Thursday, February 01, 2018

The cure is worse than the disease:Systems Thinking

Recently I read this news about the Indian Govt waiving loan as the farmers couldn't pay. I thought aloud in my mind, what a disastrous decision by the government!
This is not the first time I have read such a piece of news. A couple of years ago, there was big news about farmers committing suicide as they couldn't pay the loan, so, the government went ahead and waived their loan. 
If the government keeps waiving loans like the one in the news, they are never going to solve the farmer's problem, even worse, they would push the farmers into more trouble in the years to come.
Do you want to understand why this is a problem ? There is a law in Systems thinking
The cure is worse than the disease
It means that many a times the cure that is applied is not only ineffective but leads to causing issues that are worse than the current problem. 
In the above case of waiving the farmer's loan, the short-sightedness of the govt leads to short term improvement but never looks at the root causes leading to farmers financial problems. 
Each time, the loan is waived, the farmers will go back, doing exactly what they were doing earlier, which in turn creates the same set of results/problems in the years to come. 
The government aids, waiver programs makes the system weaker leading to more dependency on the government.  The govt needs to do a root-cause analysis to identify the causes behind the financial problems at a system level before recommending any solution.
I am just worried that the waiver programs will harm more farmers and their families in the coming years, due to the stupidity of such short-sighted solutions.
A systems thinker need to look at the longer-term solution to empower the system, so that root causes are addressed rather than identifying short-term quick solutions. 
If you are keen to learn more about Systems Thinking and understand the laws, please register for my upcoming Certified LeSS Practitioner course. Details below:
Sydney: July 10th, 11th and 12th. Register here
Melbourne: Aug 21st, 22nd and 23rd. Register here

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