By examining the links and interactions between elements of a system, systems thinking is becoming increasingly relevant when dealing with global challenges, from terrorism to energy to healthcare. Addressing these seemingly intractable systems problems in our society, Systems Thinking: Coping with 21st Century Problems
focuses on the inherent opportunities and difficulties of a systems approach. Taking an engineering systems view toward systems thinking, the authors place a high value on the thinking process and the things applied to this process.
In the hopes of initiating critical thinking and encouraging a systems response to problems, the book provides pragmatic mechanisms to understand and address co-evolving systems problems and solutions. It uses several contemporary and complex societal issues, such as the Iraq war, the Google phenomenon, and the C2 Constellation, to illustrate the concepts, methods, and tools of a system as well as the meaning of togetherness in a system. The text also interweaves the meanings of complexity, paradox, and system to promote the improvement of difficult situations.
Featuring a holistic, nonlinear way of looking at systems, this book helps readers better organize and structure their thinking of systems in order to solve complex, real-world problems.
Table of Contents
If You Leave Me Now
Areas of Perspective
Perspectives on Google
Returning to Iraq
Just a Thought
What’s the Big Idea?
Pressed into Action
The Way We Were
Quite another Story
Thinks Can Only Get Better
Breakfast @ Tiffs ‘n’ Ease
Softly, as I Lead You
Into Great Issues
From Prose to Picture
Going off the Rails
Normal Service Will Never Be Resumed
An Intelligent Community?
The Madder of All Wars
Principles for Togetherness
Less Auto, More Mobile
The Price and Prize of Togetherness
The System of Systems Debate
Back to Biology
Make My Joy Complete
The World of Both
Life’s Rich Tapestry
Sides of Bacon
A Weakness Stronger than Strength
Ready, Fire, Aim
Snowballs and Seesaws
A “Time to Think” section and Endnotes appear at the end of each chapter.
Comments from readers...
-- At first I purchased the book as a way to prepare for my defense, then I found myself turning the pages faster and faster ... I loved the book... .
-- Good information. Good foundational material.
-- Wonderful, just like sliced bread.
-- As expected, the book is excellent. ... really like the time to think exercises.
-- Very refreshing take on thinking about systems... .
-- As a sociologist, my substantive interest is in building societal capacity for and expression of compassion. I am thrilled by your approach!
-- Great book, great tool!
-- Brilliant!! Much better than a Harry Potter movie.