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Systemic Thinking

Systemic Thinking

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Published by: pchng on Jan 31, 2009
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08/06/2015

 
SYSTEMIC THINKING
a simple thinking technique for gaining systemic focuspresented by
GARY BARTLETTof PROBSOLVatTHE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON THINKING“BREAKTHROUGHS 2001”
Please contact the author with comments or questionsor for a copy of the Systemic Modelling papergb@probsolv.com
+64 9 476-2530
http://www.probsolv.comCopyright © Probsolv International 2001Page 1 of 15
 
SYSTEMIC THINKING
Systemic thinking is a simple thinking technique for gaining systemic insights into complexsituations and problems. It puts the benefits of the systems thinking revolution within the reach of everyone.
Distinctions
Systemic thinking is different from both systematic thinking and systems thinking.
Systematic ThinkingSystems ThinkingSystemic Thinking
Thinking methodically.Thinking about how thingsinteract with one another.A simple technique for findingsystem-wide focus.
Warning
Much of the content of this paper will be familiar to you. The arrangement of that content probablywon’t be. If you find the content familiar, I recommend you focus on the way it is arranged – it iseasy to get hung up on the slightly different spin and perspective systemic thinking puts on things.
Mind-space
SyntheticalthinkingAnalyticalthinkingAnalyticalthinkingSystemicthinkingAnalyticalthinking
Figure 1. Analytical Vs systemic thinkingThe diagram on the left will help you create amental framework for understanding thesystemic thinking concept.Conventional thinking techniques arefundamentally analytical.Systemic thinking is different it combinesanalytical thinking with synthetical thinking.
Analytical thinking
is common – it’s thinkingabout the parts or elements of a situation.
Synthetical thinking
isn’t that common – it’sthinking about how those parts or elementswork together.
Acknowledgements
The Systemic thinking concept has its primary origins in elements and abstracts of the followingthinking techniques:
Creativity and lateral thinking: Dr Edward de Bono (generating alternatives, thinking as a skilland “mechanism of mind”)
TOC – The Theory of Constraints: Dr Eliyahu Goldratt (The “3-cloud” method and the singleconstraint)
TRIZ – The Theory of Inventive Problem Solving: Dr Genrich Altshuller (patterns in problemsand solutions)
ST – Systems Thinking: Joseph O’Connor & Ian McDermott et al (system interactions)
NLP – Neuro-Linguistic Programming: various (mental modelling)
Some illustrations of results achieved with systemic thinking
Doubled revenues in less than 6 months on lower costs: import/export manufacturer.
Losses transformed to wins within weeks: junior soccer team.
Key client threats converted to referrals within weeks: software development company.
Patient visit duration halved within a month: orthopaedic follow-up clinic.
http://www.probsolv.comCopyright © Probsolv International 2001Page 2 of 15
 
Attitude and academic performance turned around within days: primary school student.
http://www.probsolv.comCopyright © Probsolv International 2001Page 3 of 15

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