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The “Aria” Approach to Conflict Resolution

If a leadership team asked me for the key to nurturing Tom Peters’s WOW organizations, to empowering people to learn and grow their companies …

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 …

What Are Mental Models?

In writing and teaching people about systems thinking, my colleagues and I at I see systems often refer to “mental models.” For some people, …

Mental Models and Systems Thinking: Going Deeper into Systemic Issues

In a causal loop diagram of a systemic issue, variables are connected in cause-and-effect relationships. But often the implicit thought processes behind those links …

From Individual to Shared Mental Models

Making individual mental models explicit is only one step toward fostering organizationwide learning. Since perceptions of reality can vary widely among different people in …

Systems Archetypes as Dynamic Theories

Most people are familiar with the Sufi tale of the four blind men, each of whom is attempting (unsuccessfully) to describe what an elephant …

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 …

Communicating Through Conflict

Where there are people, there is conflict. It affects us all. The failure to communicate effectively, or to communicate at all, is a leading …

A Subversive’s Guide to Systems Thinking

Just the other day, a colleague made a comment reminiscent of so many similar remarks:, “You worked in a hospital. You understand all there …

Why Systems Thinking, Why Now?

You’ve heard the news—many U. S. companies are cutting their operations dramatically in response to falling investor confidence, stock prices, and revenues. Many major …