LeadU presents Meta System


Meta System

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." - Albert Einstein
Meta-systems have several definitions. In general, they link the concepts "system" and "meta-". A "meta-system" is a system about other systems, such as describing, generalizing, modelling, or analyzing the other system(s). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meta-system

I'm comfortable at this point, using the term MetaSystem, because it doesn't make sense to hyphenate it, because if you don't, it models the pre — not the post, if you understand what I mean.

The concept of metasystem transition allows us to introduce a kind of objective quantitative measure of evolution and distinguish between evolution in the positive direction, progress, and what we consider an evolution in the negative direction, regress (cf. the direction of evolution). For example, here is the sequence of metasystem transitions which led, starting from the appearance of organs of motion, to the appearance of human thought and human society: http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/MST.html
  • control of position = movement
  • control of movement = irritability (simple reflex)
  • control of irritability = (complex) reflex
  • control of reflex = associating (conditional reflex)
  • control of associating = human thinking
  • control of human thinking = culture

System underlying and external to other (overlying, lower in logical order and often more visible) systems, and the understanding of which is essential to the understanding of the overlying systems. For example, the constitution of a nation is a metasystem that governs the code of law that governs the behavior of its citizens. Read more: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/metasystem.html

I/you have to be careful that we don't term a "system of systems" as a metasystem, because it doesn't work, which is the reason for years I've thought that transdisciplinary work is not metasystematic reasoning automatically.

I probably will write another TPOV at some point, on metasystematic thinking as it applies to hierarchical task performance, because such a system is defined by a coordination of the systematic level of reasoning and so on, from formal, as it uses abstract reasoning to define it's coordination and integration — although sometimes integration is a reach, because coordination and integration are not the same thing.

Helpful Hint:  What's important is to think of something that is a control system coordinating subsystems, where the control 'S' is now coordinating the S systems. For instance, work at level 5 in RO coordinates and informs level 4, and level 4 work is system related work, which informs multiple processes within the system. The level 4 system is not a metasystem, but a system of processes.

But for the curious, metasystematic reasoning has it's roots in level 4, and will sometimes appear in level 3 work, as level 4, mode >5 individuals will be unconsciously entering metasystematic thinking, even though they are unable to generate it per se.  They can begin to understand it as they move out of level 3 work, into level 4 capability, even though the level 4 capability is beginning to be informed by level 5 metasystematic thinking.  They can't generate it until they can move subject/object relations.

Action Step: Review the graphical story board at http://www.flawlessliving.info/metasystem/index.html for an idea of how a framework of values, or a vMEME can form using simple dynamics, agents, rules, tensions, and conditionals in a metasystem called Emergenics.

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We hope you pick up valuable insights, ideas, and tools during this process, which you can use for your own development as well as your work and leadership with others.

You, Me, and We @F-L-O-W

Mike R. Jay is a developmentalist utilizing consulting, coaching, mentoring and advising as methods to offer developmental scaffolding for aspiring leaders who are interested in being, doing, having, becoming, and contributing... to helping people have lives.

Mike R. Jay
Leadership University

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