Author: Donella H. Meadows
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
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 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
Author: David Peter Stroh
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
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.
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: Russell Ackoff
Publisher: Triarchy Press Limited
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.
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 powerful 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. The Art Of Thinking In Systems presents the fundamental system models and methods with an application to real life. Know how to use systems thinking at work, in your business, in your relationship, friendships. 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. The book also helps you to see through the hidden pathways of contemporary politics, economics, and education changes. Systems thinking helps you see beyond simple connections, and find strategic solutions considering every actor influencing your problem. 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. Think different and get better results. * Learn 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 to improve your romantic relationship with systems thinking?Improve your social life by understanding the systemic aspects of social networks. * How to fix financial problems in your business and personal life. * 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. In our web-wired, interdependent world systems thinking is the key knowledge to escape confusion. Start developing this precious skill today.
Author: Linda Booth Sweeney
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
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 --
Are you stuck in a rut despite your best efforts to get out? Looking for long-term solutions to your problems? We have the best of intentions to improve our conditions, but often our solutions fall short of improving our lives. Sometimes our best efforts can result in the opposite of what we want over time. How can we avoid these unwanted results? If we apply conventional thinking to complex issues, we often maintain or increase the very problems we want to fix. There is, however, a solution to get the desired results. Think in Systems is a concise information manual offering high-level problem-solving methods for personal and global issues. The book presents the main features of systems thinking in an understandable and everyday manner, helping you to develop this skill top analysts and world leaders use. If you thought that complex thinking is only for people who deal with complex issues like running a company or country, think again. Every issue is complex. Running out of gas is a simple problem, but I'm sure you're dealing with much greater headaches on a daily basis. Your life is a system. Everything that is connected to your system (life) is a part of it. However, you are just a subsystem in the larger picture. 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 the 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. Thus they can't be fixed with a simple cause-effect thinking. Learn to use systems thinking in your business, relationships, friendships, and general political, socio-economic, and environmental issues. Systems thinking boosts your critical thinking skills, makes you more logical, enhances your analytical abilities, and makes you more creative. Systems thinking won't put extra pressure on your cognition. Quite the contrary, you'll have fewer headaches knowing that you surely didn't miss any detail when you tried to solve a problem. "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 relationships Systems thinking is a relatively new discipline which doesn't get the exposure it deserves. However, our world grows more connected, interdependent and complex with each passing day. Becoming a systems thinker will help you to overcome your confusion and fear of missing the whole picture, and help you find more effective solutions to your personal (and if you are up to it), global problems. -Widen your understanding of 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 Identify your problems more accurately. Find solutions to your problems, don't just treat the symptoms. 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. Apply systems thinking in your problem solving, decision making, and strategic planning without the need to become a technical professional.
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.
Author: Gerald M. Weinberg
Publisher: Dorset House Publishing Company, Incorporated
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.
Author: Karen L. Higgins
Publisher: Academic Press
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
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