Systems Thinking for Business: Capitalize on Structures Hidden in Plain Sight
- Publish Date: 2015-01-17
- Binding: Paperback
- Author: Rich Jolly
Systems Thinking for Business is a crash course in applied systems science, or complexity science as some call it. Systems thinking can give you an edge in your business and career. Emergent system effects are often driving decisive inflection points. Without proper training, the mechanisms at work may be hidden in plain sight. Using the methods described in the book, the reader can identify unanticipated leverage points and solutions. In these situations, standard business practice may not work or may even produce unexpected and damaging side effects.
Systems, or complexity, science is the study of interactions in time and space. The body of scientific work described includes: system dynamics (e.g., feedback loops), aggregation of discrete interactions (e.g., bottom-up decentralized processes such as markets assimilating information or crowd sourcing), game theory (such as the prisoners dilemma), networks (e.g., the small world effect and viral spread of information), evolution in business ecosystems (the way structures change over time) and more.
Systems Thinking for Business delivers a rich set of systems tools (models) and the proper ways to use them. Important model use considerations in complex systems such as forecasting methods, assessment of causality and managing unpredictability are covered in depth. In addition, the examination of human judgment and decision biases in the mechanism and evaluation of system effects is capably described. The reader will be introduced to important systems simulation methods (dynamic simulation and agent based modeling), and be able to understand the application in their own business issues. Important concepts, such as Black Swans, TOP multiple perspectives, antifragility, system archetypes and many more, are explained in detail. Examples, cases, and thought-provoking questions and discussions are provided throughout the book to aid in assimilation of the ideas. Checklists and practical frameworks are used extensively to make the knowledge actionable. After you have finished the book, the author provides ongoing free support (e.g., blog, newsletter, social media) to help you develop your systems thinking skills.
Unlike many books in this field, the application focus is purely on business. Also unlike some other books, Systems Thinking for Business scans the entire field of complexity science and culls out the most important concepts for business analysis. The author has skillfully harmonized the yin and yang of theory and practice. Every business discipline, from marketing to human resources, can use these insights. Look inside to find out more!