Category: Articles

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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…

Dancing with Systems

People who are raised in the industrial world and who get enthused about systems thinking are likely to make a terrible mistake. They are…

Using “Fixes That Fail” to Get Off the Problem-Solving Treadmill

It’s Monday morning. You’ve just settled in at your desk to catch up on some reading, when the phone rings. The program manager of the…

The Learning Organization Journey: Assessing and Valuing Progress

Suppose you have just been appointed the CKO—Chief Knowledge Officer—of your organization. You are responsible for managing the company’s knowledge capital, including how it…

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”…

It’s Not a Behavioral Problem: It’s the System

Don’t ask systems thinkers for advice on managing performance or staff engagement. They will probably say something pretty fruity, and you’ll wind up frustrated…

Structure-Behavior Pairs: A Starting Point for Problem Diagnosis

There are many possible starting points for drawing a systems diagram. One way to begin is by telling the story behind the problem, and…

A Systems View of the Economic Crisis

One of many recent articles on the current financial crisis noted that it could only have occurred because so many people were willing to…

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…

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…