Self-control is a central problem in the management of purposeful systems.

I have argued that we must treat problem situations as a whole and not break them into parts which are treated independently of one another; that problem solving should be made an integral part of planning. Planning provides us with a way of acting now that can make the kind of future we want more likely. But planning is still an unwelcome process in many quarters. How it is treated depends on which four attitudes towards the future dominates; reactive, inactive, preactive, or interactive. Of these, only the last is consistent with the systems point of view and way of thinking. Interactive planning is committed to creating a future that approximates an explicitly formulated ideal as closely as possible, and that allows for continuous revision of that ideal. Such planning is necessarily participative, coordinated, integrated, and continuous. Problems are conceptual constructs abstracted from complex sltuations that are systems of problems, messes. Solutions are also abstractions. No problems are ever finally put to rest. Therefore, solutions require control: continuous maintenance and improvement. (RF 33)

This page was last updated on July 24, 1996, by Rob Sable.