Search Results for: "systems thinking"

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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Definitions of systems and systems thinking

There are no simple definitions of systems and systems thinking (Monat & Gannon 2015) that are sufficiently rich to clarify what they are essentially about. So instead, I will offer a circumscriptive definition in three parts and add a small … 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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Integrating systems thinking and concept mapping

“Shifting the burden” is one of the eight original archetypes of systems thinking. It shows that actions taken to reduce problem symptoms can reduce the ability to take action for the long term. Examples of this common (management) trap abound, … Continue reading

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A concept map of Churchman’s general systems approach (update)

Below concept map is a representation of the present author’s understanding of Churchman’s general systems approach, mostly based on the description of the nine categories in ‘The systems approach and its enemies’ (Churchman 1979, 79-100). Reading a concept map of … Continue reading

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Dialectical Systems Learning

During the past month or so I have been ruminating over my post of May 10, 2019, which was about my latest effort to come to a better understanding of the workings of a systems approach described in a workbook … Continue reading

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Soft systems methodology revisited

Combining Checkland and Churchman for systems learning This post has been syndicated by The Systems Community of Inquiry to, the global network of systems thinkers, scientists and practitioners. Systems concepts baffling     Over the past years I have been trying to … Continue reading

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Systemic evaluation design

Currently Bob Williams is preparing the second edition of his workbook on ‘Using systems concepts in evaluation design’ (available as a pdf for only 5$ from It describes a practical systems approach to evaluation design. As Churchman explains in … Continue reading

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The capability approach, Aristotle, and the systems approach

Last week I blogged a post on the capability approach. I mentioned the two versions of the capability approach, the original one by Sen and the more Nicomachean version of Nussbaum. The term Nicomachean refers to Aristotle’s ethics, which Nussbaum … Continue reading

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