Just finished the book Thinking in Systems: A Primer, by Donnella Meadows.It’s a good introduction to systems thinking and a high level overview of what happens when you actually begin to think in systems. Not at all technical. It’s a good and important read for everyone.
I particularly like her Guidelines for Living in a World of Systems. This list includes:
- Get the beat of the system.
- Expose your mental models to the light of day.
- Honor, respect, and distribute information.
- Use language with care and enrich it with systems concepts.
- Pay attention to what is important, not just what is quantifiable.
- Make feedback policies for feedback systems.
- Go for the good of the whole.
- Listen to the wisdom of the system.
- Locate responsibility within the system.
- Stay humble— stay a learner.
- Celebrate complexity.
- Expand time horizons.
- Defy the disciplines.
- Expand the boundary of caring.
- Don’t erode the goal of goodness.
– Donella, Meadows. (2013-01-18). Thinking in Systems: A Primer . Chelsea Green Publishing. Kindle Edition.