I found Thinking in Systems (Amazon) via @jessitron’s excellent post Systems Thinking about WIT. I had been aware of some of the concepts of systems thinking for a while, but it was great to have a book that really explained it.
I really enjoyed it. It articulated things that I intuitively understood but couldn’t explain, but also covered things that I didn’t – like the way that trying to influence a system can backfire. Do you try and exert force on the thing you want to change? Or on the things that result in that thing. Also, trivia! Jimmy Carter was a systems thinker, and wanted to not invest in border control with Mexico but on boosting the Mexican economy until there was no longer such a differential between them.
It’s a relatively short book, and written in a readable way. I got a lot out of it, and I definitely recommend it.
2 replies on “Book: Thinking in Systems”
[…] In any complex system, there is no one clear answer to anything. There are various levers that we manipulate, to varying and complex effect (see: Thinking in Systems). […]
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[…] This is another book on the male-and-pale reading list I’ve been working through. I actually do recommend this one, but a good alternative would be Thinking in Systems. […]