) at MIT, one of the premier institutions for the study and promotion of Systems Thinking. Her workshops included presentations by Peter Senge, author of The Fifth Discipline, and a highly respected Systems Thinking leader.

The panel discussion included myself and 3 other Systems Thinking leaders:
  • Clare Crawford-Mason Author of several books on Systems Thinking and producer of the Deming Systems Management DVD Library and the Russell Ackoff Better Management Series on Systems Thinking

  • Dr. Leon Butler Former Director of Planning and Organizational Change at University of Maryland

  • Tripp Babbitt - President of Bryce Harrison, Inc., a consulting company that applies a Systems Thinking perspective in guiding service organizations
The discussion explored topics including:
  • What is Systems Thinking?

  • How do we better understand the interconnected and interdependent systems in our lives, families, organizations and communities?

  • How could we apply a Systems Thinking framework to issues of crime in Jamaica?

  • The contrast between linear, top-down command-and-control hierarchies vs. non-linear Systems Thinking approaches and the challenges of shifting from the former to the latter

  • How Ishmael and The Fifth Discipline helped foster my interest in Systems Thinking

  • The gap in Systems Thinking between the East and the West
You can listen to the discussion by hitting the play button on the flash player below. The full discussion is 26 minutes, 37 seconds in length.

My thanks to Today producer, Sharona Napier and her sound engineer for this copy of the interview and their permission to share it here.

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