Thinking In Systems

THINKING IN SYSTEMS: A Primer

by Donella H. Meadows

We live in a complex world of inter-locking systems. Unless we can understand how systems operate, we can’t identify and address the root problem causes. We’ll be like the proverbial blind men, each touching a different part of an elephant and drawing different conclusions about what an elephant is like. In this book, Donella Meadows explains how we can use systems-thinking to understand how things work, identify root problem causes, see new opportunities, make better decisions and adapt to changing circumstances.

In this summary, you’ll learn:
• The definition and key parts of a system, including elements, connections, stocks, flows, and feedback loops;
How system structures affect system behaviors, including the impact of time lags, renewable vs non-renewable stocks, and drivers; and
How to apply systems thinking effectively, including how to (i) build effective systems with 3 key characteristics, (ii) overcome thinking gaps that cause us to make wrong estimates and decisions, (iii) identify systems traps and opportunities and (iv) change systems effectively through leverage points.

Who should read this:
• Leaders, analysts and decision-makers from any profit, non-profit or governmental organizations
• Anyone interested to improve decision-making and problem-solving skills

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