Daily Reading Notes

Thinking in Systems

Day 9

Posted on 2019-12-02

Analyzing systems doesn’t turn the whole world into a mechanical construct for us to optimize. Deep exploration exposes the human side that we can’t easily change or understand. It brings up the same set of philosophical question people have struggled with for centuries.

Every system has it’s own rhythm. Before you try to change or even work within a system, take the time to understand it’s unique way of operating.

Write down, draw, and explain your mental model to yourself and others. This process will make your understanding concrete and allow you to work with others.

Exposing more information to the right people can fix many underlying system problems.

Especially when dealing with systems, use clear language and add vocabulary to aid with understanding.

You can’t quantify many of the most important aspects of a system. Don’t allow the ones you can quantify overshadow resiliency, honesty, and justice.

To greatly improve the efficiency in systems create direct feedback policies. These will enable better operation by giving the right information to the people that need to modify their behavior.

Any system that favors individual interests over the good of the whole is doomed.

Allow the system to show you the best course of action. Don’t assume that what worked in one system will work in another.

Information gets hidden when responsibility gets reduced. For example, wars got worse when leaders didn’t have to lead their army.

We will never understand a system completely. They are too complex. Therefore, we must embrace constant adjustment and admit the errors we will inevitably make.

The best people to make system decisions are holistic thinkers that care deeply about the good of the whole.

Thinking in Systems