Category: Articles

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Learning Through System Dynamics as Preparation for the 21st Century

What should be the outcome of a systems education? We do not expect most students to spend their lives in front of a computer …

Systems Thinking as a Language

Language has a subtle, yet powerful effect on the way we view the world. English, like most other Western languages, is linear—its basic sentence …

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” …

The Next Great Frontier: Designing Managerial & Social Systems

The 1990s are shaping up to be a decade of dramatic changes. The recent shake-ups at IBM and General Motors are ominous signs that …

Confessions of a Recovering Knower

Hi, my name is Brian and I am a recovering knower. But for the grace of God, and the disciplines of organizational learning, I …

Working in an Unhappy Place: Reengaging Disaffected Employees Through Conflict Resolution

Why can’t we all just get along?” asked Rodney King famously, echoing the sentiments of many of us who have at some point or …

Sustainability: The Inner and Outer Work

Over the years, many people devoted to sustainability have used the phrase “the triple bottom line” to articulate strategy. They don’t focus solely on …

The Art of Facilitative Leadership: Maximizing Others’ Contributions

Leadership traditionally has been thought of as “doing the right thing” while management has been defined as “doing things right.” Contemporary leadership combines these …

Appreciative Inquiry: Igniting Transformative Action

In the streets of Seattle, Washington, last year, the world witnessed a striking expression of social concern. An array of highly disparate groups — …

Organizations as Learning Systems

The recent decline of well-established firms and the perceived need for corporate renewal has fueled a growing interest in the topic of organizational learning.