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Systems thinking for social change : a practical guide to solving complex problems, avoiding unintended consequences, and achieving lasting results

Author: David Peter Stroh
Publisher: White River Junction, Vermont : Chelsea Green Publishing, [2015]
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Donors, leaders of nonprofits, and public policy makers usually have the best of intentions to serve society and improve social conditions. But often their solutions fall far short of what they want to accomplish and what is truly needed. Moreover, the answers they propose and fund often produce the opposite of what they want over time. We end up with temporary shelters that increase homelessness, drug busts that  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Stroh, David Peter, 1950-
Systems thinking for social change.
White River Junction, Vermont : Chelsea Green Publishing, [2015]
(DLC) 2015022577
(OCoLC)908375619
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: David Peter Stroh
ISBN: 9781603585811 1603585818
OCLC Number: 959282166
Description: 1 online resource (250 pages) : illustrations
Contents: INTRODUCTION; What You Will Learn; Structure of the Book; PART ONE: SYSTEMS THINKING FOR SOCIAL CHANGE; Chapter 1. Why Good Intentions Are Not Enough; Distinguishing Conventional from Systems Thinking; Refining the Definition of Systems Thinking; Closing the Loop; Chapter 2. Systems Thinking Inside: A Catalyst for Social Change; How Systems Thinking Meets Four Challenges of Change; When to Use Systems Thinking; Systems Thinking for Collective Impact; Closing the Loop; Chapter 3. Telling Systems Stories; Storytelling for Social Change; Shaping a Systems Story. The Elements of Systems StructureClosing the Loop; Chapter 4. Deciphering the Plots of Systems Stories; Basic Plot Lines; The Plots Thicken; The Stories Behind the Story; Closing the Loop; PART TWO: THE FOUR-STAGE CHANGE PROCESS; Chapter 5. An Overview of the Four-Stage Change Process; Convening and Thinking Systemically; The Four-Stage Change Process; Closing the Loop; Chapter 6. Building a Foundation for Change; Engage Key Stakeholders; Establish Common Ground; Build Collaborative Capacity; Closing the Loop; Chapter 7. Facing Current Reality: Building Understanding Through Systems Mapping. Establish Systems InterviewsOrganize Information; Develop a Preliminary Systems Analysis; How to Balance Simplicity and Complexity; Closing the Loop; Chapter 8. Facing Current Reality: Building Support by Bringing the System to Life; Engage People in Developing Their Own Analysis; Surface Mental Models; Create Catalytic Conversations; Closing the Loop; Chapter 9. Making an Explicit Choice; Understand Payoffs to the Existing System; Compare the Case for Change with the Case for the Status Quo; Create Both/and Solutionsâ#x80;#x94;or Make a Trade-Off; Make an Explicit Choice. What Can You Do When People Are Still Not Aligned?Closing the Loop; Chapter 10. Bridging the Gap; Identify High-Leverage Interventions; Establish a Process for Continuous Learning and Outreach; How to Integrate Multiple Interventions; Closing the Loop; PART THREE: SHAPING THE FUTURE; Chapter 11. Systems Thinking for Strategic Planning; Two Systemic Theories of Change; Organizing Leverage Points; Integrating Success Factors; Streamlining Choices; How to Refine Your Systemic Theory of Change; Closing the Loop; Chapter 12. Systems Thinking for Evaluation; General Systemic Guidelines. Tracking Success AmplificationTracking Goal Achievement; Closing the Loop; Chapter 13. Becoming a Systems Thinker; Develop a Systems Orientation; Learn by Doing; Ask Systemic Questions; Closing the Loop; ACKNOWLEDGMENTS; Appendix A. Vicious Cycles of Climate Change; Appendix B. Sample Interview Questions for Specific Projects; Appendix C. Multiple-Archetype Diagrams; Appendix D. Additional Resources; NOTES.
Responsibility: David Peter Stroh.
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Abstract:

"Donors, leaders of nonprofits, and public policy makers usually have the best of intentions to serve society and improve social conditions. But often their solutions fall far short of what they want to accomplish and what is truly needed. Moreover, the answers they propose and fund often produce the opposite of what they want over time. We end up with temporary shelters that increase homelessness, drug busts that increase drug-related crime, or food aid that increases starvation. How do these unintended consequences come about and how can we avoid them? By applying conventional thinking to complex social problems, we often perpetuate the very problems we try so hard to solve, but it is possible to think differently, and get different results. Systems Thinking for Social Change enables readers to contribute more effectively to society by helping them understand what systems thinking is and why it is so important in their work. It also gives concrete guidance on how to incorporate systems thinking in problem solving, decision making, and strategic planning without becoming a technical expert. Systems thinking leader David Stroh walks readers through techniques he has used to help people end homelessness and increase affordable housing, improve public health, strengthen public education and access to early childhood development services, protect child welfare, reform the criminal justice system, resolve identity-based conflicts, and more. The result is a highly readable, effective guide to understanding systems and using that knowledge to get the results you want"--

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"David Peter Stroh has been a pioneer in the effort to bring principles of systems into the service of those striving for constructive social change. (I took a course from him over thirty years ago.) Read more...

 
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