Impression of systems thinking about society A system is composed of interrelated parts or components (structures) that cooperate in processes (behavior). Natural systems include biological entities, ocean currents, the climate, the solar system and ecosystems. Designed systems include airplanes, software systems, technologies and machines of all kinds, government agencies and business systems. Systems Thinking has at least some roots in the General System Theory that was advanced by Ludwig von Bertalanffy in the 1940s and furthered by Ross W Ashby in the 1950s. The term Systems Thinking is sometimes used as a broad catch-all heading for the process of understanding how systems behave, interact with their environment and influence each other.
Home | Open University - Systems The Systems Group at the Open University is committed to the study, application and development of systems ideas. We aim to help people make sense of -- and intervene in -- complex and interconnected situations. We work with a wide range of issues and settings including: environmental decision-making for sustainable development; information systems management; organisational change in both public and private sectors; and integrated waste management.
© Copyright Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, Authenticity Consulting, LLC. Adapted from the Field Guide to Consulting and Organizational Development and Field Guide to Consulting and Organizational Development with Nonprofits. Three of the biggest breakthroughs in how we understand and successfully guide changes in ourselves, others and organizations are systems theory, systems thinking and systems tools.
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