systems thinking

Leyla Acaroglu has an excellent post on Tools for Systems Thinkers: The 6 Fundamental Concepts of Systems Thinking.

“In this series on systems thinking, I share the key insights and tools needed to develop and advance a systems mindset for dealing with complex problem solving and transitioning to the Circular Economy … *There are way more than six, but I picked the most important ones that you definitely need to know, and as we progress through this systems thinking toolkit series, I will expand on some of the other key terms that make up a systems mindset.” —Leyla Acaroglu, 2017-09-07

These are practical tools to improve anyone’s practice of personal knowledge mastery and I look forward to the rest of the posts in the series. I have taken the six tools and added how they can be used in PKM.

Interconnectedness: Set up diverse sources of information. Use a tool like Twitter to get perspectives from different cultures, industries, countries, genders, and ages.

Synthesis: Establish a way to put your thoughts together. It could be a synthesis of the tweets you found interesting on twitter, such as my Friday’s Finds. You won’t find connections between the dots if there are no dots.

Emergence: The more connections you make, on social media, while walking, or just sitting and observing then the greater the chances for emergence, or even serendipity.

Feedback Loops: Engage with a diverse group of people. Get feedback not just from your peers but work in the open to get feedback from all corners. Blogging is the perfect medium for this.

Causality: In complex systems we can determine the relationship between cause and effect only in retrospect. This means we have to first engage the system and then learn from it. The next time things may be different. In the Cynefin framework it’s called Probe > Sense > Respond.

Systems Mapping: System maps are great for sense-making. As the statistician George Box said, “All models are flawed, but some are useful.” You won’t know how useful your systems maps are until you make them and use them. Be ready to discard them when no longer useful. Keep them in a state of perpetual beta.

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