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!
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 >
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.
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, 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.
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.