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Thread: Systems thinking

  1. #1

    Systems thinking

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Systems_thinking


    Systems thinking
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Systems thinking is the process of understanding how things, regarded as systems, influence one another within a whole. In nature, systems thinking examples include ecosystems in which various elements such as air, water, movement, plants, and animals work together to survive or perish. In organizations, systems consist of people, structures, and processes that work together to make an organization "healthy" or "unhealthy".

    Systems thinking has been defined as an approach to problem solving, by viewing "problems" as parts of an overall system, rather than reacting to specific part, outcomes or events and potentially contributing to further development of unintended consequences . Systems thinking is not one thing but a set of habits or practices[2] within a framework that is based on the belief that the component parts of a system can best be understood in the context of relationships with each other and with other systems, rather than in isolation. Systems thinking focuses on cyclical rather than linear cause and effect.

    In science systems, it is argued that the only way to fully understand why a problem or element occurs and persists is to understand the parts in relation to the whole.[3] Standing in contrast to Descartes's scientific reductionism and philosophical analysis , it proposes to view systems in a holistic manner. Consistent with systems philosophy , systems thinking concerns an understanding of a system by examining the linkages and interactions between the elements that compose the entirety of the system.

    Science systems thinking attempts to illustrate how small catalytic events that are separated by distance and time can be the cause of significant changes in complex systems . Acknowledging that an improvement in one area of a system can adversely affect another area of the system, it promotes organizational communication at all levels in order to avoid the silo effect . Systems thinking techniques may be used to study any kind of system natural , scientific , engineered , human , or conceptual .

  2. #2
    Just wanted to post something non-political but that could also be applied to politics.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by SOF.Gator View Post
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Systems_thinking


    In organizations, systems consist of people, structures, and processes that work together to make an organization "healthy" or "unhealthy".
    So who judges what is healthy or unhealthy.

    Just went back in time to the college days when "instructors" had you by the balls or you fail the class.

  4. #4
    I guess healthy and unhealthy can be thought of in terms of how things overall function. If you have a healthy football team they win more games and perform better.

    I can see your point though. Someone might decide that wealth disparity is the major indicator of a healthy societal system whereas someone else may judge health by economic growth.

  5. #5
    Packers Moderator
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    The people with the most influence decide what is healthy or unhealthy. I work in a company that is very profitable yet many of the underlying systems function very poorly or inefficiently. The company is still on a mainframe operating system. Managers to not communicate with one another. Managers treat employee development as a threat to their own job security. So for what I want to get out of it, the system is very unhealthy but I have no influence and things do not change.

    In a democracy the majority has the most influence. If the majority wants free stuff at the cost of their fellow citizens and receive it they will view the system as healthy. As person who works and has their weath conficated will view it as unhealthy. And the baby who is born today $30,000 in debt...well he has more to cry about then the slap on the ass he just got....and no influence to affect any of it.
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by packfan1 View Post
    The people with the most influence decide what is healthy or unhealthy. I work in a company that is very profitable yet many of the underlying systems function very poorly or inefficiently. The company is still on a mainframe operating system. Managers to not communicate with one another. Managers treat employee development as a threat to their own job security. So for what I want to get out of it, the system is very unhealthy but I have no influence and things do not change...
    Pack, I know the economy is down but why are you still with this company? Unfortunately, the way your company operates seems to be the norm rather than the exception from my experience. Reality is a bitch though and eventually, the way your company operates will come back to bite it in the ass, guaranteed.

  7. #7
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    Because the managers were retiring and a new system was on its way.....for the past 7 years. Unfortunately it takes time to determine if management is the type that is planning on everything and commited to nothing.
    2008 NFLFans Fantasy Football League Champion

  8. #8
    It's like that everywhere though .. even in the most mundane of groups. People will always be geared toward helping others learn and succeed, or protecting their turf, like a dog over his meal. Shutting people down and using power plays to intimidate and demean. There seems to be no middle ground here, in my experiences. I doubt any policy or system will vanquish or restore human nature.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by ibleedgreen View Post
    It's like that everywhere though .. even in the most mundane of groups. People will always be geared toward helping others learn and succeed, or protecting their turf, like a dog over his meal. Shutting people down and using power plays to intimidate and demean. There seems to be no middle ground here, in my experiences. I doubt any policy or system will vanquish or restore human nature.
    This was a big shock to me when I left the Army. In the military you had to work well with everyone, even people you despised because your life may literally depend on it. In special operations, excellence is the norm and it's pushed at both the organizational level and the individual level. My belief is that one company like that will emerge in each market sectors and wipe the floor with all the other companies that do things the conventional way.

  10. #10
    One area where I noticed this dynamic recently was in used car sales. There are dealerships that work on volume, post bottom line prices to avoid haggling and games and then just work on customer relations--building trust and finding people the "right" car.

    Others are shady at best. They post prices to attract people in that are not true, are dishonest and also build in hidden fees. They play high pressure games and try to make people buy, even if they don't want to. They don't sell nearly as many cars so they have to maximize their profit on each one.

    Guess which business model is flourishing?

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