Reductionist thinking – so easy to go down the rabbit hole!


I spent yesterday with a couple of people thinking about our marketing communication.

We started by identfying the different programs The Partnership offers. We then identified the messages and benefits for each program. Before I knew it, we were partcipating in an exercise of reductionism. We were thinking about each program as something separate from the others. And me, a teacher/practitioner of working with ‘wholes’!

We were thinking about programs that were designed to work together, separately … the relationship between them is an important ingredient that makes them work.

Thinking in parts does that. You lose the relationship between the parts that is the source of so much synergy and power.

And it is so easy to be seduced into this line of thinking – to find yourself falling down the rabbit hole and not even really notice it.

Watch yourself and see if you notice it during the day. We are so highly socialised to reducing problems down to bite size pieces.

And sometimes this appropriate.

Sometimes its not.

It’s all OK now, I have caught myself by becoming aware of the rabbit hole again.