Friday, November 14, 2014

To Explore System Thinking: Systems Dynamics "Elevator Pitch"

System dynamic is the tool to apply system thinking in managing today's digital complexity.

“System dynamics is the study of processes through the use of systems and how they can be modeled, explored and explained” (Clark, 1998). A process consists of activities or functions. Hence in holistic thinking, systems dynamics is a critical thinking tool with which to analyze the functional and operational behavior of a system over time. What are the elevator pitches for system thinking though?

System Dynamics (SD) is the quantitative side to systems thinking: the art and practice of understanding how systems work through visualizing the structure that causes behavior. It allows for inquiring into one’s beliefs about such causal relationships.

System Dynamics is a quantitative management tool for decision making in complex situations. Complexity can only be overcome by simplification, which System Dynamics does by building models which can produce quantitative results and expand our mental models.

System Dynamics is a learning tool for accelerated, advanced learning with significant applications in individual, organizational, societal and environmental situations. In real life you only get one chance to make a decision. With systems dynamics you can explore the consequences of alternatives. And for a longer time period you ever took into consideration.

System Dynamics is a discipline to model complex systems, so the consequences of such assumptions can be correctly found by using a computer. SD is a computer-based tool for creating operational models of that reflects the complex web of loops in which the system of particular interest is entangled, even when data are limited and relationships are nonlinear.

A system takes purposes. System dynamics aims to understand why and how confounding problems persist in complex systems and what can be done to effectively alleviate them; and this is accomplished by modeling the system to: 
1) understand how the structure manifests as the function or behavior of interest; and, 
2) experiment with policies that create a favorable and sustainable outcome. 

System dynamics can practically and quantifiably represent the systems and give you the means to understand the past and push the future in the direction you want, strongly and reliably. The challenges organizations face take time to deal with, because it needs to well facilitate people, resources, and technology, etc. It must be built up and sustained over long periods. This requires that some of those same things already exist, creating interdependencies that powerfully affect the rate at which the situation can be improved. To put simply, System dynamic is the tool to apply system thinking in managing today's digital complexity.


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