Thinking in Systems
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|Author||: Donella H. Meadows,Diana Wright|
|Editor||: Chelsea Green Publishing|
In the years following her role as the lead author of the international bestseller, Limits to Growth—the first book to show the consequences of unchecked growth on a finite planet— Donella Meadows remained a pioneer of environmental and social analysis until her untimely death in 2001. Meadows' newly released manuscript, Thinking in Systems, is a concise and crucial book offering insight for problem solving on scales ranging from the personal to the global. Edited by the Sustainability Institute's Diana Wright, this essential primer brings systems thinking out of the realm of computers and equations and into the tangible world, showing readers how to develop the systems-thinking skills that thought leaders across the globe consider critical for 21st-century life. Some of the biggest problems facing the world—war, hunger, poverty, and environmental degradation—are essentially system failures. They cannot be solved by fixing one piece in isolation from the others, because even seemingly minor details have enormous power to undermine the best efforts of too-narrow thinking. While readers will learn the conceptual tools and methods of systems thinking, the heart of the book is grander than methodology. Donella Meadows was known as much for nurturing positive outcomes as she was for delving into the science behind global dilemmas. She reminds readers to pay attention to what is important, not just what is quantifiable, to stay humble, and to stay a learner. In a world growing ever more complicated, crowded, and interdependent, Thinking in Systems helps readers avoid confusion and helplessness, the first step toward finding proactive and effective solutions.
|Author||: Rutherford Albert|
|Editor||: Dorottya Zita Varga|
Would you like to have better solutions to your problems? Struggling to understand why things went wrong when you did everything right? Learn to Think in Systems can help you with these problems. Systems surround us and we might not even be aware of it. Your household is a system. The bakery on the corner is a system. Your class at school, your department at work, and your weekend soccer team made of wholehearted dads is a system too. You are a vital part of more complex systems like your country, the economy, or the world; learn about their changing nature, and find optimal solutions to problems related to them. The world is more connected than ever thanks to innovations like telephone, television, computers, and internet. The way we sense reality changed significantly. Using conventional thinking to understand the world as it functions today is not enough. We need to know the elements of systems thinking to see beyond simple cause-effect connections. This book will help you to find strategic solutions to every complex, modern problem. Learn To Think in Systems focuses on the nine fundamental system archetypes; our mental models related to them, and the step-by-step implication methods to fix them. Learn to use systems archetypes to solve your problems at work, in your business, in your relationship, and social connections. See through the motivations and understand the drives of contemporary politics, economics, and education. Widen your perspective, think critically, analyze deeply, clear your vision, be more logical and rational just by applying systems thinking. Think differently and get different results. -Learn the language of systems thinking. -Apply the best systems thinking ideas, models, and frameworks in your cognitive and decision-making process. -Learn to understand, design, and find solutions to the main system problems called 'archetypes.' Complexity, organizational pathways, and networks gain more and more importance in our interconnected world. Learn To Think in Systems gives you real-life examples to make the adoption process of this type of thinking smooth. Define your problems more accurately, find better, long-lasting solutions to your problems, learn to create strategic plans using systems diagrams, and understand your place and power over the world.
|Author||: Steven Schuster|
Would you like to have better solutions to your problems? Struggling to understand why things went wrong when you did everything right? The Art Of Thinking In Systems can help you with these problems. You think systems thinking is for politicians, and big company CEO's? Let me tell you this: a small business is a system, your class at school is a system, your family is a system. You are the element of larger systems - your town, your country, the world. These systems have a different dynamic. The more you know about their nature, the more optimal solutions you'll find to problems related to them. Systems thinking helps you see beyond simple connections, and find strategic solutions considering every actor influencing your problem. The Art Of Thinking In Systems presents the fundamental system archetypes, models, and methods with an application to real life. Know how to use systems thinking at work, in your business, in your relationship, friendships. The book also helps you to see through the hidden pathways of contemporary politics, economics, and education changes. Systems thinking opens new and exciting ways to re-invigorate your world view. It enriches your critical thinking skill, analyzing ability, clears your vision, makes you more logical and rational - just to mention a few benefits. Systems thinking's aim is not to overcomplicate your thoughts but to find better solutions to your problems. Some things in life can't be fixed with a simple "you did this so I did that" thinking. By applying conventional thinking to complex problems, we often perpetuate the very problems we try so hard to solve. Learn to think differently to get different results. -Learn about the main elements of systems thinking. -How to apply the best systems thinking ideas, models, and frameworks in your life? -What are the biggest system errors, how to detect and fix them? -How can you improve your romantic relationship with systems thinking? Over the past decades, systems thinking gained an eloquent position in science and research. Complexity, organizational pathways, networks gained more importance in our interconnected world. Just like wars are not fought with two armies standing in opposite of each other on an opened field, the answers to personal problems are more compounded, as well. -Improve your social life understanding the systemic aspects of social networks. -Useful tips how to fix financial fallouts in your business. -See through the systems of health care, education, politics, and global economics. The Art Of Thinking In Systems presents global systems theory with real life examples making it easily understandable and applicable. This book is not for Wall Street analysts but for everyday people who wish to understand their world better and make better decisions in their lives. You will be able to define your problems more accurately, design solutions more correctly, put together strategic plans, and understand the world - and your place in it - in its chaotic complexity.
|Author||: Jamshid Gharajedaghi|
Systems Thinking, Third Edition combines systems theory and interactive design to provide an operational methodology for defining problems and designing solutions in an environment increasingly characterized by chaos and complexity. This new edition has been updated to include all new chapters on self-organizing systems as well as holistic, operational, and design thinking. The book covers recent crises in financial systems and job markets, the housing bubble, and environment, assessing their impact on systems thinking. A companion website is available at interactdesign.com. This volume is ideal for senior executives as well as for chief information/operating officers and other executives charged with systems management and process improvement. It may also be a helpful resource for IT/MBA students and academics. Four NEW chapters on self-organizing systems, holistic thinking, operational thinking, and design thinking Covers the recent crises in financial systems and job markets globally, the housing bubble, and the environment, assessing their impact on systems thinking Companion website to accompany the book is available at interactdesign.com
|Author||: Linda Booth Sweeney,Dennis Meadows|
|Editor||: Chelsea Green Publishing|
"More and more educators and businesspeople espouse system thinking today---this short workbook helps you do it! From two of the most gifted systems educators, this is a great tool for discovering the systems thinker in us all."---Peter M. Senge, Senior Lecturer for MIT, founder of the Society for Organizational Learning, author of the Fifth Discipline --
|Author||: Ray Ison,Ed Straw|
The Hidden Power of Systems Thinking: Governance in a Climate Emergency is a persuasive, lively book that shows how systems thinking can be harnessed to effect profound, complex change. In the age of the Anthropocene, the need for new ways of thinking and acting has become urgent. But patterns of obstacles are apparent in any action, be they corporate interests, lobbyists, or outdated political and government systems. Ison and Straw show how and why failure in governance is at the heart of the collective incapacity to tackle the climate and biodiversity emergencies. They go beyond analysis of the problem and demonstrate how incorporating systems thinking into governance at every level would enable us to break free of historical shackles. They propose 26 principles for systemic governance. This book will be inspiring reading for students applying their systemic methods, specialists in change management or public administration, activists for ‘whole system change’ and decision makers wanting to effect challenging transformations. It is for anyone with the ambition to create a sustainable and fair world.
|Author||: Anthony Hodgson|
Systems Thinking for a Turbulent World will help practitioners in any field of change engage more effectively in transformative innovation. Such innovation addresses the paradigm shift needed to meet the diverse unfolding global challenges facing us today, often summed up as the Anthropocene. Fragmentation of local and global societies is escalating, and this is aggravating vicious cycles. To heal the rifts, we need to reintroduce the human element into our understandings – whether the context is civic or scientific – and strengthen truth-seeking in decision-making. Aided by appropriate concepts and methods, this healing will enable a switch from reaction to anticipation, even in the face of discontinuous change and high uncertainty. The outcome is to privilege the positive human skills for collaborative navigation through uncertainty over the disjointed rationality of mechanism and artificial intelligence, which increasingly alienates us. The reader in search of new ways of thinking will be introduced to concepts new to systems thinking that integrate systems thinking and futures thinking. The concept of anticipatory present moment (APM) serves as a basis for learning the cognitive skills that better enable navigation through turbulent times. A key personal and team practice is participative repatterning, which is the basis for transformative innovation. This practice is aided by new methods of visual facilitation. The reader is guided through the unfolding of the ideas and practices with a narrative based on the metaphor of search portrayed in the tradition of ox herding, found in traditional Far Eastern consciousness practice.
|Author||: David Peter Stroh|
|Editor||: Chelsea Green Publishing|
Donors, leaders of nonprofits, and public policy makers usually have the best of intentions to serve society and improve social conditions. But often their solutions fall far short of what they want to accomplish and what is truly needed. Moreover, the answers they propose and fund often produce the opposite of what they want over time. We end up with temporary shelters that increase homelessness, drug busts that increase drug-related crime, or food aid that increases starvation. How do these unintended consequences come about and how can we avoid them? By applying conventional thinking to complex social problems, we often perpetuate the very problems we try so hard to solve, but it is possible to think differently, and get different results. Systems Thinking for Social Change enables readers to contribute more effectively to society by helping them understand what systems thinking is and why it is so important in their work. It also gives concrete guidance on how to incorporate systems thinking in problem solving, decision making, and strategic planning without becoming a technical expert. Systems thinking leader David Stroh walks readers through techniques he has used to help people improve their efforts to end homelessness, improve public health, strengthen education, design a system for early childhood development, protect child welfare, develop rural economies, facilitate the reentry of formerly incarcerated people into society, resolve identity-based conflicts, and more. The result is a highly readable, effective guide to understanding systems and using that knowledge to get the results you want.
|Author||: Marcus P Dawson|
Do you want to understand the roles of thinking in systems and how they affect, hinder, or aid in the fulfillment of your life? Do you want to increase your thinking skills and build effective mental models? Just as every node on a network contributes to the final result, every action of a member of a particular organizational system contributes to the outcome. Without a broad view of interconnectedness, our problem-solving skills are limited and short-sighted, and our abilities to make long-term, beneficial decisions are hampered. If we only look to the immediate and the superficial, we forget that we are reliant on the smallest of parts. If we don't acknowledge the complexity of our interdependence, then we are doomed to replicate a system that will ultimately fail. Awareness of our interconnectedness is key to solving the biggest and most complex problems that we face in contemporary society. The real question is not whether we should use system thinking, but which of the many ideas, approaches, and techniques currently associated with the field of system thinking are most useful in specific settings. In the year of 1943, Kenneth Craik, a Scottish psychologist, explained that the human mind expects events and describes fundamentals by building small-scale models of the real world. A mental model is a way we represent and understand an event, phenomenon, or system in a compact manner. There is a mental model for everything that happens around you. In this book you will learn: - The key concepts of systems thinking - How to solve any problem with step by step method - Tips to improve your decision-making process - The role of Chaos Theory in systemic thinking - What is wrong with your current way of thinking and how you can improve it - Strategies for developing habits, mental toughness, and resilience to combat mental clutter - 40 mental models that you can use in your daily life - To identify the mental models you already use every day - How to expand your set of mental models, create new ones and use them effectively ... and much more! Systems thinking provides a framework for defining and solving problems. Start by paying attention to the questions you ask to practice thinking from a more systemic perspective. Extend your sense of what constitutes "the present." Try to think as "now" in terms of a longer block of time. Ask yourself what happened just a year ago. What is going on now? What happens next year? We can grasp interconnections that we may not have seen before by extending our sense of the "now." You are changing the way you think! It is not something easy and is an extremely challenging task. Just think about it. That is the way you have thought for all these years of your life. Your behavior and perception of things are influenced by mental models. You will be astonished as to how you start seeing the world in a different light the moment you expose yourself to a new mental model. Once you start using them in your life, your day-to-day life will start becoming so much easier. There is no end to the number of mental models that exist on this earth and you will learn about so many of them in this book. Right now. Ready to get started? But don't think too much about it. Click "Buy Now"!
|Author||: Zoe McKey|
Get out of that rut. Find long-term solution to your problems. We have the best of intentions to improve our conditions, but often our solutions fall short of improving our lives. Our best efforts can result in the opposite of what we want over time. If we apply conventional thinking to complex issues, we often maintain or feed the very problems we want to fix. How to avoid this trap? I will tell you in this book.Think in Systems is a concise information manual offering high-level, strategic problem solving methods for personal and global issues. The book presents the main features of systems thinking in an understandable, everyday manner, helping you to develop the skill top analysts and world leaders use. Your life is a system. Everything that is connected to your system (life) is a part of it. Your town, country, the world, the solar system are all bigger systems you are a part of. These systems are interconnected. Whatever you do will affect the system and whatever the system does will affect your life. Systems can have positive and negative effect on your life - or on life of people generally. The greatest problems like hunger, war, and poverty are all failures in the system. Similarly, fights with your loved ones, being stuck in a rut at your job are also system failures. They are not only your fault. But they can't be fixed with cause-effect thinking. Systems thinking boosts your critical thinking skills, makes you more logical, enhances your analytical abilities, and makes you more creative. "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." Albert Einstein-Learn the main aspects, concepts, and models of systems thinking.-Design models and systems maps to solve your problems-Find solutions to your underlying problems, not just the symptoms-Improve your mental health, wealth, and connectionsLearn to use systems thinking in your business, relationships, friendships, and general political, socio-economic, and environmental issues. -Widen your understanding about international economic, political, and socio-economic affairs-Manage your business better -The most helpful materials, books, and experts to learn even more about systems thinking.-Map out a strategic action plan to change your circumstances. Become more patient by understanding the world - and your place in it - better. -Shift your focus from the unimportant details and focus on the real issues. -Stay a learner. Learn to use systems thinking in your problem solving, decision making, and strategic planning practices today.
|Author||: John Boardman,Brian Sauser|
|Editor||: CRC Press|
By examining the links and interactions between elements of a system, systems thinking is becoming increasingly relevant when dealing with global challenges, from terrorism to energy to healthcare. Addressing these seemingly intractable systems problems in our society, Systems Thinking: Coping with 21st Century Problems focuses on the inherent opportunities and difficulties of a systems approach. Taking an engineering systems view toward systems thinking, the authors place a high value on the thinking process and the things applied to this process. In the hopes of initiating critical thinking and encouraging a systems response to problems, the book provides pragmatic mechanisms to understand and address co-evolving systems problems and solutions. It uses several contemporary and complex societal issues, such as the Iraq war, the Google phenomenon, and the C2 Constellation, to illustrate the concepts, methods, and tools of a system as well as the meaning of togetherness in a system. The text also interweaves the meanings of complexity, paradox, and system to promote the improvement of difficult situations. Featuring a holistic, nonlinear way of looking at systems, this book helps readers better organize and structure their thinking of systems in order to solve complex, real-world problems.
|Author||: Bill McKibben|
The bestselling author of The End of Nature issues an impassioned call to arms for an economy that creates community and ennobles our lives In this powerful and provocative manifesto, Bill McKibben offers the biggest challenge in a generation to the prevailing view of our economy. For the first time in human history, he observes, "more" is no longer synonymous with "better"—indeed, for many of us, they have become almost opposites. McKibben puts forward a new way to think about the things we buy, the food we eat, the energy we use, and the money that pays for it all. Our purchases, he says, need not be at odds with the things we truly value. McKibben's animating idea is that we need to move beyond "growth" as the paramount economic ideal and pursue prosperity in a more local direction, with cities, suburbs, and regions producing more of their own food, generating more of their own energy, and even creating more of their own culture and entertainment. He shows this concept blossoming around the world with striking results, from the burgeoning economies of India and China to the more mature societies of Europe and New England. For those who worry about environmental threats, he offers a route out of the worst of those problems; for those who wonder if there isn't something more to life than buying, he provides the insight to think about one's life as an individual and as a member of a larger community. McKibben offers a realistic, if challenging, scenario for a hopeful future. Deep Economy makes the compelling case that the more we nurture the essential humanity of our economy, the more we will recapture our own.
|Author||: Ion Georgiou|
Systemicity is receiving wider attention thanks to its evident paradox. On the one hand, it occurs as a problem with complex symptoms. On the other, it is sought after as an approach for dealing with the non-linear reality of the world. At once problem and prize, systemicity continues to confound. This book details the mechanics of this paradox as they arise from human epistemological engagement with the world. Guided by an original analysis of the fundamental idea of emergent property, Thinking Through Systems Thinking uncovers the distinct significance, but also incompleteness, of the systems approach as a theory of human epistemological engagement. The incompleteness is treated through a non-eclectic interdisciplinary investigation which meets ten distinctly developed criteria required of any potential interdisciplinary partner to systems thinking. There results a theory of knowledge – an epistemology - which is systemic in both senses of the term: it belongs to the general systems movement, and it is systemically structured. The systems movement is thus offered a distinct epistemological voice which can compete on equal ground with other philosophical/epistemological positions. In true systemic fashion, this theory of knowledge also offers methodological, ethical, and existential implications.
|Author||: Natassia Goode,Paul M. Salmon,Michael Lenne,Caroline Finch|
|Editor||: CRC Press|
Systems thinking tells us that human error, violations and technology failures result from poorly designed and managed work systems. To help us understand and prevent injuries and incidents, incident reporting systems must be capable of collecting data on contributory factors from across the overall work system, in addition to factors relating to the immediate context of the event (e.g. front-line workers, environment, and equipment). This book describes how to design a practical, usable incident reporting system based on this approach. The book contains all the information needed to effectively design and implement a new incident reporting system underpinned by systems thinking. It also provides guidance on how to evaluate and improve existing incident reporting systems so they are practical for users, collect good quality data, and reflect the principles of systems thinking. Features Highlights the key principles of systems thinking for designing incident reporting systems Outlines a process for developing and testing incident reporting systems Describes how to evaluate incident reporting systems to ensure they are practical, usable, and collect good quality data Provides detailed guidance on how to analyze incident data, and translate the findings into appropriate incident prevention strategies
|Author||: Anne Stephens|
This book brings together two vitally important strands of 20th-century thinking to establish a set of simple and elegant principles for planning, project design and evaluation. It explains the backgrounds of cultural ecofeminism and critical systems thinking, and what we find when they are systematically compared. Both theories share a range of concepts, have a strong social justice ethic, and challenge the legacy of modernity. The book takes theory into practice. The value of the emergent principles of feminist-systems thinking are described and demonstrated through four chapters of case studies in community development settings. The principles can be used to influence project design and outcomes across a range of disciplines including project management, policy, health, education, and community development. This book has much to offer practitioners who seek to create more socially just and equitable project and research outcomes.
|Author||: Michael C. Jackson|
|Editor||: John Wiley & Sons|
The world has become increasingly networked and unpredictable. Decision makers at all levels are required to manage the consequences of complexity every day. They must deal with problems that arise unexpectedly, generate uncertainty, are characterised by interconnectivity, and spread across traditional boundaries. Simple solutions to complex problems are usually inadequate and risk exacerbating the original issues. Leaders of international bodies such as the UN, OECD, UNESCO and WHO — and of major business, public sector, charitable, and professional organizations — have all declared that systems thinking is an essential leadership skill for managing the complexity of the economic, social and environmental issues that confront decision makers. Systems thinking must be implemented more generally, and on a wider scale, to address these issues. An evaluation of different systems methodologies suggests that they concentrate on different aspects of complexity. To be in the best position to deal with complexity, decision makers must understand the strengths and weaknesses of the various approaches and learn how to employ them in combination. This is called critical systems thinking. Making use of over 25 case studies, the book offers an account of the development of systems thinking and of major efforts to apply the approach in real-world interventions. Further, it encourages the widespread use of critical systems practice as a means of ensuring responsible leadership in a complex world. Comments on a previous version of the book: Russ Ackoff: ‘the book is the best overview of the field I have seen’ JP van Gigch: ‘Jackson does a masterful job. The book is lucid ...well written and eminently readable’ Professional Manager (Journal of the Chartered Management Institute): ‘Provides an excellent guide and introduction to systems thinking for students of management’
|Author||: Neville A. Dr. Stanton,Paul Dr. Salmon,Guy H. Dr. Walker|
|Editor||: CRC Press|
This book presents the latest developments of Systems Thinking in Practice to the analysis and design of complex sociotechnical systems. The Event Analysis of Systemic Teamwork (EAST) method is applied to micro, meso and macro systems. Written by experts in the field, this text covers a diverse range of domains, including: automation, aviation, energy grid distribution, military command and control, road and rail transportation, sports, and urban planning. Extensions to the EAST method are presented along with future directions for the approach. Illustrates a contemporary review of the status of Distributed Cognition (DCOG) Presents examples of the application of Event Analysis of Systemic Teamwork (EAST) method Presents examples of the application of Event Analysis of Systemic Teamwork (EAST) method Discusses the metrics for the examination of social, task, and information networks Provides comparison of alternative networks with implications for design of DCOG in systems