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Thinking in Systems: A Primer Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
The central insight of the book (and systems thinking in general) is, that manipulation of a system can suppress or release some behaviour which is latent within the structure of a system. A system can cause its own behaviour.
It is easy to see, why such insights carry an important message to anyone wishing to manipulate a complex systems into a desired state, such as architects, organisational designers, or business process designers. The book urges us to consider systems thinking complementary to reductionistic analysis, not throwing either of the paradigms out with the bathing water.
I usually don't comment on the appendix on the book, but in this case I will make an exception; the appendix is excellent and containts both a very useful glossary, as well as the main points of the book in bulletpoints.
This book is an extremely interesting read, and in particular relevant for people dealing with changes in complex structures, such as organisations, architectures, or business processes. For some readers, this primer will be a complete eye opener, changing the way the world is seen, For other, the will start to give them a vocabulary and a framework for understanding what they already knew by intuition.
The book provides a lens for understanding systems - and an excellent at that!
The authors start by covering definitions of a system followed by feedback-reinforcing and balancing loops, moving into the systems zoo, systems traps (E.g tragedy of the commons, seeking the wrong target, success to the successful among others), leverage points and finishing with a mildly idealistic chapter on living with systems. An excellent Appendix summarising each chapter rounds out the book.
The authors tour systems thus:
* The Basics- A Brief Visit to the Systems Zoo
* Why Systems Work So Well
* System Traps and opportunities
* Leverage Points-Places to Intervene in a System
* Living in a World of Systems
* Appendix: Systems Definitions: A Glossary, Summary of Systems Principles, Spring the System Traps, Places to Intervene in a System, Guidelines for Living in a World of Systems, Model Equations, Notes, Bibliography.
I particularly liked the leverage points chapter, a chapter offered with some caution by the authors. It was such an eye opener and practical that I was able to apply the concepts to a client the following day with success, in this case the notion of changing the structure and the rules.
If you need to organise a business, design policy or simply have an interest in the way the world works and you have only just started out with systems-get this book.
If you have more advanced books that confuse a little right now, like I do, get this book.Read more ›
But every time you find it getting too complex there is a nice gentle shove back on track.
Time and time again one finds the best teachers are able to explain the most complex problems simply. This is one of those places where one finds a pleasant conversation and not a text book
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Amazing book. Very easy to read and I believe it really served as a primer to the ideas and processes (systems?) behind systems thinking. Read morePublished 14 days ago by Tony U
Nice book to introduce systems thinking to an outsider of the field with many day-to-day examples of different kinds of systems. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Dries
As a systems primer, it does exactly that, it creates awareness of the complexity of systems and highlights the opportunities for choice that we have as a human race, even though... Read morePublished 17 months ago by John Hardwick
This is essential reading for anyone interested in how complete systems work, rather than the typical reductionist view of the world.Published 19 months ago by MR PW LINEHAN
This book is in my top ten books that everyone should read. If you don't understand systems you don't understand the world we live in. Read morePublished 21 months ago by M ROY BONNEY
Ideal introduction to systems thinking. Well formatted and easy to digest.Published 21 months ago by Swiss Tony
I cannot believe that I have only now stumbled upon system thinking and system dynamics.
So many things start to make "sense", from economy, environment, politics to... Read more
Seminal introductory book on Systems Thinking and Systems Dynamics in particular. Diana Wright has actually edited writings from Dana Meadows, an excellent writer in the area of... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Luciano Batista
Systems Thinking is a vast subject, but as presented here you realise you already know a lot of the principles (you are, after all, a system). Read morePublished 23 months ago by Andy Collins
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