A Correction

[From Fred Nickols (980822.1540)]

Marc Abrams (980821.1640)

In a conversation with Fred Nickols the other day he illustrated this
point very well. Fred is a terrific business consultant He also
happens to be the Director of Strategic Planning at ETS ( Educational
Testing Service ) in Princeton, NJ. ETS uses Vensim and employs the SD
Paradigm in a number of different situations. Fred is _not_ an SD
modeler. But he was able to converse and point out a mistake in a
model of John Stermans, who happens to be the Chairperson of SD at
MIT.

I appreciate Marc's enthusiasm and I recall the telephone conversation from
which he draws his points above. However, I am compelled to correct part of
what Marc says.

John Sterman does indeed head the system dynamics program at MIT, but I did
not point out a mistake in one of his SD models. John and I were attending
the first "gathering" (a conclave of executives, practitioners, and academics
who share an interest in system dynamics) and, in the course of one of the
many group conversations, John took issue with an assertion I made (which I've
long since forgotten). John subsequently conceded the correctness of my
point.

We are doing a great deal of SD modeling at ETS--all at my instigation--and,
initially with the help of a fellow who, according to Sterman, is the best SD
modeler around: Jack Homer. To date, we've spent several hundred thousand
dollars on SD modeling and it's paid for itself a dozen times over (e.g., we
used it to identify a strategy that is going to save us millions of dollars a
year in reduced costs of item production).

        BTW, my instincts tell me that PCT has every bit as much economic
        potential--once the practical applications are teased out.

Jack's an interesting fellow--about as bright a person as ever I've met. One
of these days I'll fill him full of some of this PCT stuff and see what kinds
of SD models he might develop to express it.

As for "conversing" in SD, I speak several "languages" (e.g., technician,
sales,
marketing, training, systems development, work process, performance and
productivity improvement, business, finance, a little bit of psychology,
some organizational behavior, very little math, and a whole bunch of BS).
I loves good BS.

That's what makes me a dilettante--a dabbler--but, not as Kenny wrote, a
"Jack of
all trades, master of none." That certainly applies to lots of folks but
not to
me. I think of myself as "Jack of all trades and master of some" (that's
immodest,
I know, but not nearly as "cocky" as once I was).

...oh yeah, once y'all have played around with Vensim PLE and are thinking
about the .44 magnum version known as DSS, let me know, and I'll wrestle Bob
Eberlein to the ground and extract a handsome discount...

Regards,

Fred Nickols
The Distance Consulting Company
nickols@worldnet.att.net
http://home.att.net/~nickols/distance.htm

"The Internet offers the best graduate-level education to be found
anywhere."

From [ Marc Abrams (980822.1605) ]

[From Fred Nickols (980822.1540)]

I appreciate Marc's enthusiasm and I recall the telephone
conversation from which he draws his points above.
However, I am compelled to correct part of what Marc says.

John Sterman does indeed head the system dynamics >program

at MIT, but I did not point out a mistake in one of >his SD
models. John and I were attending the first >"gathering" (a
conclave of executives, practitioners, and >academics who
share an interest in system dynamics) and, >in the course of
one of the many group conversations, John >took issue with
an assertion I made (which I've long since >forgotten).
John subsequently conceded the correctness of >my point.

Thanks for the clarification Fred, but my point was, and
still might be:-), that one does _not_ have to be an SD
modeler to talk about and comprehend an SD model.

We are doing a great deal of SD modeling at ETS--all at my
instigation--and, initially with the help of a fellow who,
according to Sterman, is the best SD modeler around: Jack
Homer. To date, we've spent several hundred thousand
dollars on SD modeling and it's paid for itself a dozen

times >over (e.g., we used it to identify a strategy that is
going to >save us millions of dollars a year in reduced
costs of item >production)
.

Actually Fred, SD modeling as it currently is being utilized
does _not_ model purposeful behavior. It models S->R
behavior. Every SD modeler I know, including Bob Eberlein,
Jack Homer, John Sterman, and others believe in the S->R,
Cognitive school. Models that we develop here will be
revelations to the SD crowd. SD has been _very_ successful
with inventory and material systems. It has been _much_ less
successful in dealing with the "human behavioral elements"
in these same systems". That might change thanks to PCT and
the ability of PCTers to "speak" in a language they can
understand.

> BTW, my instincts tell me that PCT has every bit as

much economic potential--once the practical applications
are teased out.

Sorry Fred, _What_ practical apps do you envision? PCT is
_already_ woven into the fabric of everything we do. The
trick is to understand _how_ and _where_ it _already_ exists
and utilize your knowledge of that to try and improve the
situation.

Jack's an interesting fellow--about as bright a person as

ever >I've met. One of these days I'll fill him full of
some of this >PCT stuff and see what kinds of SD models he
might >develop to express it.

Expressing it is one thing. Understanding the implications
are another. These SD people are supposed to have
backgrounds in control I don't think they would "see" a
control process if it hit them in the head :slight_smile: I'll take my
chances with Bill and Rick, thank you.

As for "conversing" in SD, I speak several "languages"

(e.g., >technician,sales, marketing, training, systems
development, >work process, performance and productivity
improvement, >business, finance, a little bit of psychology,

some organizational behavior, very little math, and a whole
bunch of BS).
I loves good BS.

No kidding :-), Fred, you are too humble :slight_smile: You _are_
terrific. and thats _No_ BS :slight_smile:

Marc