Search Results for: "complex problems"

Systems thinking in three steps

Systems thinking is generally considered difficult, both to learn and to explain what it is about. Here is the latest of my efforts in this blog to make it simple. At the end is a concept map. It is self-explanatory, … Continue reading

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Systems thinking for evaluation design

Video transcript, summary, and concept map In March, 2015, Bob Williams, the main author of Wicked Solutions and several other books on systems thinking, gave a 2-day workshop “Wicked Solutions: A Systems Approach to Complex Problems” on the use of … Continue reading

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An introduction to systems thinking

At the First Global Conference on Research and Implementation, held in Canberra, Australia, in September 2013, Gerald Midgley gave an introductory talk on systems thinking. Midgley is a British organizational theorist, professor of systems thinking, director of the Centre for … Continue reading

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It’s a wicked problem, stupid! (revisited)

A bit over 5 years ago I first learned about wicked problems. So I looked at the oft-cited seminal article by Rittel & Webber of 1973 and tried to make sense of it (see old post). There was a lot of … Continue reading

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Elevator pitch for the systems approach

In our working lives and beyond we are increasingly faced with ill-structured complexities that defy conventional problem solving methods. Underlying assumptions, scope, purposes, patterns, mechanisms, and their relevance or significance must be critically examined and so should the identification of … Continue reading

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Good Will and the Philosopher-King

Until philosophers rule as kings or those who are now called kings and leaders genuinely and adequately philosophize … cities will have no rest from evils, nor will the human race. Read essay as PDF             … Continue reading

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A general framework for systems methods

Expanding the iceberg metaphor for systems System ontology and epistemology       Last week I used concept mapping to show the relationships between two systems models: (1) a general ontological system model using the iceberg metaphor (in yellow); and (2) a general … Continue reading

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Strategic Assumption Surfacing and Testing (SAST)

Mitroff’s ‘operationalization’ of Churchman’s systems approach, part 1 In table 12-3 (p. 301 of Mason’s and Mitroff’s ‘Challenging strategic planning assumptions’) major approaches to business problem solving are compared, including the systems approach and SAST (strategic assumption surfacing and testing), … Continue reading

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THE origins of THE systems approach

Tracing the tracks of C. West Churchman Last month I reread (and blogged) Churchman’s ‘The Systems Approach’ (1968) and was surprised to see that between the lines it contained practically the whole of the dialectical systems approach (the systems approach) … Continue reading

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The whole systems enchilada

A dialectical total systems framework Every now and then I think I have disentangled the whole systems enchilada. By this (i.e. the term ‘whole systems enchilada’) I mean that I am convinced that the systems approach of Churchman hasn’t lost … Continue reading

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