6-Thinking in system
- Book Title : 6-Thinking in system
- Publisher : Earthscan
- Year : 2008
- NO of Pages : 218
- Author : Donella H. Meadows
- Contents :
2-A brief visit to the system zoo
3-why system work so well
4-why system surprise us
5- system traps … and opportunities
6-leverage points-places to intervene in a system
7-living in world of system
8-system definitions : a glossary
9-summary of system principles
10-springing the system traps
11-guidelines for living in a world of system
14-bibliography of system resources
16-about the author
- Introduction / Abstract ISBN :
Early on in teaching about systems, I often bring out a slinky. In case you grew up without one, a slinky is a toy--- a long, loos spring that can be made to bounce up and down, or pour back and forth from hand to hand, or walk itself downstairs.
,I perch that slinky on one upturned palm. With the fingers of the order hand, I grasp it from the top, partway down its coils. Then I pull the bottom hand away. The lower end of the slinky drops bounces back up again, yo-yos up and down, suspended from my fingers above.
‘What made the slinky bounce up and down like that?’ I ask students.
‘Your hand. You took away your hand,’ they say.
So I pick up the box the slinky came in and hold it the same way, poised on a flattened palm, held from above by the fingers of the other hand. With much dramatic flourish as I can muster, I pull the lower hand away.
Nothing happens. The box just hangs there, of course.
‘Now once again. What made the slinky bounce up and down?’
The answer clearly lies within the slinky it self. The hands that manipulate it suppress or release some behavior that is latent within the structure of the spring.
That is a central insight of system theory.
Once we see the relationship between structure and behavior, we can begin to understand how system work, what makes them into better behavior patterns. As our world continues to change rapidly and become more complex, system thinking will help us manage, adapt, and see the wide range of choice we have before us. It is a way of thinking that gives us the freedom to identify root causes of problems and see new opportunities.
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