Systems thinking


Russell Ackoff put it well, “Managers are not confronted with problems that are independent of each other, but with dynamic situations that consist of complex systems of changing problems that interact with each other. I call such situations messes.”[7] Horst Rittel called them “wicked problems.”[8]

A Systems Literacy Manifesto

Churchman outlined four approaches to systems: 1) The approach of the efficiency expert (reducing time and cost); 2) The approach of the scientist (building models, often with mathematics); 3) The approach of the humanist (looking to our values); and 4) The approach of the anti-planner (accepting systems and living within them, without trying to control them).[12] We might also consider a fifth approach: 5) The approach of the designer, which in many respects is also the approach of the policy planner and the business manager, (prototyping and iterating systems or representations of systems).

A Systems Literacy Manifesto

1. Elsewhere

1.2. In the Agora

1.3. Mentions

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