There Are No Perfect Systems

There is a saying that systems are perfectly designed to produce the results they get. In a recent conversation with a friend who is in the education field, we were sharing the observations about all that is going on in the world and how the collective field affects us at the individual and personal level. Some of the impact is less tangible, and affects us through our fields, through which emotions are transmitted. This is why so many of us are exhausted.

Much of the impact is direct and observable, showing up in the systems in which we are a part of, like the fields of education and the health care industry. Systems that are more currently more overburdened than ever, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic that has occurred during the last two years. Systems that we can’t help but wonder how or if they will recover. Then it all of a sudden hit me. There are NO perfect systems. Maybe there never have been, or never will be. We can bring all our individual and collective wisdom to redesigning systems and we still encounter unintended consequences, although there will be fewer when we think in terms of systems. If a perfect system is a fantasy, then what are we with?

There is so much going on around us that we have no influence or control over. There are no quick fixes to complex challenges, there really hasn’t been. It’s helpful to keep what is in front of us in our sights. We can each influence the relationships we have in our own networks and environments, including at work. Maybe there are no perfect systems, just imperfect human beings willing to risk enough to build trust and healthy relationships in order to live in a perfect world. We find that this offers hope and inspiration in the face of the challenges we see and experience in all the places that we show up in.

One response to “There Are No Perfect Systems”

  1. I LOVE LEARNING ABOUT SYSTEMS! You’re right. Systems are all vulnerable to threats, like declining achievement, burnout, reaching limits, etc. Every solution, often has an unexpected consequence that leads to another problem, requiring us to find another solution that leads to another unexpected outcome…. etc. But, systems are inevitable! I find that it seems the more humans try to change the system… the deeper the whole we get into!

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