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Seeing the forest for the trees : a manager's guide to applying systems thinking

Author: Dennis Sherwood
Publisher: London : Nicholas Brealey Pub., 2002.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Readers learn to tame the complexity of real-world problems by using a structured approach of balancing broad views and relevant details. Managers will gain tips and advice on everything from dealing with a busy office to negotiating an outsourcing deal.
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Sherwood, Dennis, 1949-
Seeing the forest for the trees.
London : Nicholas Brealey, 2002
(OCoLC)49239642
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Dennis Sherwood
ISBN: 058544045X 9780585440453 9781857884975 1857884973
OCLC Number: 51844660
Description: 1 online resource (xviii, 346 pages) : illustrations
Contents: Cover Page; Title Page; Copyright Page; Contents; Acknowledgments; Foreword; Systems thinking is a big idea; So what is systems thinking all about?; Connectedness; Why systems must be studied as a whole; The systems thinking toolkit; The benefits of systems thinking; How the book works; Prologue: What is systems thinking?; PART I: TAMING COMPLEXITY; 1 The systems perspective; Systems; Emergence and self-organization; Feedback; Systems thinking; On with our journey ... ; 2 Carrying the back office rock; The story; The context; The issue; A diagrammatic representation; Enriching the diagram. What happens as a consequence of error?A nasty vicious circle; What else drives the ability to cope?; But what about cost?; There's still one thing missing ... ; Back to wisdom; 3 Quality, creativity, and cutting costs; The story; The context; The picture; Another nasty vicious circle; What should we do?; Who's right?; Deciding policy; PART II: TOOLS AND TECHNIQUES; 4 Feedback loops; The central role of feedback loops; Reinforcing loops; Balancing loops; Dangles, boundaries, and real systems; There are only two types of link-the S and the O. Distinguishing between reinforcing loops and balancing loopsThe two fundamental building blocks; The importance of language; Are all links always either an S or an O?; Fuzzy variables; Ss and Os that work in one direction only; A final thought; 5 The engines of growth-and decline; Vicious and virtuous circles; Vicious and virtuous circles really do have the same structure; The engine of growth; Patterns of growth; Exponential growth becomes very fast; Explicit and implicit dangles; Boom and bust; Reinforcing loops can be linked; 6 Setting targets, seeking goals; More on balancing loops. Balancing loops in businessBalancing loops are often linked; Balancing loops and time delays; What is the definition of variance?; Time to reflect; 7 How to draw causal loop diagrams; Rule 1: Know your boundaries; Rule 2: Start somewhere interesting; Rule 3: Ask "What does this drive?" and "What is this driven by?"; Rule 4: Don't get cluttered; Rule 5: Use nouns, not verbs; Rule 6: Don't use terms such as "increase in" or "decrease in"; Rule 7: Don't be afraid of unusual items; Rule 8: Do the Ss and the Os as you go along; Rule 9: Keep going; Rule 10: A good diagram must be recognized as real. Rule 11: Don't fall in love with your diagramsRule 12: No diagram is ever "finished"; PART III: APPLICATIONS; 8 Stimulating growth; In real life, exponential growth does not go on for ever; Breaking through the constraints; The growth of urban populations; The context; The dynamics of population growth; Driving economic prosperity; Urban growth doesn't go on for ever; The final causal loop diagram; The moral of this story; Don't pedal harder, take the brakes off; 9 Decisions, teamwork, and leadership; The talent problem; The senior executive's perspective; The star's perspective.
Responsibility: Dennis Sherwood.

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How to use Systems Thinking to improve your business.  Read more...

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