Also related is the field of "Organizational Learning".
It's a huge topic, and would be hard to do justice to in a HN post.
There are a lot of good books on the topic. A few I'd recommend include:
- You are talking about the application of general systems theory.
- You would like to learn to apply 'systems thinking' principals and analysis in many domains or to new problems
- You would like to learn to model systems
- It is also important to note in many domains there are specific branches of systems theory that may be more applicable. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_types_of_systems_theor...
- You could spend an entire lifetime learning in this field as many have done.
Types of systems:
Systems can be broken down by multiple dimensions:
Systems thinking approaches:
- Hard systems thinking
- Systems dynamics
- Complexity Theory
- Soft Systems
- Emancipatory systems thinking
- Postmodern systems thinking
Learning More about Systems Thinking:
- A great website is the systems thinker, that covers quite a bit of topics. The articles are actually archives of a newsletter called "The systems thinker" https://thesystemsthinker.com/
- To get an overview of various approaches to systems thinking from an organizational perspective:
Systems Thinking: Creative Holism for Managers by Michael C. Jackson. https://www.amazon.com/Systems-Thinking-Creative-Holism-Mana...
- For general systems theory: An Introduction to General Systems Thinking by Gerald M. Weinberg
- For systems thinking and the learning organization:
The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization by Peter Senge
- There is a great course that covers soft systems methodology, specifically to solve social problems: https://www.plusacumen.org/courses/systems-practice
- Habits of a systems thinker: https://www.watersfoundation.org/systems-thinking-tools-and-...
- Systems thinking resources: http://donellameadows.org/systems-thinking-resources/
* Update added additional resources.
Biz - the Personal MBA - Josh Kaufman - http://amzn.to/2aFsj3c
Org - the Fifth Discipline - Peter Senge - http://amzn.to/2aNpbQz
SciFi - Perdido Street Station - China Mieville - http://amzn.to/2aNoWFn
Parenting - The Continuum Concept - Jean Liedloff - http://amzn.to/2aZEAAL
Donella Meadows is one of the most articulate writers and thinkers on systems. She is the easiest to learn the basics from: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1603580557
Same person, shorter, free, and condensed format: http://www.donellameadows.org/systems-thinking-resources/
Same author again, the final chapter from the book above: http://www.donellameadows.org/archives/dancing-with-systems/
And if you only get one book on how to apply it to business, it's this one: http://www.amazon.com/Leaders-Handbook-Making-Things-Getting...
A more recent applied-systems-thinking manual for organizations that I've found hits home with more traditional managers (very useful): http://www.amazon.com/The-High-Velocity-Edge-Operational-Com...
Another good one that's a bit long-winded, but another set of applied examples: http://www.amazon.com/The-Fifth-Discipline-Practice-Organiza...
Senge, in the foreward of that book, gives almost all credit to W. Edwards Deming—who is the originator of many of the ideas of organizational systems thinking and how it integrates with Management. So, if you want to go deeper, Deming's book "Out of the Crisis" is a good tome.