LinkedIn Systems Thinking World Thread: Gestalt and Flow

What are the synergies between Systems Thinking (ST) and Process Thinking (PT)? Are ST and PT in conflict or they can enhance each other?


Kent Palmer • I think so. Here is a brief summary. Gestalts are figure on ground with a tension between the figure and ground. What is not in the literature that I can find is that the Gestalt has a dual which is the flow. The flow is a stream in the foreground and a reference point is in the background. The reference point and the figure are opposites, and the background and flow are opposites. The difference between them is whether they are in the foreground or background. The best way to see this is to look at rocks in a stream. Those that protrude from the steam are gestalt and those that are just under the water as the stream flows over them are flows. Now the difference between System and Process is just the conceptual counterpart of this duality. Systems are inter-subjective gestalts and Processes are inter subjective flows at the rarefied conceptual level that corresponds to the phenomenological duality just described.

Anyway this is my take on the relation between Process and System and how they are complementary duals of each other. See my various works for more details.



Posted March 8, 2011 by kentpalmer in Uncategorized

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