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Book : Systems Thinking Basics : From Concepts to Causal Loops (1997)

Systems Thinking Basics : From Concepts to Causal Loops

Categories: Systems Thinking

Tags: andersonbookcausal loopsystems thinkingtechniquetool

Publisher:Pegasus Communications Inc.

Author(s):Anderson, Virginia

Published: 1997 • ISBN: 1883823129 • 144 pages • Delivery Format: Hard Copy - Paperback

Available from: Amazon (US)Amazon (UK)Amazon (DE)

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Summary

From the publisher:

Systems Thinking Basics is a self-study, skill-building resource designed to introduce you to the power of systems thinking tools. With an emphasis on behavior over time graphs and causal loop diagrams, this workbook guides you step by step through:

  • Recognizing systems and understanding the importance of systems thinking
  • Interpreting and creating behavior over time graphs and causal loop diagrams
  • Applying and practicing systems thinking day-to-day

Each of the book’s six main sections contains a wealth of examples from the business world, as well as learning activities that reinforce concepts and provide you with the opportunity and space to practice. An array of appendices offers:

  • Extra practice activities
  • A summary of key points and suggested responses to the learning activities
  • A table showing the “palette” of systems thinking tools available
  • A glossary of systems thinking terms
  • A list of additional resources
  • A summary of the systems archetypes

The many diagrams within the book clarify concepts and visually reinforce key principles. Systems Thinking Basics is ideal for aspiring systems thinkers eager to try their hand at using these powerful tools.

Content / Structure

SECTION 1 WHAT ARE SYSTEMS?

What is a System?

Events, Patterns, Structure

Learning Activities

  • 1: Identifying Systems
  • 2: Reflecting on System Characteristics

SECTION 2 WHAT IS SYSTEMS THINKING?

The Principles of Systems Thinking

Systems Thinking as a Special Language

Learning Activities

  • 1: Stretching the Timeline
  • 2: The Shape of the Problem
  • 3: Is Time on Your Side?
  • 4: From Short Term to Long Term
  • 5: In the Midst of a Problem

SECTION 3 UNCOVERING SYSTEMIC STRUCTURES: DRAWING BEHAVIOR OVER TIME

Formulating a Problem

Identifying Variables

Drawing Behavior Over Time Graphs

Learning Activites

  • 1: The Problem with Price Promotions
  • 2: The Case of the Energy Drain
  • 3: The Case of the Audio-Electronic Roller Coaster

SECTON 4 UNCOVERING SYSTEMIC STRUCTURES: BUILDING CAUSAL LOOP DIAGRAMS

Anatomy of a Causal Loop Diagram

Building a Causal Loop Diagram

About Multiloop Diagrams

Learning Activities

  • 1: The Case of the Plateauing Profits
  • 2: The Case of the Collapsing Banks
  • 3: The "Organic to Go" Story
  • 4: The Case of the Restricted Revenues
  • 5: The All-for-One Cooperative
  • 6: The Problem with Used CDs

SECTION 5 COMPLEX SYSTEMS

Characteristics of Complex Systems

The Strengths and Weaknesses of Complex Systems

ComputeFast: The Story of a Complex System

SECTION 6 FROM LOOPS TO LEVERAGE: APPLYING AND PRACTICING SYSTEMS THINKING

The Do's and Don'ts of Systems Thinking on the Job

Practicing Life-Long Systems Thinking

The Learning Journey

Appendix A: Additional Learning Activities

Appendix B: Learning Activity Key Points and Suggested Responses

Appendix C: A Palette of Systems Thinking Tools

Appendix D: The Systems Archetypes

Appendix E: A Glossary of Systems Thinking Terms

Appendix F: Additional Resources

Copyright 1997 by Pegasus Communications, Inc.

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