Gene Bellinger and Scott Fortmann-Roe have started a kickstarter project called “Beyond Connecting the Dots” to create a new kind of eBook where the systems thinking (systems dynamics) models will be directly editable and playable with inside the book!
With the huge threads on the LinkedIn group “Systems Thinking World” about “what is systems thinking?” or “how to teach systems thinking?”, I thought something ought to be done. Yet, I found most introductions to ST to be quite daunting, so, equipped with my new knowledge of Dan Roam‘s Napkin Academy, I decided to give it a shot.
What follow are three slide decks introducing Systems Thinking using small drawings. Having been impressed by the “DSRP framework” by Dr Calbrera and Dr Colosi, I decided to use that as building blocks to introduce systems thinking.
If you’re interested enough to know more on the field, then there are a vast amount of literature in the field, although finding your own path is as much a learning journey as walking that path.
Should I be pressed to give names, I would recommend the following to go further:
- If you’re a bit short on money but have quite some time to spend because of the size of the beast, then Systems Wiki is Gene Bellinger‘s constant striving to make ST clearer and more accessible from a wide variety of perspectives. The web site comes with a lot of text, videos, diagrams & simulation : it’s free and very wide in its addressing of Systems Thinking, no counting its daily updates of course. If you’re looking to other courses on the net, it’s the place where to start as well.
- Peter Senge’s “The Fifth Discipline” is the book that is most often cited as to what set people in motion on the path to being a systems thinker. Just beware that it mostly reflects one “school” of systems thinking (systems dynamics), out of a huge number of them. It’s really one of the most actionable though, especially if you go with the companion book “The Fifth Fiscipline Fieldbook” (a masterwork!).
- Second to this is Donella Meadows’ “Thinking in Systems“. Mostly about Systems Dynamics (a bit like Senge’s book), it’s also a simpler introductory book to the field than Senge’s. More focused than the preceding book, it might be a simpler read without being simplistic at all.
- “Systems Thinkers” by Ramage & Shipp provides a really tasty appetizer on what the field’s landscape might be. That book could help you choose your path, but then you’ll have to resort to buying some more books (or scout the net). Beware!
- If you like experiential learning, then I cannot not tell you about Booth Sweeney & Meadows “The Systems Thinking Playbook” which is just that: a ton of small exercises and games to nudge people’s assumptions about what they think of the world.
Enough references, here are my most three contributions (all decks are really short):
Napkin introduction to Systems Thinking : 1- What is ST?
Napkin introduction to Systems Thinking : 2- Why use ST?
Napkin introduction to Systems Thinking : 3- How to do ST?
Here’s a nice mindmap about Lean Accounting! BMA Inc – The Lean Accounting Leaders – Lean Accounting.
I remembered when I read the “Real numbers” book that it was interesting an subject (although finance is not my topic of choice). Will have to re-read it again, now.
Hey! Dan Roam from “Back of the Napkin” book created a “Napkin Academy”! Now I have to look at this!
This is mostly a note to self regarding that host of Gordon Pask works available on Internet. More to read later (as if I needed this more!)
Andrew Gordon Speedie Pask (June 28, 1928, Derby – March 29, 1996, London) was an English cybernetician and psychologist who made significant contributions to cybernetics, instructional psychology, experimental epistemology and educational technology.
This is a concept that I’m using since quite some time now and that I seemed to understand rather intuitively though, necessarily at a general level.
What it basically says is that for a controller to remove noise from a signal, it needs to have a minimum variety that depends on the signal it needs to remove noise from and the variety of the result that it deems Good. Which Ross Ashby summarized as “only variety can kill variety“, where the killing part was about killing the variety of noise. Read more »
Considering #AppreciativeInquiry to lead #change in your organization? Have TWO #mindmap summaries at hands reach! (@biggerplate)
Ok I think the title’s saying it all.
The first map is a summary of the 5D process.
For a more detailed explanation of what AI is, you might then have a look at the mindmap I did of the excellent book “The Power of Appreciative Inquiry” by Diana Whitney and Amanda Trosten-Bloom (not replacing the book of course!)
I’ve stumbled upon this very nice booklet that explains all that there is to know about mental models or beliefs: how they constrain us, how they are difficult to identify and how we can change them or just get rid of them.
A very nice read for anybody in the change business (Lean, Appreciative Inquiry, Solution Focus, Systems Thinking…)
Through what lens (belief) do you see the world?