Actions and cycles

Chris Corrigan has an interesting take on the old saw of “talk versus action”. Here’s part of his argument and I recommend the whole thing:

People often make the distinction between talk and action, largely in my experience as an objection to the amount of time it takes to be in conversation around complex topics. It seems that with complexity the conversation is endless and can go on forever. And almost by definition that is true. That can be a very frustrating experience if you consider the action – reflection process to be a linear one in which we spend time figuring out what we are going to do and then go and do it.

This reminds me of a chat I had with Chris when he was over earlier this month.

We talked about how people get attached to models like the Kubler Ross grief cycle, as if in life we just do our grieving in five discreet stages. We don’t. We usually go through the cycle repeatedly and not necessarily in a predictable order. We’re also complex creatures within a complex system, so our cycle for grieving is disturbed by all the other things going on in our life.

Much the same goes for any model that attempts to define too closely the “logical” order in which human organisations should go about things.

I think Chris’ post offers at least a more sane perspective, that allows for emergence.

1 thought on “Actions and cycles

  1. Matt Kinsella

    I have to admit I have got involved in conversations (even with myself) that become endless by their complexity but I don’t enjoy them and eventually force some action. However I think some people live for those complex endless discussions and I feel sorry for them because they are capable but get nowhere.


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