(Last week, I wrote about the power of systems thinking, my history with it, and some of the risks of taking a systems perspective for granted, rather than making a conscious effort to bridge the conceptual divide. I promised to continue with some suggestions.)
It’s most effective, I’ve found, to do this with pictures and stories—and with numbers, but
numbers presented as pictures and stories.
And yet it’s not so mysterious. You already know this. You’ve seen it in a child’s curiosity—including your own—about how things work, and how the world fits together. In the way you think about sports stats or football plays or cooking a holiday dinner or making a dress. The trick is to keep that fascination, and that pattern finding capacity, alive in even the most familiar and mundane of circumstances.
(By the way, If you haven’t read it yet, have a look at Donella Meadows’ classic Places to
Intervene in a System. Whether you have or not, consider joining me and Sally Uren of Forum for the Future for a half-day workshop in applied systems thinking at the Sustainable Brands conference this June.)