Saturday, November 30, 2013

Holistic Management - The Power of Paradigms

Holistic Management, A New Framework for Decision Making, by Alan Savory

A Book Summary

In this summary of Holistic Management I quote freely from Alan Savory's book but summarize the main points. Kind of a Cliff Notes version. Don't be put off by the focus on grazing and agriculture. This is great stuff for managing your family or business.

The Power of Paradigms

A 100 years ago we would not have had the knowledge or tools to make good decisions on land management in brittle environments, we now have four key insights that can influence our decisions, they are:

  1. A holistic perspective is essential in management. If we base management decisions on any other perspective, we are likely to experience results different from those we desire because only the whole is reality.
  2. Environments can be classified as nonbrittle to very brittle according to how well humidity is distributed through out the year and how quickly vegetation breaks down. Resting land restores nonbrittle environments, but damages the land in very brittle environments.
  3. In brittle environments, relatively high numbers of large, herding animals, concentrated and moving as they naturally do in the presence of pack-hunting predators, are vital to maintaining the health of lands we thought they destroyed.
  4. In any environment, overgrazing and damage from trampling bear little relationship to the numbers of animals, but rather to the amount of time plants and soils are exposed to the animals.

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