What is Systems Thinking

Brief Introduction

Systems thinking is an approach to problem solving considering every single problem (at individual, organizational or even social level) as a consequence of a whole system and dynamic interactions of different parts of the whole system and consequently deal with the whole system for developing the solution rather than viewing and reacting to just few specific parts. A person requires a series of skills and should be familiar with number of concepts in order to be a systems thinker such as skills of considering the systems as a whole, system as the cause, dynamic thinking and concepts like stock and fellow variables, causal loops and delay in a system. This approach empowers people to become better problem solvers, decision-makers and planners. i

Asemaan Introduction to systems thinking

In Asemaan’s systems thinking pamphlet, we will introduce systems thinking as a set of thinking skills. With each skill, we will cover the following:
     first, we give an operational definition of the skill;
     second, we briefly discuss why the skill matters;
     third, we will discuss the main misunderstandings which may arise with the concept of the skill;
     and finally, we will give some real-world examples in order to better clarify the issue.  i

By mastering in systems thinking, we, like Jay Forrester who is the founder of System Dynamics, mean something more than just getting used to think about systems, talk about systems and acknowledge that systems are important. This is called superficial systems thinking. A superficial-systems-thinker is much more in danger of not becoming a systems thinker than is a non-systems-thinker; because, the former, in contrast to the latter, does not have any motivation to learn systems thinking.
Since falling into the trap of superficial systems thinking is the case with most learners, they should not be blamed. Rather, it should be considered as the responsibility of the designer of the learning process to prevent learners from such a detrimental phenomenon. This pamphlet is planned so as to help you go beyond the superficial level and get mastered in systems thinking. i

Download Asemaan’s systems thinking pamphlet from here.   i