Saturday, March 27, 2010


• Sees the whole picture.

• Changes perspectives to see new leverage points in complex systems.

• Looks for interdependencies.

• Considers how mental models create our futures.

• Pays attention and gives voice to the long-term.

• “Goes wide” (uses peripheral vision) to see complex cause and effect relationships.

• Finds where unanticipated consequences emerge.

• Lowers the “water line” to focus on structure, not blame.

• Holds the tension of paradox and controversy without trying to resolve it quickly.

A systems thinker thinks outside the box.

He understands that there are no right answers, only different paths to the same outcomes. He realises that quick fixes will most likely lead right back to where they started from and thus develop patience with the idea that cause and effect are not closely related in time and space.

He also understands that things may get worse before they get better, but he has learned to take the long view. In doing so, he is able to tap the creative synergy that exists in groups or organizations.

[Source: 'The Systems Thinking Playbook';]

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