Friday, February 11, 2011

Systems Thinking

Perhaps the most successful learning technique we are taught as we are growing up is the method of analysis by decomposition, in which we break complex things down to the level where we can understand the individual parts.This works for many things, but for dynamic systems, particularly those that involve humans, the usual effect is to squeeze out some of the most important features.

Systems thinking is an approach that draws attention to connections among the parts, particularly focusing on how the elements of a system feed back to one another, both creating extraordinary patterns of growth (amplifying feedback) and providing ways to control the system (regulating feedback).