mindsets

Who is the best speaker on Systems Thinking?

Dr. Russel Ackoff (affectionately called the "Einstine of Problem Solving") is by far one of the most knowledgeable and engaging speakers on Systems Thinking. Funny, whip-smart, and passionately engaging, his videos filmed mainly in the 1990's are a must watch if you are new or even an advanced systems thinker. You can thank us later!

 

This presentation is from a 1994 event hosted by Clare Crawford-Mason and Lloyd Dobyns to capture the Learning and Legacy of Dr. W. Edwards Deming. Russ knew Dr. Deming and speaks here about the difference between "continuous improvement" and "discontinuous improvement," as seen through the lens of systems thinking.

The basic managerial idea introduced by systems thinking, is that to manage a system effectively, you might focus on the interactions of the parts rather than their behavior taken separately.
— R. Ackoff
This mechanical view of problem-solving was made obsolete by the development of Systems Thinking, through which making organizations work better was redefined in recognition of the role played by the design of the entire system. Synthesis - the thinking method involving seeing how different elements in a system interact with each other - replaced Analysis as the method of developing breakthrough operational improvements (otherwise known as Innovation).
— Steven G. Brant in the Huffinton Post

Peter Senge on Common Issues for Engaging with Systems Thinking

peter senge on systems thinking
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MIT Sloan professor Peter Senge is a leading proponent of Systems Thinking, having authored the 1990's seminal book, The Fifth Disciple. 

The book outlines the key approaches to applying systems thinking, understanding interdependence, and realizing the power this has in helping us change ourselves, organizations, and the systems that we create as humans. 

We highly recommend getting a copy of the book and reading it, but for a quick and detailed summary of the core contents of the book, check out this great summary on Systems Thinker > 

 

Peter Senge, author of The Fifth Discipline, Senior lecturer at MIT and Founder of the Society for Organizational Learning, shares his perspectives on leadership and systems thinking with IBM. 

The world is made of Circles
And we think in straight Lines
— Peter M. Senge
Peter Senge's keynote speech "Systems Thinking for a Better World" at the 30th Anniversary Seminar of the Systems Analysis Laboratory "Being Better in the World of Systems" at Aalto University, 20 November 2014. Peter Senge is a Senior Lecturer in Leadership and Sustainability at the MIT.
 

The Productivity Hack Your Organization Needs: Shifting Mindsets

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SHIFTING MINDSETS

In order to maximize productivity in a positive and regenerative way, we need to shift mindsets from a mechanical worldview to one of dynamic, creative, interconnected systems worldviews.

 We need to apply our past knowledge of the evolution of the natural sciences to our organization and production processes and systems of today.

CREATIVE POTENTIAL

Creativity pioneer Edward de Bono argues that possibility is what makes a beautiful creative mind. In his work, he illustrates how the mind uses experiences to map and pattern thoughts.

It shows significant insights into the way humans can bust through linear thinking into lateral, divergent, and disruptive thinking modes.

For de Bono, creativity stems from being open to provocation. Stagnation of ideas come through the repetition of the same experiences and thus comfort is a killer of creativity.

How often does your organization seek out provocative new experiences that challenges the status quo so that your creativity can be enhanced through positive challenges? 

SYSTEMS THINKING

Systems thinking, with all its different offshoots and branches, evolved to help humans understand how to be more effective and creative as communities, as collaborators with nature, and as contributors to the future.

Knowledge, meaning, and purpose are understood through the building up of ‘whole pictures’ of phenomena rather than the breaking down of things into parts.

systems thinking and mapping

SHIFTING MINDSETS

By adopting a creative systems worldview, we shift our mindsets to look for interrelationships within and between systems.

When looking to increase efficiency, productivity, and creativity, organizations need to think about the untapped knowledge that exists in the deeper worldviews that people hold.

This helps overcome natural cognitive biases and unlock the creative potential of their human resources.

This will help us learn how to build regenerative businesses that give back, rather than take away from the planet.