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Systems Thinking: Principles and Practice (T205)
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  • A simple representation of what a system is (looks like)
  • The essence of systems thinking and practice is in "seeing" the world in a particular way because how we "see" things affects the way we approach situations or undertake specific tasks. The point of looking at something as if it were a system is to generate a rich, representation of the issue that makes it it easy to think about and to solve The way you perceive a situation is more important than the situation itself
  • One of the biggest challenges of studying complex systems is how to represent their behavior in a way that makes intuitive sense
  • Could you think of some the complex issues around you at all levels?
  • + Course Syllabus
  • http://www.open.edu/openlearn/money-management/management/guide-diagrams
  • As the course progresses, keep a journal of any new systems concepts you come across
  • Problem analysis is one of the main applications of systems thinking. In this course, you are encouraged to think of problem analysis in terms of working through four basic phases: sensing, understanding, deciding and acting. We will sometimes refer to these four phases as SUDA for short. When you try to analyze and explore in this way you start by sensing the presence of some issue, then achieving some kind of understanding of it, then deciding what to do in the light of this new understanding, and finally acting to make something happen. The four-phase cycle and individual phases will be referred to at many points in the course.
  • Trap:A state of mind or way of thinking that limits what we can do and prevents us seeing ways of overcoming problems (Webzone, page 47)The core idea of a mental trap is that it is a closed way of thinking that prevents the person involved from seeing a solution that is 'obvious' once a different way of thinking is adopted.
  • In reductionist thinking the whole is nothing but the sum of its parts.We bring our perspectives and worldview to messy situation (creating a system of interest.)Multiple Partial View…Slicing up the “whole” to gain a better understanding of the system.A central fact of the systems approach is that everyone sees the world differently (mental models)..we draw conclusions based on our perspectivesSystems approach takes multiple perspective into accountCheck page 48-49 on Webzone for more on perspective vs. worldview.
  • Check linear programming book (T551) for details.
  • Causality --Tracing a chain of events that led to what happened.
  • Review Table 1 on page 11 (T552)
  • Reference, pp21-22 (T552)
  • The experiential learning model adapted for Kolb which starts with experience.Learning is a process. Experience (what you did) Reflection (what you learned) Abstract conceptualization (synthesis of what you learned and relating it to a bigger picture- usefulness of knowledge in other situations)…Active experimentation (putting your learning into practice)
  • Check page 119 of Webzone.In practice, problem-solving and learning are likely to involve backtracking to various phases, as well as recycling through the phases, as a greater understanding is gained.
  • A mess is an ill-structured situation . It is an interacting set of problems, a system of problems, that won’t be solved by any simple, single, narrow focus.In a messy situation, you can’t change only one thing and expect to accomplish anything substantial on behalf of an entire system (e.g., think of organizations trying to survive in today’s ever-changing world.)A difficulty is a situation considered as bounded and well-defined problem where it is assumed that it is clear who is involved and what would constitute a solution within a given time frame SAQ 8
  • Webzone page 155
  • Complexity has many different facets based on both rational and emotional factors. The rational factors tend to involve technical or computational complexity, other wise known as ‘hard’ complexity. The emotional factors or ‘soft’ complexity includes the way people view and interact wit the situation. These ideas also relate to those of difficulties and messes whereby difficulties involve more hard complexity and messes. Related references: check webzone, p513 and p940
  • The ideas of soft and hard complexity also relate to those of difficulties and messes whereby difficulties involve more hard complexity and messes more soft complexity but most situations will probably involve both.
  • SAQ 9.
  • Attempt SAQ 7.1, pag3 43 (also review page 145)
  • Hygiene factors (by analogy with the routine measures needed to prevent diseases) which must be in place before the motivators come into play.
  • Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is based on the premise that all people have needs which emerge in a certain order of importance. As one level is reasonably well-satisfied, emphasis shifts to the next (unmet need) level.Satisfied needs cease to motivate! People function at different levels at different times. Circumstances, life events, etc., elevate or lower people on the hierarchy People seek satisfaction of the same need level in different ways. For instance, when levels 3, 4, and 5 are not met on the job, people will look for ways off-the-job to meet these needs. People need to feel secure, accepted and recognized when required to function at levels requiring self-discipline and self-direction (Levels 4 and 5)
  • For individuals, motivation is a key organizational variable - just like the organizational variable of profitability - that can be thought of in a systemic way.
  • Reference: Understanding Another Person, Part 1: The Individual Frame of Reference
  • Your strategy is to look for a system within a mess as a means to do something about it.It is not about discovering the system or a system BUT the process of distinguishing one or many systems of interest in a context.
  • Reference:Appendix A.1.4 (T552, Diagramming)
  • Reference: T552-AudioVision
  • T551 (Primer-Linear Programming), Reading 07
  • The wider the boundary chosen in the systems map, the higher the level in the tree.
  • This hierarchy has three levels: ●  organizational ●  departmental (finance, etc.) ●  sub-departmental.
  • A systems map of the same organization also represents hierarchy, again at three levels, although this time the externalenvironment is included.
  • Reference: T551, Reading 07.
  • Reference: T551, SAQ15, Page 64
  • Negative or balancing feedback
  • Reference: The V Discipline by Peter SengePositive (Virtuous) Feedback
  • Reference: Concept File 2, reading 11, page 62
  • NOTE:Though paradigm was originally a scientific term, it is commonly used today to mean a model, perception, assumption, or frame of reference (how you see the world.)
  • References:The Structure of Scientific Revolutions The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
  • Self-sealing…Perception influences in a way that will reinforce the theories and assumptions on which that perception is based and will tend to negate tor make invisible any contrary evidenceSelf-fulfilling…a relations set up in which a particular theory about the other person is going to establish precisely the interpersonal dynamic described in the theory Within personal relationships one’s ideas and beliefs about other people tend to have a strong influence on how one relates to them
  • Reference: The Rich Picture: A Tool for Reasoning about Work Context. Andrew Monk and Steve Howard.
  • There are three major ego-states, or sub-personalities, that can be involved when you interact with someone else. Berne calls them the Adult, the Parent and the Child,
  • Reference: Concept File 2, Reading 13, page..
  • A complementary transaction occurs when the person sends a message or stimulus from one ego stat to an ego state of another person, and gets an expected response. Here, the lines of communication are open, and this type of transaction or interchange can continue indefinitely. Each side plays its role ‘correctly’.!
  • Crossed transactions occur when a stroke is given one way and the response is unexpected. The lines of communication are not parallel, and conflict or misunderstanding usually ensues. The two people involved do not agree about the roles they are supposed to play,
  • This is a crossedtransaction because although the manager, parent ego state, attempted to address the employee as a child, the employee refuses this ego state and responds in adult ego state to the manager’s ego state.
  • This is a complementary transaction because the employee accepts the child ego state assigned to him by the manager and responds in child ego state.
  • Reference: Concept File 2, Reading 13, page 80
  • Reference: Concept File 2, Reading 13, page 80
  • Reference: Concept File 2, Reading 13, page 80
  • The right time for this step is once an understanding of an idea has been checked and the good points of an idea have been acknowledged.
  • The purpose of argument: (1) persuasion; (2) justification; (3) explanation
  • Reference: T552 (Diagramming)
  • Reference: T205, Concept File 2, Reading 17
  • E.g. competitive team sports have long been used as a device for consolidating elite groups.
  • The four possible pay-off patters from a two party conflict. Reference: T205, Concept File II, Reading 19: Conflict Resolution.
  • Forcing represents the ultimate need to satisfy one’s own needs at the expense of others, and may involve the use of formal authority, physical threats Accommodating satisfies the needs of the other person at the expense of one’s own. Avoiding circumventing potential conflict - the classic lose-lose situation Compromising seeks to obtain partial satisfaction for both parties. The lose-lose pattern is often the result of a compromise Collaborating (expanding the pie) is the only true win-win strategy.The underlying intention of a collaborating strategy is to find solutions to the causes of the conflict that are understood and appreciated by the parties involved. The focus is on the problem, not on personalities nor on who is to blame or who is at fault.
  • The aim is to identify possible points of intervention to ensure that the events don’t reoccur or to change the situation
  • Recognizing feedback loops- Negative (dampening) feedback loop
  • Recognizing Feedback LoopPositive feedback loop might outweigh the previously shown negative feedback loop
  • Negative Feedback Loop
  • Reference: Organizational Behavior by Stephen P. Robbins (11e)
  • A definable membership: a collection of three or more people identifiable by name or typeA group consciousness or identity: the members think of themselves as a groupA sense of shared purpose: the members share some common talks or goals or interests. Interdependence: the members need the help of one another to accomplish the the purpose for which they joined the group. Interaction: the members communicate with one another, influence on another, react to one anotherSustainability: the team members periodically review the team's effectiveness.
  • Designed to provide a stable backbone to the organization. However, projects are concerned with change and tend to be organized quite differently. Their structure needs to be more fluid than that of conventional management structures.
  • In addition, there are mixed structures Check out the pros and cons of each type on page 12 of concept file 3.
  • A self-managed team is a team in which the members take collective responsibility for ensuring that the team operates effectively and meets its targets. Self-organizing teams are formed in response to an issue, idea or challenge (circumventing red tape). Self-organizing teams work together outside the formal structure until their tasks are done.
  • Reference:Mental Models and Transformative Learning: The Key to Leadership Development? By Homer H. Johnson
  • Reference: The Power of Impossible Thinking. Is it relevant to SUDA/KOLB?
  • Reference: Practical Systems Thinking
  • These types of contracts are overlapped and influence one another!
  • * See table 2,Belbin team roles, Reading 2, Concept file 3.
  • Reference: The four faces of a team (adapted from Lewis and Lawton, 1992)The matrix above provides a useful way of weighing up the mixture of ‘task’ and people function of a team: Faces 1 and 2 are external to the team and concern: Adapting to the environment and using organizational resources effectively in order to satisfy the requirements of the team's sponsor. Relating effectively with people outside the team in order to meet the needs of clients or customers, whether internal or external to the organization. Faces 3 and 4 are internal to the team and concern: Using systems and procedures appropriately to carry out goal-oriented tasks. Working in a way which makes people feel part of a team. Other membership-related aspects that can influence the team are diversity, gender. These are important aspects for fostering homogeneity and trust.The range of people that makes up the membership of a team, and the relationships they have with each other, have great influence on the team's effectiveness. It is important to appraise the relationship between team functions and required competences in order to identify gaps and begin to allocate responsibilities, organize training and so on.
  • Forming:the purpose of the group and its title is discussed; individuals establish personal identities.Storming: a stage of conflict where purpose, leadership, roles and norms may be challenged. Personal agenda revealed and some interpersonal hostility is expected. If successfully handled, it will lead to the formulation of more realistic objectives. Norming: Group Establish the patterns of work and norms. Involves tentative experimentation by individual members to test the climate of the group and establish commitments.Performing: When the three pervious stages have been completed, the group usually can become fully productive. Adjourning: Team disbands having completed its task. Members provide feedback on how well they performed and what they have learned.
  • The creative cycle can be thought of as occurring in four phases: Nurturing phase: People are drawn together. It involves creating a safe and effective container for the work of the group.Energizing phase:The point when the interaction intensifies as the group engages in its primary task. Peak Activity Phase: The point of accomplishment; when the main purpose at hand is (about to be) achieved Relaxing phase:Group members celebrate achievements, reflect & learn
  • Members of any small cohesive group tend to maintain espritde corps by unconsciously developing a number of shared illusions and related norms that interfere with critical thinking and reality testing.Metaphorically speaking “Groupthink” could be thought of as A giant blind spot operating on the whole group
  • - Risky Shift:When people are in groups, they make decision about risk differently from when they are alone. In the group, they are likely to make riskier decisions, as the shared risk makes the individual risk less.
  • it is important to be aware of who all the players are and what role they play in the project's environment.
  • Adair (1983) sees the role of the leader as composed of three overlapping areas of responsibility: 1: Defining the objectives to achieve the task, to focus and coordinate team effort. 2: Building and maintaining the team involves fostering constructive relationships between team members. 3:Developing the individual includes assigning personal goals that suit the strengths and skills of the individual, and ensuring that each member feels that his or her contribution to the team's overall task is valued.
  • The Dimensions of Leadership Style (Blake and Mouton, 1964)it is the style of leadership that matters. The leadership styles are not mutually exclusive and can be represented in the form of a grid, Leaders high on task orientation are generally perceived as more efficient, while those high on person orientation are seen as providing a more pleasant and satisfying work environment. It has been argued that the person-centered style is more effective because it enables people to meet their self-actualizing and esteem needs.
  • Summary of Fielder’s results on which leadership style is most effective.Based on the idea that there is no single best style of leadership but that the most effective style depends upon the circumstances. Focuses of the degree of structuring in the task and the leader’s organizational power (i.e., the power to reward and punish.) Where the task is highly structured, and the leaders liked and powerful, then the most effective leadership is a directive, task-oriented style .Where the task is ambiguous and the leaders is a a weak position, then the same directive, task-oriented style is most effective. Where the task is ambiguous and the leader is liked and respected, then a participative, person-centered style is most effective.
  • Positive (virtuous)

Systems Thinking: Principles and Practice (T205) Presentation Transcript

  • 1. T205 SYSTEMS THINKING: Principles and Practice Session 01 Osama M. Ashri http://www.linkedin.com/in/oashri
  • 2. What is in a name? • A system is an interconnected set of elements that is coherently organized in a way that achieves something (i.e., purpose.) Keywords: • Interconnection, elements (parts), purpose Reference: Thinking in Systems, Donella meadows
  • 3. Simplifying a Systems Environment Environment Elements Feedback loop Boundary Environment Environment
  • 4. Systems thinking offers a new mindset
  • 5. When we fixate on one part of the system, we miss the whole
  • 6. Emergent properties The whole > the sum of the parts A heap A system (Review the table on page 45, T551)
  • 7. Why Systems Thinking? The Complexity of Airplane Design by Cherry Ogata
  • 8. The Key Question • If we look at the world around us, and given the mounting complexity, do we need to think and act differently? • Indeed We’re facing bigger and more challenging issues at all levels.
  • 9. What We’ll Cover
  • 10. List of T205 Materials When the cursor changes to a pointing finger, click on the item to open it. Click here for further help. WebZone Block 1: Learning about Systems Block 2: Systems: You and your relationships Block 3: Systems: Environment and sustainability Block 4: Systems: Management and organizations Block 5: Systems: Globalisation and information Block 6: Using Systems thinking for your own analysis Concept Files 1: Learning, thinking and doing 2: The individual: Workplace and self-development 3: Groups and teams at work 4: Managing within organizations 5: Networks and the organizational environment Case Files 1: Supermarkets 2: The Environment 3: The Millennium Bug 4: Homelessness T551: Primer T552: Diagramming Audio-vision workbook T553: Modelling Spreadsheet Modelling Models for expressing human preferences Forecasting models Linear programming Stocks, flows and dynamic systems Time-stepped dynamic models Decision analysis: modelling risky decisions Event sequenced simulation Course Guide WebZone supplement Specimen examination paper w ith notes For copyright reasons it has not been possibl e to reproduce the entire contents of the printed texts on this CD-ROM. The following items have been removed from Concept File 4: Figure 7.1, Table 7.1, Box 23.1, Reading 21, Reading 22; Case File 2: Figures in Reading 14.
  • 11. Systems Thinking: A Primer (T551) • Covers the nuts and bolts of Systems Thinking • Will be your reference guide throughout the entire course of T205 and will carry over to T306.
  • 12. Diagrams (T552) “Tools of the Trade”
  • 13. Fitting the Course Materials Together Concept Files (1-3) Case Files (as directed) Webzone Blocks 13 T552 Diagrams T551 Primer
  • 14. TMAs • Is designed to assess your knowledge and understanding of key concepts covered throughout the course.
  • 15. Language of Systems
  • 16. Always think SUDA!
  • 17. Looking ahead • Block One is the foundation block for this course. The stronger the foundation determines how well you’ll perform in this course and beyond! – – – – Review the course guide Familiarize yourself wit the key systems concepts T551 Browse the different types of diagrams on T552 website Skim read concept file 1: the purpose of this reading is to help you establish effective learning practices that will stand you in good stead throughout the course – Don’t forget about SUDA (sear it in your brain!) – TMA 01
  • 18. T205 SYSTEMS THINKING: Principles and Practice Session 02 Osama M. Ashri
  • 19. What We’ll Cover • Concept file One: – Reading 1: Learning and Reflection – Reading 2: What is learning – Reading 3: Models of the learning process • Primer What is this systems thing about – Ways of thinking • Diagramming: – What is a diagram? – Why do people use diagrams?
  • 20. Primer – What is this systems thing about – Ways of thinking
  • 21. Main Objectives • Build up confidence in using systems concepts and languages • Describe a set of key systems concepts • Understand what is distinctive about systems thinking as opposed to other forms of thinking • Understand how and why systems thinking is useful in analyzing and improving situations
  • 22. What is this Systems thing all about? • The essence of systems thinking and practice is in "seeing" the world in a particular way because, • how we "see" things affects the way we approach situations or undertake specific tasks, and • How we "see" is influenced heavily by the culture of the society in which we live and work and by our education and training.
  • 23. • System thinking involves looking at the interconnections between parts of a whole rather than concentrating just on the parts. • People and their viewpoints are part of the situations we normally have to deal with. • There is more than one way to handle any situation.
  • 24. Unleash Your Potential “If you do what you’ve always done…” You’ll be trapped. Being trapped prevents you from thinking of new ways of overcoming problems. “We, the trapped, tend to take our own state of mind for granted – which is partly why we are trapped” - Geoffery Vickers
  • 25. Types of Thinking • Reductionist Thinking: “Reductionism is the sin of modern time” - Charles Handy – Logical (1+1=2) – Casual Thinking (A  B) • Holistic Thinking – Multiple Cause, i.e., chain of causes and consequences (is a feature of systems thinking) – Multiple partial view (using different perspectives) • Perspective (How things look from your current position) ≠ Worldview (The way you see the word, regardless of position)
  • 26. Logical thinking • It attempts to be objective: conclusion shouldn’t depend on your point of view, opinions or values. • It is necessary that the conclusion always follows from the premise (you can’t say “well, it all depends…”). • The structure of this thinking is sequential: it has the form “if a, then b” – often called a chain of reasoning. As the word chain suggests, logical thinking is a way of linking ideas or statements together.
  • 27. Causal Thinking Causality is not usually a simple matter of an isolated statement such as A-causes-B Why did the car crash? But why did the driver lose control? why did the driver lose control? We can also go forward. What will be the further consequences?
  • 28. Why did the tire burst in the first place? So the event, tyre-burst, is the result of a set of causes that converge on it. Similarly, any event is likely to have a set of immediate consequences resulting from it
  • 29. Limitations of Reductionist Thinking Logical and causal ways of thinking are not so good at helping us to think about systems because they intend to: • Look for general principles from particular instances • Ignore subjective elements • Concentrate on simpler systems which leads to unintended consequences. • Break situations down into smaller parts where single cause and effects are likely
  • 30. Systems Thinking • • • • • Appreciates multiple perspectives Is holistic Uses multiple causality Uses diagramming as a tool for representation To capture connectedness', it separates the system from its environment
  • 31. Diagrams – What is a diagram? – Why do people use diagrams?
  • 32. What is a diagram? • Models are representations of reality • We have internal models of the world (Mental Model) • We externalize internal models through diagrams • Systems thinking considers the representations of the structures that don’t readily exist, except in the mind. • “The map is not the territory” – It is important to appreciate that there are different perception of “reality” by different people. – Different architects produce different plans. • For diagrams to be used as external models they need to follow agreed upon rules/conventions.
  • 33. Features of diagrams • Analogue representation – Photographs of real objects. • Schematic representations – Represents the essence “real world” objects/phenomena (e.g., Maps and Plans) • Conceptual representations. – Describes interrelationships between ideas or processes that cannot be readily observed. – Represents non-visual features (with emphasis on both the emotional and rational/real relationships – Based on our internal models
  • 34. Distinctions between diagrams • Pictorial diagram: pictures and symbol dominate • Non-pictorial diagrams: words and lines dominate • Generally speaking, diagrams describe either structure (diagrams represent static relationship) or processes(diagrams represent situations over a period of time)
  • 35. Notes to keep in mind about diagrams • Whenever we express new ideas, we describe and represent the “reality” we perceive by making simplifications (diagrams) for some purpose (Remember! Map ≠ Territory) • It is essential to simplify the “real world,” in order to be able to describe it. • In simplifying, we select certain features of a situation – the essentials – to communicate a clear message. • The view, or perspective, taken and the choice of features is extremely important in conveying that message (or the message that wen convey)
  • 36. Why Do People Use Diagrams • Influences on how we perceive diagrams: – Visualizers (relate more to diagrams) and verbalizers (preference to textual materials) – Gender and Cognitive Styles • Diagrams are used to: – Illustrate what something look like – Demonstrate how objects/ideas are organized and related – Further your own thinking about a topic or situation – especially complex problems • By allowing you to see the individual part of a systems as well as the connections between them
  • 37. Diagrams can be helpful in… • Understanding a situation, especially complex ones • Analyzing a situation • Communicating with others about the analysis of that situation • Planning to deal with a situation • Implementing, monitoring and evaluating those plans
  • 38. Reading Diagrams • What is the purpose of the diagram? • How is the information imparted? • What assumptions does it make about our ability to understand it? • What are we expected to remember from it? • How successful it it in doing all of the above?
  • 39. Concept File (1) One – Reading 1: Learning and Reflection – Reading 2: What is learning – Reading 3: Models of the learning process
  • 40. Learning and Reflection • Learning to Learn – Paying attention to HOW we are learning (process) – Being able to learn independently. • Reflection (the mind's conversation with itself) – Is essential for the development of understanding and of the ability to make use of complex ideas and concepts – Raises awareness about how you learn to improve your learning – Enables you to monitor your progress, learn from good and bad experiences and plan for better ways of doing things.
  • 41. What is Learning? • Learning is a means not an end! It’s not undertaken for its own sake, but for what it enables us to achieve • Pursuing goals requires that you learn to do something new or to do something differently. • Learning is an interactive process between people and their social and physical environment which results in changes to people's knowledge, attitudes and practices • Conceptions of learning are diverse and based on process (through which it happens) and outcomes (to which it leads)
  • 42. Kinds of Learning - MUD • Memorizing (Active – helps understand something) vs. Rote Learning (Passive) • Understanding achieved through testing, elaborating on and evaluating what you have read or learned. • Doing – practicing the new skills and seeking feedback to improve your performance.
  • 43. Experiential Learning (Kolb’s Model)
  • 44. KOLB Meets SUDA
  • 45. T205 SYSTEMS THINKING: Principles and Practice Session 03 & 04 Osama M. Ashri
  • 46. What We’ll Cover • T551 primer: – Reading 03: Systems Thinking – Reading 04: Types of Situations • T552 Diagramming: – Appendix A1.1. (Spray Diagrams) • Concept File 02 – Section I (with emphasis on reading 4&5)
  • 47. Systematic Vs. Systemic • Systematic = Having a plan or a method (Reductionist) – Breakdowns the system (problem) interconnectedness and ignores • Systemic = affecting entire body/organism (holistic) – Simplifies complex situations without overlooking interconnectedness (this can be accomplished/represented through using diagrams) • This also requires identification of a boundary that separates the system from its environment (made up of things that are not part of the system, but can affect the system)
  • 48. Types of Situations It is an interacting set of problems
  • 49. Difficulty Difficulty: Characteristically smaller scale and well defined
  • 50. Mess Messes: Characteristically bigger and poorly defined
  • 51. SUDA revisited When confronted with a messy situation, use systems concepts and tools such as diagramming and modeling to: • Sensing the factors that contribute to a it. • Understand and untangle the complex mass of interconnected elements. This process results in the identification of particular systems of interest. • Decide an appropriate Action to take to approach the issue.
  • 52. Sensing is the first Step When approaching any situation, try to sense whether you’re dealing with a difficulty or a mess by: – Collecting relevant information and data about the situation. – Gaining different perspective/view of the situation – Becoming aware of how you feel about the situation – A good systems tool to use in this phase is “Spray Diagram”
  • 53. People are Different! • Everyone of us is unique • If used thoughtfully and purposefully, psychological measure (psychometrics) can help you learn more about yourself and appreciate more others. • There are several personality type tests. The one will focus on is “Adaptor-Innovator Scale”
  • 54. Do It Better Do It Differently
  • 55. The High Adaptor • Likes precision, conformity The High Innovator • Seeks proven solutions • Approaches tasks from unusual angles • Questions assumptions • Rarely challenges rules • Challenges rules • Maintains group stability • A catalyst to settled groups • Produces safe ideas • Produces risky ideas • Solutions within the paradigm • Solutions outside the paradigm
  • 56. It is a matter of style • Whether you’re more of an adopter or innovator, it is a matter of style – NOT necessarily creativity • Thomas Edison “ I have never worked on anything that didn’t already have a working model” Adopter or Innovator? • Albert Einstein “Imagination is more important than knowledge?” Adopter or Innovator? • Understanding thinking style can help in choosing tasks and facilitating communication
  • 57. Spray Diagram
  • 58. Spray Diagrams (Workshop) • Form a team of three • Each team chooses an issue they wish to explore (organizational or social issue) • Draw a spray diagram to explore as much as you can about the chosen issue
  • 59. T205 SYSTEMS THINKING: Principles and Practice Session 05 Osama M. Ashri
  • 60. What We’ll Cover • T551 primer: – Reading 05: Types of Complexity • T552 Diagramming: – Appendix A.2.1 (Systems Map) • Concept File 02 – Section II: Motivation (Reading 6,7,8 & 9)
  • 61. Types of Complexity
  • 62. Aspects of Complexity: Difficulties and Messes revisited
  • 63. Complexity: Leading Questions • Have I identified the main elements of hard complexity in the situation? • Have I identified the main elements of soft complexity in the situation? • Viewing the situation from the perspective of other stakeholders, can I identify any further elements of complexity? • Might I have overlooked any emotional, belief or valuebased aspects of the situation - in myself or others that might be part of the complexity?
  • 64. Hard or Soft Complexity: An Exercise • An engineer choosing between different possible design for a bridge • A planner deciding how big a bridge is needed and where it should be located.
  • 65. What motivates you? • Assumptions about people in the way they are motivated: – People are rational economic (Adam Smith) – People are social being – People are self-actualizing (Maslow’s Hierarchy) – People are complex multifaceted beings
  • 66. People are Rational-Economic – Maximize their self-interests (Adam Smith) – Work out what is best for them (rational) – In an organizational context: • A system of authority is used to control the employees, ignoring expertise and personality • Employees are perceived to be Motivated by economic incentives "Carrots & Sticks” • Managers’ assumptions about people are based on Theory X.
  • 67. What motivates you? Theory X and Y: Two Contrasting Sets Assumptions about People Lazy, dislike work, avoid responsibility, not ambitious, seek selfinterest, prefer to be directed and above all and want security Enjoy meaningful work, like responsibility, committed to organizational goals motivated by challenging work, prefer self-direction
  • 68. People are Social Being (Human Relations) • People are primarily motivated by social needs and that work itself is largely meaningless and that work itself is largely meaningless • Management function is to facilitate the satisfaction of social needs and harness these to the organization’s goals.
  • 69. People are self-actualizing • People need meaning and challenge in their lives and that given the opportunity they will integrate their own goals with those of the organization. – Two Factor Theory (Herzberg) – Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
  • 70. Two Factor Theory (Herzberg) Controlled by the organization Can be within the control of managers
  • 71. Two Factor Theory (Herzberg) • Hygiene factors have little potential to motivate over the long run. When they are present, employees experience no dissatisfaction. When hygiene factors are absent, employees are dissatisfied (unhappy) • The presence of motivation factors produces satisfaction. The absence of motivation factors produces no satisfaction (neutral; indifferent)
  • 72. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
  • 73. Linking Concept to SUDA and Systems Motivation is a variable that could be thought of as being system – as a property of the company or department or person as a whole or in context. • • • • Views of power and authority Individual motivation (a whole) Individual motivation (in the context of organization) Will make more sense as we explore other important concepts (or variables) such as conflict and communication • This concept of motivation addresses mainly the “understanding” phase of SUDA
  • 74. How does motivation work? • Self – Integrated pattern of values, belief and abilities that have meaning and significance to the individual. • Self-concept – Perception of yourself (conscious competent of the self) • The self-ideal: – Your image of the self we aspire to be • Self-esteem – The valuing of the self. The more you value your selfconcept, the higher yourself esteem is.
  • 75. Self-concept • Is developed based on the sum total of others’ perception of him combined with his own perception of self. • Includes all those perceptions that a person has of himself which are important to him – (courageous, honest..) • Changes overtime but slowly. As you gain more experience. As self-concept of an experienced engineer might develop. • Is important because it affects/shapes the way you engage in situations and the way we deal with others. • Maintaining and develop one’s self-concept and self-esteem is an essential motivator because we tend to do things that are consistent with how we see ourselves
  • 76. How does motivation work? Self-esteem Others’ perception
  • 77. System of Interest • A system of interest (relevant whole) is a product of distinguishing a system in a situation in which an individual or group has an interest or stake • A system of interest is selected by someone for a purpose to learn about more about the complex situation or do something about it. This also involves making judging (distinguishing) the boundary of the system • The end product of the process of finding a system within a mess is called formulating a system of interest
  • 78. System of Interest (Activity) Which of the following statements conform to the idea of formulating a system of interest? • I am fascinated by the solar system. • When I engaged with the issues surrounding child support, I thought it might be helpful to consider it as a system from a number of perspectives. For example: – As a system to reduce the social security budget; – As a system to secure the best future for children in loneparent families; – As a system to ensure the non-resident parent contributes equitably to the raising of their children. • I am interested in making computer systems function more effectively.
  • 79. Systems of Interest: Leading Questions • Have I used the ideas of boundary, purpose, unintended consequences, and awareness of worldview to identify several possible systems of interest? • Why is this particular system of interest worth pursuing, and which stakeholders would find it of interest?
  • 80. Systems Map: Guidelines
  • 81. A system map for a system for developing large scale, government funded IT projects
  • 82. Systems Map • Helps you structure your thinking about the system • Helps you discuss and share with others (the map of the system) you’re describing • Shows only the structure – it does’t show connections. • Largely used in the understanding phase of SUDA model • As you’re drawing a systems map, ask yourself: – Is it interesting? – Does it lead to any news ideas? – Does it tell anything new?
  • 83. Systems Map: Workshop • Form a team of three • Each team chooses an issue they wish to explore (organizational or social issue) • Draw a systems map to structure your perception of the chosen issue. • Identify a system of interest
  • 84. TMA • Follow the diagramming conventions as explained in T552 • Use systems language (environment, purpose, interconnectedness, boundary…) • Use course concepts as instructed in the TMA questions
  • 85. T205 SYSTEMS THINKING: Principles and Practice Session 06 Osama M. Ashri
  • 86. What We’ll Cover • T551 primer: – Reading 06: Types of Systems – Reading 07: Systems Concepts • T552 Diagramming: – Appendix A.1.3 (Rich Picture) • Concept File 02 – Section II: Readings 10,11 & 12
  • 87. Types of Systems • A system is an assembly of components connected together in an organized way (interconnections) • The components are affected by being in the system and the behavior of the system is changed if they leave it (wholeness) • This organized assembly of components does something (purpose) • This assembly as a whole has been identified by someone who is interested in it (system of interest) • Putting a boundary around this organized assembly of components distinguishes it from its context or environment.
  • 88. Ackoff’s Definition • A system is a set of two or more elements that satisfies the following three conditions: – The behavior of each element has an effect on the behavior of the whole. – The behavior of the elements and their effects on the whole are interdependent. – However subgroups of the elements are formed, each has an effect of the behavior of the whole and none has an independent effect on it.
  • 89. • A system, therefore, is a whole that cannot be divided into independent parts. “Dividing an elephant in half does not produce two small elephants” • The essential properties of a system taken as a whole derive from the interaction of its parts, not their actions taken separately
  • 90. Checkland’s Definition “The central concept “system” embodies the idea of a set of elements connected together which form a whole, this showing properties which are properties of the whole, rather than properties of its component parts.”
  • 91. The language of systems • Environment elements, activities, people, ideas and so on that are not part of the system but which may nevertheless be important in understanding it. • Boundary – defines where the system ends and the environment begins. • The language of systems does not solve problems. It provides a way of addressing them.
  • 92. Types of system Distinction between two ways in which the term system is used • Recognized systems – “exist out there” because they’re based on widely shared perceptions. E.g., solar system, computer system, legal system. • Explanatory system – a particular way of thinking about selected aspects of the world and their interrelationships which is useful in relation to the individual’s concerns. It embodies particular points of view and is useful to the extent that they offer some insight into what is puzzling or troublesome.
  • 93. Exercise • Which of the following do you recognize as a system? – – – – – – – The houses in an old village. Your personal computer. Activities needed to get this course to you on time. A small wood. The spare parts in the store of a garage. Mathematics. Meetings of the board of directors of a company.
  • 94. A notional system can be taken to have (1/2) • • • • A purpose – it does, or can be perceived to do, something, An environment that affects it. A namer – someone who is interested in it. A boundary distinguishing it from the environment and identities by the system namer. • Inputs and outputs • Transformational process that convert inputs to outputs • Parts (subsystems) that interact, a pattern of relationships • Hierarchy – each part is itself a system an can be treated as such
  • 95. A notional system can be taken to have (2/2) • Dependency – addition, alteration or removal of a part changes both the part and the system. • Communication and feedback amongst the systems. • Control, both within the system and through the hierarchy. • Emergence – the whole system exhibits properties and outcomes, sometimes unpredictable, which derive from its parts and structure but cannot be reduced to them. • Dynamism – it is subject to change including growth, adaptation and decay.
  • 96. More on Systems Boundary • Boundaries separate what is of direct interest from what can be considered as wider, external influences – i.e., environment • Redrawing boundaries help generate other helpful views of the issue (mess/complex) – it is an iterative process. Rethinking boundaries  Thinking outside the box!
  • 97. Criteria for Drawing A boundary • Interest and concern. This forces you to think about your purpose. • Influence and Control. – Separate areas that you have control over from those that are influenced by other people/group. – Understand the mutual influence between aspects of the problem. • Time. Drawing boundaries around aspects of the issues which raise short-term problems and those that have longer effects. This help to reveal limitations of solutions
  • 98. Hierarchy • Set of layered, nested or interdependent structure • Each layer (level) contains elements or components of all other levels below it. • A new type of emergent property appears at each level – Emergent property is that behavior that can only be ascribed to that level and cannot be deduced from the components. • As you move up the hierarchy, complexity increases, in the sense that observers find it harder to predict what will happen • The idea of a nested set of systems with new properties and meanings emerging at higher or wider levels is fundamental to systems thinking
  • 99. (Going Up a Level = Widening the boundary)
  • 100. Unintended Consequences (Side-effects) • Result from an intervention to solve a problem or exploit an opportunity • The drivers that work against the objectives sought from a system. • Example: – Sales department lunches a campaign which attracts more orders than the production department can satisfy. Customers, aggravated by the delays in delivery, publically complain, and the overall result is that the organization ends up with fewer customers than before
  • 101. Unintended Consequences • People consistently overlook unintended consequences because of the many connections and interactions that exist between the parts of a system. • Any method of thinking about things that ignores the interconnections is going to make mistakes when it comes to systems. – Mistakes in interpreting the ‘information’ present in the connections. – The mistake of Ignoring the effects of feedback.
  • 102. Feedback • Feedback every action triggers a reaction. It happens when information about the outcome of the process is fed back to the beginning of the process. – Negative feedback leads to a dampening down or check of the effect caused by the input. (Temperature Thermostat) – Positive Feedback (snowball effect) reinforces the effect, either as: • a vicious circle (When one failure triggers further failures) • a virtuous circle(when success breeds success) • Feedback is a key characteristic of systems!
  • 103. Feedback (exercise) Which of the following are examples of negative, and which of positive, feedback? • An argument between two people when, by the end, they can’t remember how it started. • Warning lights/signs on a highway, telling you to slow down.
  • 104. Feedforward • Feed Forward: Anticipated events in the future to trigger the cause in the present as a self-fulfilling prophecy, e.g. when you expect to fail, you often do. This is known as • Ask yourself: – What can you learn from the future?!
  • 105. Contracts and Roles • Formal (e.g., pay for the job) • Informal (e.g., informal flextime) • Psychological (Hidden; expectations that may be unconsciously held, which each side (i.e., employer and employee) has of the other
  • 106. is not selfactualized Theory X applied! Theory X!
  • 107. On Roles • A role is a set of expectations held by the person concerned and those he interacts with about the behaviors appropriate in a given situation and the contribution to be made that to that situation. • Roles don’t align themselves into a single overall package. – E.g., a manager might have to paly the role of a supervisor, fiend, evaluator….
  • 108. Sources of Roles in Organizations
  • 109. Self-Sealing Behavior (prelude) • A key theme of systems thinking is: – The need to open new ways of thinking – The adoption of multiple perspective • Mental trap prevents seeing an “obvious” solution. • Therefore, developing the ability to recognize the traps in your own thinking is key to success in systems. • Three key concepts will cover: Paradigm, Self-Sealing and Self-fulfilling behaviors
  • 110. On Paradigms • Like minded community of [people] who work [think] within the paradigm (theories & assumptions) and are conducting experiments to validate it. • Defines a certain way of looking at the world. • Tells the practitioner what type of explanation to expect or accept regarding events • Determines what is an is not accepted as evidence in this domain. • Excludes alternative perspective, making it hard to challenge • Can be dangerous! Paradigms about the world outside us condition the way we perceive that world
  • 111. The Power of Paradigm • Every significant breakthrough in the field of scientific endeavor is first a break with tradition, with old ways of thinking, with old paradigms. – Einstein and the relativity paradigm – Ptolemy and the sun’s the center of universe paradigm • Many people experience a fundamental shift in thinking when they face breakpoint in their life (e.g., crisis) and suddenly see their priorities in a different light, or when they suddenly step into new role (e.g., becoming a parent or a manager. • If f you want to quantum change in your life, you need to work on your paradigms (reevaluate them)
  • 112. Self-Sealing…Self-Fulfilling
  • 113. Case Exercise You believe that your boss is out to prove you wrong. Your boss is always critical of your wok and is always asking difficult questions. You are certain that the criticisms and questions are always a prelude to your boss proving you wrong? Is your perception of the situation self-sealing?
  • 114. Rich Picture • Summarizes what you know about a messy situation in cartoon form. • Captures all the things an individual senses about a complex situation. • Can be used to identify the themes - or clusters of issues - in a situation. • Helps you 'notice' things you think or feel but hadn't so far paid attention to. • In general, it is used during the sensing phase (SUDA) • Does not define the system of interest, it is where you look to begin to find it. • Can be supplemented with lists, but try to use images rather than words in the picture itself.
  • 115. What could this change? What about motivation?
  • 116. Notes on Rich Pictures • The picture is sketchy. you don't need drawing skills…'Stick' figures and scribbles are fine. • Explain your diagram to another person you might decide to try and improve some of your images so as to clarify the information you're trying to convey. • Make sure that your picture includes not only the factual data about the situation, but also the subjective information. • include yourself in the picture… you are NOT an objective observer, but someone with a set of values, beliefs and norms that color your perceptions. (worldview)
  • 117. T205 SYSTEMS THINKING: Principles and Practice Session 07 & 08 Osama M. Ashri
  • 118. What We’ll Cover • T551 primer: – Reading 08: Representing Systems • T552 Diagramming: – Appendix A.2.2 (Influence Diagram) • Concept File 02 – – – – Reading 13: Personality Dynamics and Transactional Analysis Reading 14: Active Listening Reading 15: Developing Ideas and Resolving Disagreements Reading 16: Assertion and Argument
  • 119. Representing systems • Modeling is any process of abstracting and representing certain aspects of a situation in a simplified form with some predefined purpose in mind. • A Model ‘a simplified representation of certain aspects of a real situation, constructed for some defined purpose’. • Modeling is a central to the way we think! – The reality is so complex and contains so much information that it is essential to simplify it in order to be able to describe it or think about it.
  • 120. Types of Models • Physical scale model – e.g., a scale model bridge • Financial model – e.g., bad debt written off, depreciation policy • Mathematical models – e.g., engineering calculations of heat losses from buildings • Systems model: – a simplified representation of some person's or group's view of a situation, constructed to assist in working with that situation in a systemic manner.
  • 121. Qualitative Models Emphasize the relationships between entities without trying to quantify the relationships or entities in any way. METAPHOR • understanding unfamiliar things by reference to familiar things and our language • ‘He was imprisoned in his anger, he could do nothing but…” • Systems practice is nothing more than orchestrating a particular DIAGRAMS • lead you to test and refine your ideas. • make you think about the system you are interested in and understand it better. • help you see ways of changing the situation and thinking through the consequences. • show interconnections visually, rather than verbally.
  • 122. Quantitative Models • Useful for predicting what might happen as well as describing what does happen. They are: – Quicker and easier to build, and you ask the question “what would happen if …’ over and over again simply by changing the numbers in the model. – There’s a good deal of knowledge about how to represent relationships accurately and about the behavior of a range of types of models. • We’ll talk in detail about modeling in later sessions
  • 123. However good the model (whether a metaphor, diagram or mathematical model) it can never replicate a situation exactly, but it is an essential feature of systems thinking and practice.
  • 124. Communication: A Prelude • A central concept in systems thinking is the idea that communication and the flow of information are crucial to maintaining the continuing existence of any organization. • Systems diagramming can help in depicting patterns of information flow. • Messy situations have communication problems . People have different worldviews and interests. • The idea is to be able and – to get others - to communicate as coherently and productively as possible
  • 125. Transactional Analysis • Provides a robust framework for thinking about relationships. Improving a defective relationship is harder than recognizing it. • Helps us discover how we trigger responses we get and understand why these feel unsatisfactory. • Is designed to describe and understand your own and other people’s normal interactions in a simple and clear way, and and thereby to exert more control over your interactions with others. • Thus, it is very helpful in dealing with such messy situations.
  • 126. Basic Elements: Transactions and Strokes • A transaction is a single two-way communication exchange. • A stroke is a unit of recognition (social action) , when one person recognizes another person either verbally or non verbally. It arises from one particular subsystem in you and is directed towards one particular subsystem in the other person – and vice versa! – Refers to the two components of a basic two-way transaction. – A 2-stroke transaction. Me to you, and you back to me. – E.g., I walk into you and say “Isn’t a lovely day!” and you look up and grunt irritably.
  • 127. The TA Structural Model (3 Ego States) PARENT ADULT CHILD
  • 128. “I Ought to Do X” PARENT ADULT • Consists of patterns laid down in the early years of life (young child copying parents around them.) • Establishes the basic foundations that tend to direct the growth of our later value system. • Is an important mechanism for passing the general value system of a particular culture from one generation to the next. However, sometimes, the useful practices of one generation may become the problems of the next " CHILD " • Being a good parent to your children is different from behaving as directed by your “Parent” subsystem! "Each child is born in a state of "Fitrah", then his parents make him a Jew, Christian
  • 129. “I Think I Could X” PARENT • The “computer-like” part of the behavior concerned with external reality, collecting information about your environment, solving problems, devising strategies.. ADULT • Relies on logical argument (and/or intuitive judgment) CHILD • Everyone has an “Adult”, even a small child, but the “Adult” skills vary with age.
  • 130. “I Want X” PARENT • The basic biologically given subsystem ADULT • Provides the basic drives, emotions, feelings and energy (emotions dominate reason) • The core of what you are, and of the other two sub-systems (i.e., Adult and Parent) CHILD
  • 131. Nurturing Adapted Primitive Rely on complex imagery, creative problem solvers, sensitive to nonverbal cues Free Envious, find ways of getting own back later , express bottledup emotions. Critical Logical, analytical, assertive, and more realistic Cuddles, Supports, and forgives Rebellious Makes demands, sets standards and gives reprimands Rational Subdivisions Compliant, look for approval, fearful, and clinging Express direct uncomplicated needs “I don’t know what I want but I want it know”
  • 132. Complementary Transactions
  • 133. Crossed Transaction
  • 134. Crossed or Complementary? P P A A C C MANAGER EMPLOYEE “You’re three hours late, I want an explanation.” “Oh, didn’t you get held up by that crash on the motorway as well?”
  • 135. Crossed or Complementary? P P A A C C MANAGER EMPLOYEE “You’re three hours late, I want an explanation.” “Oh, didn’t you get held up by that crash on the motorway as well?”
  • 136. Crossed or Complementary? P P A A C C MANAGER EMPLOYEE “You’re three hours late, I want an explanation.” “I’m really sorry, I slept through the alarm, it won’t happen again, I promise.”
  • 137. Crossed or Complementary? P P A A C C MANAGER EMPLOYEE “You’re three hours late, I want an explanation.” “I’m really sorry, I slept through the alarm, it won’t happen again, I promise.”
  • 138. Scenario/Example Imagine that you have spent all morning at a difficult meeting in which plans for improving your section’s output were discussed. The divisional manager, in collaboration with staff from Finance, wants to restructure the way your section works. You have an alternative plan that you’ve worked out in conjunction with Khalid, the head of production. However Khalid didn’t turn up at the meeting and you spent all your time trying to defend your plan and resist having the Finance plan imposed on you. You come back to your office where you meet Ahmad, who shares responsibility for part of the section. You say: ‘I feel lousy. I have a terrible headache – that meeting, it went on all morning! I could kill Khalid– he never showed up!’
  • 139. Possible Responses from Ahmad • E Reply: Didn’t show up at all? Those meetings are such a pain. Hey, come on! Let’s go to the golf course this afternoon to get a breath of fresh air. • F Reply: Oh I am sorry. Would you like a cup of tea or a drink? I had thought to talk to you about budgets this afternoon, but if you’re not well I wouldn’t dream of it. Shall I get you some aspirin, or would you prefer something else? Do you want to rest or go straight off to lunch?
  • 140. What’s Active Listening? In active listening, the listener doesn’t passively absorb the words which are spoken out, but: • Actively tries to grasp the facts and feelings in what is said, and tries by paying attention to help the speaker work out their own problems. • Feeds back to the speaker, in the listener’s own words, the content that has been understood by the listener. Feedback and affirmation makes listening active
  • 141. Active Listening: Prerequisites • To employ active listening, you must: – be interested in the person speaking and in the issue at hand. – demonstrate a spirit that genuinely respects the potential worth of the individual, which considers his or her rights and trusts his capacity for self-directions.
  • 142. What Can We Achieve by Listening • Bring about changes in people because people who are listened to actively (sensitively) – become more emotionally mature, more open to their experiences. – tend to listen to themselves with more care and be clear what they are feeling and thinking • Lessens argument – When group members listen to each other, they become less argumentative and ready to incorporate other points of view • Builds positive relationships
  • 143. Listen for Total Meaning Respond to Feelings Feedback Note Cues
  • 144. Active Listening: The Techniques • Listen for Total Meaning Any message a person tries to get across has two components: – content of message and – feeling or attitude underlying this content. • Respond to Feelings – Be open to the range of emotions being expressed by the speaker and pay attention to the items that carry the most emotional charge. • Note all Cues – Being award of non-verbal communication/messages (e.g., inflection of the voices, facial expressions, body posture, hand movements and breathing • Feedback on Your Own Words – Repeating in your own words to the speaker what you’ve understood. Then, you also should seek confirmation form the speaker that they have been correctly understood
  • 145. What is Communicated by Listening? Actively listening to someone, conveys the idea that you: • Are interested in him/her as a person. • Think that what the speaker feels is important. • Respect the speaker’s thoughts, even if you disagree! • Feel that the speaker has a contribution to make. • Are not trying to change or evaluate the speaker. You just want understand him/her • Think the speaker is worth listening to • Want the speaker to know that you’re the kind of a person you can talk to.
  • 146. What to Avoid • Attempting to get the person speaking to change his/her way of looking at things. – Rather, listen with understanding. Free yourself from the need to influence and direct others in your own paths. • Passing judgment – whether critical or favorable – and advice. – This could be a barrier to self-expression • Providing positive evaluations and encouragement could be blocking – in certain situations. – E.g., ‘I’m sure everything will work out O.K.’ is not a helpful response to the person who is deeply discouraged.
  • 147. Idea Development • Idea development is the process by which a new idea, which is attractive but not yet feasible, is converted into a practical solution, without losing its originality or appeal. • A new idea needs protection for instant rejection. The protection has three components: – A check that the idea is correctly understood – Identification of all the positive aspects of the idea – Conversion of negatives into directions for improvement
  • 148. STEP 1: Check Understanding • Understand before you evaluate. Restate your understanding of the idea with a paraphrase to: – ensure that you and the idea-giver are talking about the same thing. – create positive emotional links • Checking understanding is vital to ensure that the negatives apply to the idea expressed not to the idea we thought we heard.
  • 149. STEP 2: Finding Values in the Ideas • Every idea has some merit! Finding values in ideas builds better relationships and keep the ideas flowing. • Ideas should be given the benefit of the doubt! Evaluating a new idea should a process should be a process of discovery to find positive features . • Judging only what is wrong with ideas discourages others from expressing new valuable ideas. • Defining the solutions may be more valuable than defining the problem. Specifying the pluses and shortcomings of the idea helps define how the solution might look like.
  • 150. STEP3: Converting Negatives to Directions for Improvement • Finding a direction for improvement not criticism. Present the “negatives” of an idea at the right time in such a way to draw attention to the need to improve the idea. • EXAMPLE: “That would be too expensive” vs. “What is it that we need?” – Possible answers would look into: a way to reduce the cost of this idea; share the cost with others; increase prices… • A direction for improvement is a signpost on the road to solutions. It is a creative process that stimulates more ideas. • The idea is that as we deal with more negative aspects, the idea gets refined or replaced.
  • 151. An Outline of the Technique • Check that everyone understands what is being suggested • List every conceivable advantage of the idea • list every disadvantage, expressing each not as an objection (‘that wouldn’t work, because…’). You may do this in two stages: – first listing them as objection, and then – rephrasing these as problems. • See how you might pursue these directions for improvement, or solve these problems using suitable method you know (e.g., brainstorming).
  • 152. Introduction to “Assertion and Argument” • Arguments are based on various assertions. • We often make unsupported assertions which are either just wrong, or need supporting evidence. • The arguments we build on these assertions might not bet logically sound. • The evidence does not necessarily mean what we say it means, and the conclusions we draw are not as solid as we think they are. • Even if we know that the argument is doubtful, we get tempted to use our persuasive techniques to make it stick anyway!
  • 153. Influence Diagram: Elements Blobs Arrows Labeling words
  • 154. Influence Diagram: Purpose • Represents the main structural features of a situation and the important relationships that exist among them. • Presents an overview of areas of activity or organizational and other groupings and their main interrelationships used either to explore those interrelationships, perhaps leading to a regrouping and redefinition of the system and its components, or to express a broad view of how things are in the territory you are considering. • Can be developed from a systems map by adding arrows
  • 155. TMA • Spray Diagram – Identify the main idea of the article (central topic) – identify the most important points (subtopics) blobs – Then branch out as explained in T552 appendix (A1.1.) • System Map – Should show all the components of your articulated system of interest – Pay attention to the grouping and the hierarchy ( show up to three levels of hierarchy) • Analysis of ST & its relationship Management – Provide a clear theoretical discussion – Explain how those concepts are related to the case on hand – Assess how the systems thinking principles can be applied
  • 156. T205 SYSTEMS THINKING: Principles and Practice Session 09 Osama M. Ashri
  • 157. What We’ll Cover • T552 Diagramming: – Appendix A.2.3 (Multiple Cause Diagram) • Concept File 02: – Reading 17: The Nature of Conflict – Reading 18: Power Visible and Invisible – Reading 19: Conflict Resolution
  • 158. The Nature of Conflict: Sources Misunderstandings • Misconceptions about what was said or implied. Differences of value (a worldview differences) • Ethical or related to the purpose of the organization Differences of viewpoint (difference is perspective) • disagreements about the means to achieve particular ends Differences of interest • Preference for control, status, resources advancements Differences in style • Difference in personality and cognitive style Unconscious factors • Least aware of; embedded in the mess of historical conflicts
  • 159. The Nature of Conflict • Decision making in organization is less a matter of objective rational analysis and more of a political process, in which a curial factor is the power that individuals and groups can wield to promote their ideas and interest and to induce support for them • Differences can be a valuable organization resource when such differences are harnessed constructively
  • 160. Integrative & Destructive Conflicts • Conflicts which tend to bring together the various parties involved are said to be integrative. • The individuals concerned tend to be drawn together by the sense of shared challenge and shared experience, creating a sense of being of an “in-group” • Integrative effects are likely to be achieved when the style of of the conflict tends towards openness, and noncoercive methods are used to reach a settlement • On the other hand conflict is likely to be destructive those concerned are not open (e.g. withholding information or threaten each other.
  • 161. Conflict Resolution Zero-Sum Games
  • 162. Conflict Resolution
  • 163. The Method of Principled Negotiation • "Separate the people from the problem.” • "Focus on interests, not positions.” • "Invent options for mutual gain.” • "Insist on using objective criteria."
  • 164. Multiple Cause Diagrams • To explore “events” (i.e., why something has happened) and “states” (i.e., why a situation as it is) – Events: Why did we end up arguing?; Why did I fail the exam? – States: Why are the roads congested?; Why are sales so low? • To untangle thinking: MCDs untangle the web of interconnected causes that combined to precipitate an event or to perpetuate or exacerbate the situation • To communicate our understanding: MCDs help develop your understanding of the system and explain it to others. • To Identify points of intervention in order to reinforce success or reduce (inhibits) problems
  • 165. Drawing Causal Connections
  • 166. Identifying Multiple Causes
  • 167. Identifying Multiple Causes
  • 168. The first task in drawing a multiple cause diagram is to identify the output (effect) in which you are interested Then add the primary causes of that effect.
  • 169. Move backwards through the different levels of causes until you have a comprehensive diagram to explain the multiple causes
  • 170. T205 SYSTEMS THINKING: Principles and Practice Session 10 Osama M. Ashri
  • 171. T205 SYSTEMS THINKING: Principles and Practice Session 10 Osama M. Ashri
  • 172. What We’ll Cover • T552 Diagramming: – Appendix A.2.4 (Sign Graph) • Concept File 03: – Reading 01: Groups and Teams • T553 Modeling: – Reading 3.1: Mental Models; Implicit and Explicit – Reading 3.2: Some General Categories of Model
  • 173. Sign Graph • Shows webs of interconnected causes and effects • Represents relationships between variables in a given situation • Can be developed from a multiple cause diagram • Helps distinguish positive and negative feedback loops – Arrows are labeled with a plus (similar change in the variable or a minus (opposite change in the variable) – Factors are used as variables (number, level, degree, ability, speed, cost)
  • 174. Sign Graph: Guidelines Identify the feedback loops Identify the signs Select Variable Names
  • 175. Group Vs. Team • Why Groups/Teams? To organize and distribute work, pool information, devise plans, coordinate activities, increase commitment, resolve conflicts… • In groups, process is more important than outcome. The growth and development of the group itself is its primary purpose. • Teamwork is more connected with project work and is useful when addressing risky, uncertain or unfamiliar problems where there is a lot of choices surrounding the decision.
  • 176. Group Vs. Team Reference: Organizational Behavior by Stephen P. Robbins (11e)
  • 177. Characteristics of a Team • Definable membership • Group consciousness or identity • Sense of shared purpose • Interdependence • Interaction • Sustainability (periodical interview) • Ability to act together, as one.
  • 178. Organizational Hierarchical Structure
  • 179. Types of Project Teams • The Functional Team – Work is carried out within a functionally organized group. – E.g., project work flows from marketing  R&D  design manufacturing (based on function) • The Project (single) team – Consists of a group of people who come together as a distinct organizational unit to work on a project. (e.g., software development and constructions) • The Matrix Team – Staff report to the project manager for their work on the project while their functional line manager is responsible for the other aspects of their work such as appraisal, and routine tasks. • The Contract Team – Brought from outside the organization to do the project work
  • 180. Matrix Team
  • 181. New Types of Team
  • 182. Internal Elements of Team Effectiveness The constituents of team effectiveness
  • 183. External influences on team effectiveness
  • 184. What is a Model? • A simplified representation of some person’s or group’s view of a situation, constructed to assist in working with that situation in a systemic manner • More generally, a model could be defined as a simplified representation of reality • The map is not the territory. Models tend to represent properties of the world relevant to the job in hand (or your purpose). It concentrates on the essentials and keeps out the non-essentials
  • 185. What is a Mental Model? • Mental Models, as defined by Peter Senge, are “Deeply held internal images of how the world works, images that limit us to familiar ways of thinking and acting.” • As we experience a new phenomenon (i.e., disorienting event), we assemble information into a mental model that constitutes a simplified representation of that phenomenon. This model then becomes the basis for our perception, analysis, understanding, and behavior toward the object in question Simplifications of the complexity around us.
  • 186. Mental Models are self-sealing • We think and act through our mental models. – Our mental models determine what we perceive in the world around us – how we think about situations, people, organizations and problems. This in turn affects how we act, often with important consequences. • Since mental models affect our perception of the world they are self-sealing – Mental models dictate the type of information we perceive and these perceptions will then reinforce the original belief.
  • 187. Mental Models: The Process of Making Sense
  • 188. Mental Models: Limitation is Self-imposed • Problems can’t be solved at the same level of mental model at which they were created. • To change your world, you first have to change your thinking (your mental models) • What you see is what you think! – Mental models shape the opportunities and threats you see in your life. – The mental models you use to understand the world around you have a dramatic impact on the outcomes you achieve and the quality of your life
  • 189. General Categories of Model Iconic Models: Using some physical material to represent physical aspects of a situation, as in scale models of new products or developments
  • 190. General Categories of Model Graphical Models: Two-dimensional representations such as maps and photographs
  • 191. General Categories of Model Quantitative Models: Making use of mathematical techniques to calculate numerical values for the properties of the defined systems and to explore the results of different possible actions.
  • 192. T205 SYSTEMS THINKING: Principles and Practice Session 11 Osama M. Ashri
  • 193. What We’ll Cover • T553 Modeling: – Reading 3.3: Models as Part of Systems Work – Reading 3.4: A Model of Systems Modeling • Concept File 03: – Reading 02: Working in Groups
  • 194. Models as Part of Systems Work • By definition, a conceptual model is a simplified representation of how the “system” being examined works. • Conceptual model basically represents what the “system” logically would have to comprise (activities, processes) in order for it to work. • You’ll explore further this idea of conceptual model as part of the Soft Systems Methodology (T306)
  • 195. Summary of the Soft Systems Methodology
  • 196. A Conceptual Model of Systems Modeling
  • 197. Working in Groups • Groups are characterized by boundary-defining rules • Members joining a group make trade-offs between losing some freedom and abiding by rules. • Such trade-offs should be balanced: The more an individual gives up in joining the group, the larger the pay-off (return) is expected. • Hidden Agendas – Things an individual wants/expects from the group, but that the group doesn’t know about. E.g., An individual raising an issue at a meeting to embarrass another member. • Benefits from joining groups include accessing information and obtaining help
  • 198. Group Contracts Formal Informal Psychological • Openly discussed • E.g., group’s objectives • Less discussed until an issue emerges • E.g., the way meetings are conducted • Unconsciously held; manifests in times of crisis • E.g., the way interpersonal issues are handled
  • 199. Group Processes 1. Group Context 2. Group Size 3. Functional and Team roles 4. Managing Group Membership 5. Group Development 6. The Creative Cycle 7. Ways that groups go wrong
  • 200. Group Process 1. Group Context – The group should have a well-defined task that is seen as challenging and significant by group members. 2. Group Size – The group shouldn’t be too large (< 10 members) and not too small - enough to have adequate resources and expertise 3. Functional and Team roles – Functional role – relies on the skills and experiences group members bring to the project or problem in hand. – Team role – is based on members’ personality or preferred style of action (e.g., implementer who turns ideas into practical actions; monitor who offers critical analysis*)
  • 201. 4. Managing Group Membership
  • 202. 5. Group Development
  • 203. 6. The Creative Cycle The cycle of development that takes place within a single meeting of a group
  • 204. 7. Ways Groups Go Wrong! • Groupthink – A process whereby a group collaborates to ignore evidence suggesting that what it has done, or is planning to do is illadvised • Seeking internal or external scapegoats. – Internally, making a scapegoat of the weakest member or the group leader – Externally, blaming people external to the group for not doing their job or providing the appropriate resources for the group
  • 205. How Groupthink Ensues Bad Decisions Groups infected by groupthink make bad decisions in four main ways: • Discard official goals if the achievement of such goals conflict with the preservation of easy-going unanimity in the group • Screen out information/opinions that point out to difficulties in implementing the decisions. • Take more risky decisions than any individual member would take (Risky Shift) • Treat “others” as the “enemy.” You’re either with us or against us!
  • 206. Indicators for diagnosing for Groupthink Groups vulnerable to groupthink are those that : • Are too friendly and collaborative. – They discourage disagreement and are less inclined to think whether or not they really agree with what’s being decided. • Have certain prestige & regard themselves as an elite group (e.g., management of local associations) • Are Insulated from opinions that might correct false assumptions (e.g., a design team when they do a close commercial secret)
  • 207. T205 SYSTEMS THINKING: Principles and Practice Sessions 12 & 13 Osama M. Ashri
  • 208. What We’ll Cover • Concept File 03: – Reading 03: Projects and Project Teams – Reading 04: Leadership • T553 Modeling: – Reading 04: Systems Modeling in Practice
  • 209. What is a Project? • A project is a unique venture with a beginning and an end, conducted by people to meet established goals within parameters of cost, schedule and quality. – (Buchanan and Boddy, 1992). • A project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result. – (PMOK Guide, 3rd ed.)
  • 210. Features of Projects • Unique Undertaking • Have specific objectives • Require resources • Require the effort of people • Have scope, time, and cost (collectively called the triple constraint that affects project quality)
  • 211. Project Life Cycle
  • 212. Players in the Game (Stakeholders) Those affecting the project and are affected by the project outcomes. Players include: • Project Sponsor – provides the resources for the project • Project champion – acts as an advocate of the project • Client – The person/organization buying the service • Customers – ~ client but include someone with whom one has to deal during the project. • Owner – has a strong attachment to the aims of the projects. Stakeholders must be identified, analyzed and managed in order to ensure project success
  • 213. Setting goals and objectives • Though goals are usually identified before the project starts, they are usually subject to alterations as the project evolves. As such, goals should: – Provide clear measurable framework whilst being flexible in the light of changing circumstances – Be feasible to prevent demoralization resulting from failure – Provide scope for individual and team development whilst enabling organizational tasks to be achieved. • SMART Goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound)
  • 214. What Does a Project Manager Do? • Task-oriented behavior – Estimating and planning – Assembling a team – Reporting and liaising – Putting tools in place • Relationship-oriented behavior – Managing and coordinating work – Managing Change – Managing inter-group relationships – Managing external boundaries
  • 215. The Leader’s Role
  • 216. Leaders and Authority • Providing evaluative feedback – The leader’s roles is to enable group members to do their job. They should provide constructive feedback with the attitude of wanting to help. • Owning problems – Leaders should accept responsibility for their own problems, rather than blaming others.
  • 217. Leadership Theories • Trait Theory • Style Theory (Blake & Mouton) • Contingency Theory (Fiedler)
  • 218. Trait Theory • The determining factor in an effective leader is a set of personal characteristics. • Discovering these characteristics requires the study of successful leaders and determining which characteristics they have in common. • Most common characteristics discovered were: – Above average intelligence – Initiative – Bias for Action (urge to get things done) – Self-assurance (high self-confidence and self-esteem)
  • 219. Style Theory
  • 220. Contingency Theory The most effective leadership style depends on the circumstances
  • 221. T205 SYSTEMS THINKING: Principles and Practice Final Session Osama M. Ashri
  • 222. The Paradigm Shift: From Reductionism to Systems Thinking • You used to think that breaking down a problem into parts would be an effective way to understand the issue and find a solution. However, that is reductionist! • By now you should be able to focus on the different aspects of a situation and pay attention to the connections and relationships between things and to the different perceptions, priorities and needs of the people involved. This is systemic.
  • 223. Systems Thinking • provides a set of concepts, tools and methods for engaging with and improving complex situations, referred to as messes. • is a holistic approach that emphasizes the connections between issues and components in the mess. • simplifies the complexity by thinking at a greater level of abstraction or generality (hierarchy). • fosters a multiple perspective approach to complexity.
  • 224. Remember… • Everything in a system is connected. • A system does something – i.e., purpose • Systems have a boundary that encloses its elements and and an environment that indirectly affects it. • The system is defined by your interest (system of interest) • A system can have one or more subsystems with in it.
  • 225. Tools of the Trade
  • 226. Putting Know-How into Action Thinking should lead to practice! The more you apply systems thinking to tackle messy situations/issues, the more you strengthen your systems thinking muscles. Can you identify the type of this feedback loop?