Category: Articles

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From Causal Loops to Graphical Functions: Articulating Chaos

This month we continue our look at Graphical Function Diagrams (GFD). GFD’s help us visually see how two variables are interrelated by plotting the relationship…

Ishmael: Cultural Dialogue

“TEACHER seeks pupil. Must have an earnest desire to save the world. Apply in person.” Thus begins Ishmael, a compelling exploration of our shared assumptions…

Transforming the Character of a Corporation

We judge others by what they do; we judge ourselves by our intentions.” “What you do thunders so loud, I can’t hear what you…

Creating Causal Theories

Peasants in southwest France have been selling smelly but delicious black truffles to restaurants for more than $600 a kilo (2.2 lb). Not surprisingly,…

Empowering Multigenerational Collaboration in the Workplace

Today’s workforce represents a broad range of age groups. As a result of college internships, modern healthcare, antidiscrimination laws, and a plethora of lifestyle…

People in Context, Part II

The first part of this article, which appeared in the previous issue of The Systems Thinker (May 2010, Vol. 21 N. 4), introduced the “people-in-context”…

Leveraging Organizational Readiness for Change

Leaders like to think that good planning and solid management are the keys to successful change. Yet too often their best efforts, combining their…

The Learning Family: Bringing the Five Disciplines Home

Roger and his wife June had been struggling with differing views about how to bring up their children. Recently, Roger attended a program about…

The “AND” Method

TEAM TIP Apply this method to anticipate— and avoid—unintended consequences before taking action. Irecently read an article by Daniel Aronson called “Targeted…

Shifting the Burden: Moving Beyond a Reactive Orientation

Although the parable of the boiled frog has become a familiar story in organizational learning circles, it does not yet seem to prevent organizations…