The Blind Cannot See a System

Method / Communication and Skills

The Blind Cannot See a System
Ayele Abdata , Director, Ethiopia

The whole is greater than the total sum of its parts.

This view is the direct response to the Ancient Asian story about the blind men and an elephant. The story can teach us many things: 1) The blind can never see a system. That big picture is a system, not separated organs. If we do not see the big system as a group of interrelated (inseparable) organs that work together for a common goal, we are just a blind, and we mar the organization rather than making. 2) The story can also be a good example to have a holistic approach to understanding and solving problems. We have to examine and study the whole system as interrelated organs rather than amputating and prescribing aspirin to a piece. In holistic medicine, for example, the physician must examine the whole man (body, mind and spirit) rather than treating just the symptom. By considering the big picture as a system, we can understand, save, make and manage our organization to quality product and service. A manager should have an open mind and all-rounded perspective toward his/her firm.

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