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What is systems thinking? Unit One Tools for Systems Thinking.

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Presentation on theme: "What is systems thinking? Unit One Tools for Systems Thinking."— Presentation transcript:

1 What is systems thinking? Unit One Tools for Systems Thinking

2 Systems thinking is A set of tools for problem solving A non-linear visual language A framework for looking at issues as systemic wholes

3 Principles of systems thinking Thinking of the “big picture” Balancing short-term and long-term perspectives Recognizing the dynamic, complex and interdependent nature of systems

4 Principles of systems thinking (continued) Taking into account both measurable and non-measurable factors Using the knowledge that we are all a part of the system, and that we influence the systems, even as we are being influenced by them

5 The “big picture” During stressful times, we tend to narrow focus to the most immediate problems To discover the sources of the problems requires stepping back to see more context.

6 Long-term, short-term In any decision, the best approach will balance best long-term options with best short-term options. The key is to be aware of the long and short term impacts of any strategy you choose.

7 Dynamic, complex, and interdependent Things change all the time. Things are messy. Everything is connected. Watch the tendency to oversimplify, create comforting but meaningless order, and to work on problems in isolation.

8 Measurable vs. Non-measurable Data Both kinds of data have value. Be aware that we tend to see only what we measure. Measurable data (like statistics) and non-measurable data (like morale) used together create the most robust picture.

9 We are a part of the system We play a role in the problem. The systems affects us. We affect the system… continued…

10 Our effect on the system Unintended consequences The problem plaguing us today may be an effect of yesterday’s solutions. Assumptions Our assumptions are powerful drivers of decisions, and wrong assumptions can lead to faulty decisions.

11 Our effect on the system (continued) Values and beliefs Deeply held values and beliefs can imprison us into counterproductive ways of making decisions.

12 Systems thinking as a language It emphasizes wholes rather than parts, and stresses the role of interconnections. It is a circular, rather than linear linear language.

13 Systems thinking as a language (continued) It offers visual tools, such as causal loop diagrams and BOT graphs. It opens a window on mental models to expose subtle, but meaningful, differences in our perspectives.

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