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Systems Thinking

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A review of key concepts from Jamshid Gharajedaghi's Systems Thinking book. Formulating the mess, conflict management, understanding the why.

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Systems Thinking

  1. 1. SYSTEMS THINKING By Charles Duhigg Jen Runkle, PhD Runkle Consulting www.runkleconsulting.com
  2. 2. RATIONAL choice is the domain of selfinterest, or the interest of the decision maker, not the observer.... EMOTIONAL choice is the domain of beauty and excitement. We do lots of things because they are exciting or, more precisely, because they are challenging. TO INFLUENCE PEOPLE W E H AV E T O U N D E R S TA N D WHY THEY DO WHAT THEY DO. CULTURE (default) defines the ethical norms of the collective, of which the decision maker is a member. Jen Runkle, PhD Runkle Consulting www.runkleconsulting.com
  3. 3. H I E R A R C H Y O F FO R C E S T H AT E R O D E C O M P E T I T I V E A DVA N TAG E H I E R A R C H Y O F FO R C E S T H AT E R O D E C O M P E T I T I V E A DVA N TAG E SY S T E M S D I M E N S I O N S T H AT I N F LU E N C E T H E O R G A N I Z AT I O N SY S T E M S D I M E N S I O N S T H AT I N F LU E N C E T H E O R G A N I Z AT I O N IT’S ALL ABOUT THE SYSTEM Jen Runkle, PhD Runkle Consulting www.runkleconsulting.com
  4. 4. FORMULATING THE MESS Searching : generate information, knowledge, and understanding about the system environment. •System analysis: develop a snapshot of the current system. •Obstruction analysis: identify the malfunctioning in the power, knowledge, wealth, beauty and value dimensions of a social system. •System dynamics: to understand the interactions of critical variables in the Mapping : defining essential characteristics and the emergent property of the mess •An event (cause) might have more than a single outcome (effect). •Cause and effect are separated in time and space (time lag). •Cause and effect can replace one another (circularity). •Effects, once produced, might have an independent life of their own. Removing the cause will not necessarily remove the effects. Telling the story: shape the right message so people can hear it •The mess should be presented as a consequence of past success, not as a result of failure. • The challenge is to create a shared understanding of the current reality and its undesirable consequences, thus creating a desire for change... Jen Runkle, PhD Runkle Consulting www.runkleconsulting.com
  5. 5. CONFLICT MANAGEMENT to SOLVE a conflict is to select a course of action believed to yield the best possible outcome for one side or the other: a win/lose struggle to RESOLVE a conflict is to select a course of action that yields an outcome good enough and minimally satisfactory to both the opposing tendencies : a compromise to ABSOLVE a conflict is to wait it out, hoping that, if ignored, it will go away: benign neglect to DISSOLVE a conflict is to change the nature and/or the environment and discover new frames of references: redesign the system Jen Runkle, PhD Runkle Consulting www.runkleconsulting.com

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