Thinking in Systems

Author: Donella H. Meadows
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
ISBN: 9781603580557
Release Date: 2008
Genre: Business & Economics

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.

Thinking in Systems

Author: Donella H. Meadows
Publisher: Earthscan
ISBN: 9781844077250
Release Date: 2009
Genre: Computers

Thinking in Systems is a concise and crucial book offering insight for problem-solving on scales ranging from the personal to the global. 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. 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 continue to learn. 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. A vital read for students, professionals and all those concerned with economics, business, sustainability and the environment

Systems Thinking For Social Change

Author: David Peter Stroh
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
ISBN: 9781603585811
Release Date: 2015-09-24
Genre: Business & Economics

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.

The Systems Thinking Playbook

Author: Linda Booth Sweeney
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
ISBN: 9781603582582
Release Date: 2010
Genre: Business & Economics

"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 --

Systems Thinking for Curious Managers

Author: Russell Ackoff
Publisher: Triarchy Press Limited
ISBN: 9781908009074
Release Date: 2008-04-03
Genre: Business & Economics

This gem of a book introduces the extraordinary world of Systems Thinking and its 'Dean', Russell Ackoff, to curious and enquiring managers, teachers, business people - anyone, anywhere who works in an organisation. The book opens the door to a joined up way of thinking about things that has profoundly influenced thinkers and doers in the fields of business, politics, economics, biology, psychology. Although Systems Thinking was 'invented' early in the 20th century, even Peter Senge's best-selling "e;The Fifth Discipline"e; (Systems Thinking is the fifth discipline) failed to popularise the term. But now, in business and academia, in the public sector and in the search for solutions to the environmental problems we face, Systems Thinking is being talked about everywhere. In the same way, it's only since his death in 2009 that management thinker, writer and guru Russell Ackoff has achieved the reputation he deserves. This timely book presents 40 more of Russ Ackoff's famously witty and incisive f-Laws (or flaws) of business - following on from his 2007 collection "e;Management f-Laws"e;. All those in this collection are new and previously unpublished. Andrew Carey's extended introduction ties these f-Laws into the rest of Ackoff's work and gives the reader new to Systems Thinking a practical guide to the implications of Systems Thinking for organisations and managers. The Foreword by Jamshid Gharajedaghi is a moving tribute from Ackoff's friend and business partner of many years.

Thinking in Systems

Author: Diana Wright
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781136551390
Release Date: 2012-05-16
Genre: Computers

Thinking in Systems is a concise and crucial book offering insight for problem-solving on scales ranging from the personal to the global. 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. 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 continue to learn. 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. A vital read for students, professionals and all those concerned with economics, business, sustainability and the environment

Systems Thinking

Author: Jamshid Gharajedaghi
Publisher: Elsevier
ISBN: 0123859166
Release Date: 2011-08-09
Genre: Computers

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

Thinking in Circles About Obesity

Author: Tarek K. A. Hamid
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 0387094695
Release Date: 2009-09-22
Genre: Psychology

Today’s children may well become the first generation of Americans whose life expectancy will be shorter than that of their parents. The culprit, public health experts agree, is obesity and its associated health problems. Heretofore, the strategy to slow obesity’s galloping pace has been driven by what the philosopher Karl Popper calls ‘‘the bucket theory of the mind. ’’ When minds are seen as containers and public understanding is viewed as being a function of how many scientific facts are known, the focus is naturally on how many scientific facts public minds contain. But the strategy has not worked. Despite all the diet books, the wide availability of reduced-calorie and reduced-fat foods, and the broad publicity about the obesity problem, America’s waistline continues to expand. It will take more than food pyramid images or a new nutritional guideline to stem obesity’s escalation. Albert Einstein once observed that the significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them, and that we would have to shift to a new level, a deeper level of thinking,tosolvethem. Thisbookarguesfor,andpresents,adifferent perspective for thinking about and addressing the obesity problem: a systems thinking perspective. While already commonplace in engineering and in business, the use of systems thinking in personal health is less widely adopted. Yet this is precisely the setting where complexities are most problematicandwherethestakesarehighest.

Thinking in Systems

Author: Donella H. Meadows
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781844077250
Release Date: 2009
Genre:

Thinking in Systems is a concise and crucial book offering insight for problem-solving on scales ranging from the personal to the global. 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. 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 continue to learn. 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. A vital read for students, professionals and all those concerned with economics, business, sustainability and the environment

An Introduction to General Systems Thinking

Author: Gerald M. Weinberg
Publisher: Dorset House Publishing Company, Incorporated
ISBN: 0932633498
Release Date: 2001
Genre: Technology & Engineering

Sharpen Your Thinking with Weinberg's Systems Thinking Classic For more than twenty-five years, An Introduction to General Systems Thinking has been hailed as an innovative introduction to systems theory, with applications in computer science and beyond. Used in university courses and professional seminars all over the world, the text has proven its ability to open minds and sharpen thinking. Originally published in 1975 and reprinted more than twenty times over a quarter century--and now available for the first time from Dorset House Publishing--the text uses clear writing and basic algebraic principles to explore new approaches to projects, products, organizations, and virtually any kind of system. Scientists, engineers, organization leaders, managers, doctors, students, and thinkers of all disciplines can use this book to dispel the mental fog that clouds problem-solving. As author Gerald M. Weinberg writes in the new preface to the Silver Anniversary Edition, "I haven't changed my conviction that most people don't think nearly as well as they could had they been taught some principles of thinking." Now an award-winning author of nearly forty books spanning the entire software development life cycle, Weinberg had already acquired extensive experience as a programmer, manager, university professor, and consultant when this book was originally published. With helpful illustrations, numerous end-of-chapter exercises, and an appendix on a mathematical notation used in problem-solving, An Introduction to General Systems Thinking may be your most powerful tool in working with problems, systems, and solutions.

From Poverty to Power

Author: Duncan Green
Publisher: Oxfam
ISBN: 9780855985936
Release Date: 2008
Genre: Social Science

Offers a look at the causes and effects of poverty and inequality, as well as the possible solutions. This title features research, human stories, statistics, and compelling arguments. It discusses about the world we live in and how we can make it a better place.

Thinking in Promises

Author: Mark Burgess
Publisher: "O'Reilly Media, Inc."
ISBN: 9781491918494
Release Date: 2015-06-23
Genre: Computers

Imagine a set of simple principles that could help you to understand how parts combine to become a whole, and how each part sees the whole from its own perspective. If such principles were any good, it shouldn’t matter whether we’re talking about humans on a team, birds in a flock, computers in a datacenter, or cogs in a Swiss watch. A theory of cooperation ought to be pretty universal, so we should be able to apply it both to technology and to the workplace. Such principles are the subject of Promise Theory, and the focus of this insightful book. The goal of Promise Theory is to reveal the behavior of a whole from the sum of its parts, taking the point of the parts rather than the whole. In other words, it is a bottom-up, constructionist view of the world. Start Thinking in Promises and find out why this discipline works for documenting system behaviors from the bottom-up.

Economic Growth and Sustainability

Author: Karen L. Higgins
Publisher: Academic Press
ISBN: 9780128031087
Release Date: 2014-11-24
Genre: Business & Economics

How to sustain our world for future generations has perplexed us for centuries. We have reached a crossroads: we may choose the rocky path of responsibility or continue on the paved road of excess that promises hardship for our progeny. Independent efforts to resolve isolated issues are inadequate. Different from these efforts and from other books on the topic, this book uses systems thinking to understand the dominant forces that are shaping our hope for sustainability. It first describes a mental model - the bubble that holds our beliefs - that emerges from preponderant world views and explains current global trends. The model emphasizes economic growth and drives behavior toward short-term and self-motivated outcomes that thwart sustainability. The book then weaves statistical trends into a system diagram and shows how the economic, environmental, and societal contributors of sustainability interact. From this holistic perspective, it finds leverage points where actions can be most effective and combines eight areas of intervention into an integrated plan. By emphasizing both individual and collective actions, it addresses the conundrum of how to blend human nature with sustainability. Finally, it identifies primary three lessons we can learn by applying systems thinking to sustainability. Its metaphor-rich and accessible style makes the complex topic approachable and allows the reader to appreciate the intricate balance required to sustain life on Earth. Highlights the application of system thinking in economics Identifies systemic leveraging actions for achieving sustainability Outlines a comprehensive and integrated plan for achieving sustainable stewardship in the future