Category: Articles

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Operationalizing Systems Thinking on One Page

It is always a thrill to gain new insights after applying systems thinking to a problem situation. Imagine a team that is exhilarated from…

Modeling “Soft” Variables

When encountering system dynamics modeling for the first time, sharp-minded managers often ask, “How can you have any confidence in your model if you…

Turning Innovative Scenarios into Robust Strategies

There are many definitions of strategy. The one that means most to me is: A shared commitment to act toward a compelling goal. Why…

A Business Is More than a Balance Sheet

Teachers sit on the bleachers at town meetings watching the townspeople resist raising their salaries. The Dartmouth faculty complains to the trustees about the governance…

Attention Not Energy

When you face something unpleasant, give it your attention but not your energy.” This is one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever…

Putting Best Practices into Practice

Seeking out and spreading best practices throughout an organization — particularly a large organization — provides significant strategic advantages. The idea of identifying and…

Core Resources of Paradigm-Change Facilitation

TEAM TIP To fundamentally change the system you are in instead of making surface-level fixes, you and your team members must reinvent your- selves…

Minnesota Takes the Long View of Its Solid Waste System

In January 2000, Minnesota’s Office of Environmental Assistance (MN OEA) began to investigate creative solutions to the state’s growing problems with solid waste disposal.

Transforming a Command-and-Control Culture

Introducing learning organization principles to a company is difficult and fraught with uncertainty. How do you lead without taking the reins? How do you…

Both the Parts and Whole: Leadership and Systems Thinking

Leaders operate in the realm of bewildering uncertainty and staggering complexity. Today’s problems are rarely simple and clear-cut. If they were, they would likely…