It’s always a people problem


Gerald M. Weinberg – poly-math with a focus on: systems theory, project management, software development, management consulting, creative writing, and humanism.

The Second Law of Consulting:
No matter how it looks at first, it’s always a people problem

Marvin’s Corollary:
Whatever the client is doing, advise something else.

Body Language Advice:
When you point a finger at someone, notice where the other three fingers are pointed.

The Five-Minute Rule:
Clients always know how to solve their problems, and always tell the solution in the first five minutes.

Gerald Weinberg, The Secrets of Consulting Amazon

Used copies start at $4.00. It’s a classic. I came to understand right away that Weinberg’s viewpoint resonates with some avenues of practical ancient wisdom. I count Gerald Weinberg as one my ‘main guys’ as far his being a prime influence on my own thinking about systems and group relations in organizations. His most notable work was first published in 1975, An Introduction to General Systems Thinking. It’s a cornerstone for any cybernetician.

Chapters Two and Three can stand-alone, and, they should be read by every intellectually precocious ninth grader.

Chapter 2. The Approach
• Organism, Analogy, and Vitalism
• The Scientist and His Categories
• The Main Article of General
Systems Faith
• The Nature of General Systems
• Varieties of Systems Thinking

Chapter 3. System and Illusion
• A System Is a Way of Looking at
the World
• Absolute and Relative Thinking
• A System Is a Set
• Observers and Observations
• The Principle of Indifference

Jerry turned 80 today. Happy birthday.

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