Appreciating Systems

Appreciating Systems for Genuine Efficiency
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Why do people don’t adopt #systemsthinking?

This is a recurring question in the LinkedIn forum “Systems Thinking World” hosted by Gene Bellinger. And one that haven’t had any satisfactorily answer so far.

Indeed, I think that the opposite question is valid too and even provides a hint as to one possible answer: “why do people using systems thinking don’t reverse to another way of thinking?

A more general question might be “why do people think the way they think?

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#Systemsthinking and #DSRP questions to improve systemic view of processes (Ref @iDSRP)

April 25th, 2013 Posted in Systems Thinking Tags: , , ,

Although I love methods, standards (hey, I’m from Lean!) and the like, I also like when people come up with ways to look at their work and their company in perspectives that external people (us here) might not have imagined.

So, also to keep things simple, I would consider teaching people (and making corresponding “templates”) about DSRP as a way to learn differently than only linear thinking. See http://www.thinkingateverydesk.com/ to know more on that systems thinking approach or method.

Faced with a problem (a process to be improved for instance), DSRP would allow to ask broader-view questions such as:

  • Distinctions: what are we looking at? What’s missing from the picture? Who could provide for other distinctions?
  • Systems: what systems (notice the plural here) does this process contribute to? What sub-systems is it composed of?
  • Relationships: how are parts of the process interacting with each others, especially differently than from what’s written on paper (possible ISO 9001 documentation)? What relationships are we blind to? How could we know best? How is this process related to other processes (both formally AND informally)?
  • Perspectives: what assumptions are we making regarding this process and how it is supposed to function? What assumptions make it (dys)function the way it does? What other perspective might we take to enlight the process differently? What might we learn, then?

And of course, there’s the possibility to use DSRP to craft positive and appreciative questions. I haven’t much given thoughts to this, but I will surely address the topic in my book “The Colors of Change“.

Level 1 Module 1 – ThinkNation @iDSRP #systemsthinking: why we need it so much

I’ve just viewed the video here about the DSRP “thinking toolkit” I’ve already blogged about. Indeed, I even used it for my introductory Systems Thinking Slides out of my recent Napkin skills.

Level 1 Module 1 – ThinkNation.

Check the web site!

#Napkin Introduction to #SystemsThinking (thanks to @dan_roam!)

February 25th, 2013 Posted in Systems Thinking Tags: , , , , ,

system nature qualitativeWith the huge threads on the LinkedIn group “Systems Thinking World” about “what is systems thinking?” or “how to teach systems thinking?”, I thought something ought to be done. Yet, I found most introductions to ST to be quite daunting, so, equipped with my new knowledge of Dan Roam‘s Napkin Academy, I decided to give it a shot.

What follow are three slide decks introducing Systems Thinking using small drawings. Having been impressed by the “DSRP framework” by Dr Calbrera and Dr Colosi, I decided to use that as building blocks to introduce systems thinking.

If you’re interested enough to know more on the field, then there are a vast amount of literature in the field, although finding your own path is as much a learning journey as walking that path.

Should I be pressed to give names, I would recommend the following to go further:

  • If you’re a bit short on money but have quite some time to spend because of the size of the beast, then Systems Wiki is Gene Bellinger‘s constant striving to make ST clearer and more accessible from a wide variety of perspectives. The web site comes with a lot of text, videos, diagrams & simulation : it’s free and very wide in its addressing of Systems Thinking, no counting its daily updates of course. If you’re looking to other courses on the net, it’s the place where to start as well.
  • Peter Senge’s “The Fifth Discipline” is the book that is most often cited as to what set people in motion on the path to being a systems thinker. Just beware that it mostly reflects one “school” of systems thinking (systems dynamics), out of a huge number of them. It’s really one of the most actionable though, especially if you go with the companion book “The Fifth Fiscipline Fieldbook” (a masterwork!).
  • Second to this is Donella Meadows’ “Thinking in Systems“. Mostly about Systems Dynamics (a bit like Senge’s book), it’s also a simpler introductory book to the field than Senge’s. More focused than the preceding book, it might be a simpler read without being simplistic at all.
  • Systems Thinkers” by Ramage & Shipp provides a really tasty appetizer on what the field’s landscape might be. That book could help you choose your path, but then you’ll have to resort to buying some more books (or scout the net). Beware!
  • If you like experiential learning, then I cannot not tell you about Booth Sweeney & Meadows “The Systems Thinking Playbook” which is just that: a ton of small exercises and games to nudge people’s assumptions about what they think of the world.

Enough references, here are my most three contributions (all decks are really short):

Napkin introduction to Systems Thinking : 1- What is ST?

Napkin introduction to Systems Thinking : 2- Why use ST?

Napkin introduction to Systems Thinking : 3- How to do ST?

n’ergotons plus, je vous prie at light matters – A Laws of Form comics #lof #stwg

September 7th, 2012 Posted in Systems Thinking Tags: , , ,

I’m not sure I understand it all, but, since I’ve been looking around George Spencer-Brown Laws of form since quite some time, I will ponder this… well… comics?

n’ergotons plus, je vous prie at light matters.

I’m wondering if there’s a deliberate link between DSRP concepts as feature on Thinking at every desk and LOF…

 

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