Category: Articles

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Anatomy of a Reinforcing Loop

Feedback loops can be thought of as closed loops of interconnection; basically, sequences of mutual causes and effects. The links between each variable show…

The New Facts of Life: Connecting the Dots on Food, Health, and the Environment

A discussion of the interrelations between food, health, and the environment is extremely topical today. Rising food prices together with the price of oil…

From Causal Loop Diagrams to Computer Models–Part I

Imagine you are the human resources director for a company in a rapidly growing industry. Your latest strategy meeting focused on developing a human…

We Have to Talk: A Checklist for Difficult Conversations

Think of a conversation you’ve been putting off. Got it? Great. Then let’s go. There are dozens of books on the topic of difficult,…

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…

Behavior Over Time Diagrams: Seeing Dynamic Interrelationships

An old Winnie the Pooh cartoon sketch shows Christopher Robin dragging Edward the Bear down a set of stairs by one arm, while the…

Making It Happen: The Implementation Challenge

About seven years ago, a Fortune 100 corporation began a three-year, $2 million organizational experiment. The goal was to gain a sustainable competitive advantage…

What is Your Organization’s Core Theory of Success?

Managers in today’s organizations are continually confronted with new challenges and increased performance expectations. At the same time, they are bombarded by a bewildering…

Acting and Thinking Systemically

In the summer of 2006, a group of local foundations supported the leaders of Calhoun County Michigan (population 100,000), in developing a 10-year plan…

Fine-Tuning Your Causal Loop Diagrams—Part I

Causal loop diagrams are an important tool for representing the feedback structure of systems. They are excellent for Quickly capturing your hypotheses about…