Thinking in Systems
The stimuli to the system does not change the system or cause it to behave in a particular way. It merely triggers a response. The structure of the system determines how the system will react.
Many notions derived from systems analysis have corollaries in common proverbs.
Systems thinking isn’t always the best way to see the world. It only provides another lens that aids in seeing things clearer.
The behavior of the system cannot be known by only studying it’s elements.
A system cannot exist without a coherent organization and a purpose.
“You think because you understand ‘one’ therefore you must understand ‘two’ because one and one makes two. But you forget that you must also understand ‘and’.” – Sufi teaching story
The elements of most system can be broken down endlessly and do little to help with understanding the working of the system. Therefore, you should start identifying interconnections as soon as possible.
Interconnections often come in the form of information flows.
Purpose come from the behavior of the system, not from the rhetoric or stated goals.
Complex systems develop multiple sub-processes that can aid or thwart the overarching purpose. Efficient system optimize for a single purpose. Inefficient systems develop competing objects that slow down progress.