Systems Thinking Intro

It will let you see causal relations

Starts with recognizing that all systems are part of a bigger system. And each system is defined by its function in the larger system.

Another method of thinking is Analytical or De-constructive thinking. Its More common. You study each component - and you can integrate the knowledge into a bigger unit.

System thinking is looking at the world as a series of interconnected Eco-systems interacting with each other over time. This way we start looking at patterns rather than components.

Traditional Approach

  • Linear Thinking
  • Scientific Thinking
  • Mechanical Thinking
  • Analytical Thinking

They study parts and assume that the bigger thing is the sum of the parts.

The value of system thinking is they show properties and causal relationships that don't exist in their components. You can see emergence. Its behaviors and properties that emerges when systems interact with each other. Identifying emergence is a corner stone of systems thinking.

How to do system thinking

  1. Identify inputs and outputs.
    1. Define the flow of the system
    2. how fast do things go thru the system
    3. is its steady flow - or does the speed change?
    4. is there bottlenecks? What happens when its builds
  2. Is it linear or circular.
    1. What parts are linear
    2. Which are circular. Fundamental parts generally are circular.
  3. Look for patterns.
    1. Define, describe, visualize.
    2. Map them out using flow chart.
    3. If you find patterns in one part, see if you can find the same in other parts. Or at different scales.
    4. Fractal patterns
  4. Find feedback loops
    1. Self magnifying or self delimiting pattern - over time. Which each iteration they change for bigger or lesser.
    2. Find the causality in it.
  5. Understand balancing processes
    1. What guard rails or counter forces keep things on track.
    2. How surprises are dealt with.
  6. Study interactions with other systems.
    1. What larger systems are this system a part of.
    2. Do the same thing for the larger system.