Found in 4 comments
by ismail
The answer below assumes the following:

- 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.

- 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:

- Complex

- simple

- unitary

- pluralist

- coercive

Systems thinking approaches:

- Hard systems thinking

- Systems dynamics

- Cybernetics

- 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"

- To get an overview of various approaches to systems thinking from an organizational perspective:

Systems Thinking: Creative Holism for Managers by Michael C. Jackson.

- 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:

- Habits of a systems thinker:

- Systems thinking resources:

* Update added additional resources.

Original thread
by upbeatlinux
I found each of these invaluable at different points in my life. YMMV

Biz - the Personal MBA - Josh Kaufman -

Org - the Fifth Discipline - Peter Senge -

SciFi - Perdido Street Station - China Mieville -

Parenting - The Continuum Concept - Jean Liedloff -

Original thread
by calinet6
I agree!

Donella Meadows is one of the most articulate writers and thinkers on systems. She is the easiest to learn the basics from:

Same person, shorter, free, and condensed format:

Same author again, the final chapter from the book above:

And if you only get one book on how to apply it to business, it's this one:

A more recent applied-systems-thinking manual for organizations that I've found hits home with more traditional managers (very useful):

Another good one that's a bit long-winded, but another set of applied examples:

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.

Original thread

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