A Map of the Systems Thinking Forest: 48 Systems Thinking Genres plus 256 System Effects as the Trees of that Forest
14 Pages Posted: 4 Apr 2013
Date Written: April 2, 2013
Main Point: This paper examines the hypothesis that one's ability to spot and handle various types of non-linear system effects within minds and among minds (society) constitutes a very general capability factor in analogy to G-factor in intelligence research, to which one adds domain specific less comprehensive capabilities. Much of what we require as “experience” and “maturity” in choosing leaders appears to encompass precisely the 48 genres and 256 system effects in them mapped herein. Question 1 (from practice) What system effects do top performers, leaders, designers recognize that lesser mortals do not? Question 2 (from theory) What types of system effects in total are there, as they appear in human affairs, and what bodies of knowledge in the world embody them? Question 3 (from interventions) What that is faster than “experience” and "maturity” would train people to spot and handle system effects so all, not just top people, mastered them? Question 4 (from generalizing intervening) What would such general spread of capability in non-linear systems effects handling do to improve wanted outcomes: production, innovation, adaptation, design, sales, revenue? Method Half the 150 expert people interviewed in earlier research to produce the fractal map of 256 system effect here, were re-interviewed about what fields “taught” spotting and handling all or subsets of them. Result 48 genres of systems effects, that organize the 256 and somewhat go beyond them.
Keywords: system effects, non-linear system dynamics, genres of systems thinking, 256 system effects, spotting systems effects, handling systems effects
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation