Posted by: Dorianne Cotter-Lockard | 16 November 2008

Random thoughts about systems thinking

The title of this post seems like an oxymoron, but perhaps a pattern will emerge as I write my random thoughts down.  What follows are some “aha’s” that came out of the past week in my Systems, Communities and Culture readings and intensive session.

  • systems thinking changes our decisions, actions and consciousness
  • knowledge is embedded in relationships – by studying relationships within the system and between systems, we come to understandings and possible solutions
  • autopoeisis: ‘auto’ – self; ‘poiesis’ has Greek root of ‘poetry,’ which means ‘making’ – the network continually makes itself
  • pattern, structure and process are three separate but inseparable perspectives on the phenomena of life
  • an organism in equilibrium is dead (all systems oscillate around a state of equilibrium, but some mechanism, such as a thermostat regulate the system)
  • Systems Thinking Concepts:
    Shift from thinking about parts to the whole
    The web of life: interwovenness and interdependence of all phenomena
    Shift from thinking about objects to relationships
    Relationships: between parts of a system and between systems
    Shift from measuring to mapping
    Perspective shift from contents to patterns
    Sift from quantitative to qualitative analysis
    Includes both contextual and process thinking

These thoughts all support my personal philosophy of life and align with ideas about consciousness that I have written about in this blog.  A most interesting part of our discussion was around how to help people who have been enmeshed in non-system perspectives be able to consider a systems perspective.  This process of learning and discovery is where I see my consulting practice heading.

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Responses

  1. “an organism in equilibrium is dead (all systems oscillate around a state of equilibrium, but some mechanism, such as a thermostat regulate the system)”

    That is a profound statement. I want to expand on this more; however I need to chew on it for some time.


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