Systems Thinking Approach To Problem Solving

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Systems thinking revolves around a handful of concepts that anyone who is determined to learn can master, with study and practice.

The key concepts are: All systems are composed of inter-connected parts.

The solution, then, is to get them to stop behaving so irresponsibly.

This can be done with laws stating what to do and not to do, plus emotional appeals to be nice to the environment.

While this simple example does not lead to any powerful insights, the application of systems thinking to more complex problems can often turn a problem from impossible to solve into one so easy to solve that you may forget that moments ago, or years ago, it was impossible.

Long ago when I was in my twenties, a fellow at a party made one of the most sagacious statements I've ever encountered.For example, when pouring a glass of water we usually think only in terms of turning on the faucet until the glass is full, and then turning it off.mental models that see the world as a complex system whose behavior is controlled by its dynamic structure, which is the way its feedback loops interact to drive the system's behavior.When that solution fails, as it has for over 40 years, they just throw up their hands and call it a hard problem. Systems thinkers see the problem entirely differently.They see immense positive feedback loops causing swarms of agents to exploit the Earth for their own benefit and population growth.This mode becomes unsustainable when negative feedback loops finally start to push back as environmental limits are approached.They don’t see people’s misbehavior as the problem.He pointed at people around the room, easily dividing them into those two groups on the basis of who was dull and who was interesting.Then he confirmed his decisions by observing how frequently they referred to TV shows and characters as they chatted, as well as asking some how much television they watched.The connections cause behavior of one part to affect another. A change to any part or connection affects the entire system. Structure is the pattern of part connections, which is how the system is organized.System behavior is at least a thousand times more dependent on connections than parts because that’s what determines how the parts work together.


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