Category: Articles

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Applying System Dynamics to Public Policy: The Legacy of Barry Richmond

System dynamicist Barry Richmond was one of those larger-than-life characters whom one seldom encounters in this world. His incisive intellect, passion for building understanding, …

The Sustainability Challenge: Ecological and Economic Development

Imagine picking up a newspaper and reading that the country’s largest petroleum company has petitioned the government to increase the gasoline tax at the …

All Methods Are Wrong. Some Methods Are Useful.

Interest in systems concepts is reviving and broadening. However, the sheer size of the field poses a dilemma for both newcomers and those who …

Dynamic Thinking: A Behavioral Context

The first thinking skill in the systems thinking paradigm is Dynamic Thinking. It comes first because you must be able to think dynamically in …

The Promise of Systems Thinking for Shifting Fundamental Dynamics

People in Guatemala—smart people—were working harder, hiring brighter people, raising more money, doing better projects, and getting improved results. And yet, what they sought …

The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook: A Guide to the Learning Organization

Jorge Valchez is an organizational development consultant at International Chocolate, Inc., a (fictional) confectionery company. A few years ago, he picked up a copy …

Can Learning Cultures Evolve?

There is much agreement that one of the key characteristics of the 21st-century organization will be its ongoing ability to learn. In fact, it …

Seeing Your Company as a System

Bank failures, health insurance rate hikes, and the troubles of auto manufacturers provide recent examples of the vulnerability of big, fast-changing systems and the …

Everyone’s Problem to Solve: Systems Thinking Cross-Functionally

Several years ago, I was approached by a California-based software firm focused on electronic design automation. Their software enabled hardware engineers to efficiently design …

Connecting Systems Thinking and Action

Everything is connected. A child randomly kicks the elephant on the mobile hanging over her crib, and the other members of the aerial zoo …