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Systems Thinking

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John Seddon (2008)
Systems Thinking in the Public Sector: The Failure of the Reform Regime.... and a Manifesto for a Better Way

With the UK's public sector in crisis, John Seddon's fiercely outspoken new book is already causing a stir. Wrong-headed, ill thought-out reform from a succession of monetarist governments has led to unwieldy systems of mass production that do little for the people they are supposed to serve. Hospitals, local authorities, schools, housing associations, taxation and benefits offices: all are victims of a dysfunctional regime created by a government-enforced culture of deliverology that puts targets and red tape before people. In Systems Thinking in the Public Sector, John Seddon argues powerfully for the government to forget sticking plasters like CRM and citizen empowerment and says don't tweak the system. Ditch it. Systems Thinking in the Public Sector gives example after example of exactly how the system fails from housing benefits and care for the elderly to call centres like Consumer Direct. Drawing on Seddon's extensive experience working as a consultant with UK public sector managers, this is a fiercely uncompromising, yet rigorous manifesto for change.
- Systems Thinking - Public Policy -
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Jamshid Gharajedaghi (2005)
Systems Thinking: Managing Chaos and Complexity: A Platform for Designing Business Architecture

The first edition of Systems Thinking was the first book to develop a working concept of systems theory and to deal operationally with systems methodology. The author has been working for the last 5 years to incorporate parallel development in quantum theory, self-organizing systems and complexity theory, the sum of which is included in this new 2nd edition. He has tested these concepts with 200 executive MBA students, and also with Russell Ackoff, one of the founding fathers of systems thinking. Ackoff reported that it was the most comprehensive systems methodology he has seen. The 2nd edition features the synthesis of holistic thinking (iteration of structure, function and process), operational thinking (understanding chaos and complexity), sociocultural systems (movement toward a predefined order), and interactive design (redesigning the future and inventing ways to bring it about). Also added are the operational thinking and self-organizing aspect of sociocultural systems, with updates made to the holistic thinking and interactive design parts to incorporate recent new developments.
- Systems Thinking - Complexity -
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Stafford Beer (1994)
The Heart of Enterprise

This is the 1979 companion volume to Brain of the Firm and addresses the nature of viable systems, those capable of surviving. It does not use the neurophysiological basis elucidated in brain, but develops the same theory from first principles. This book declares that every enterprise is a system, and in particular must be a viable system. Viability is not just a matter of economic solvency; we need laws that govern the capacity of any enterprise to maintain independent existence. The Heart of Enterprise is full of examples (actual, author–generated examples) taken from management practice.
- Systems Thinking -
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Stella and iThink from ISEE Systems

isee systems (formerly High Performance Systems) is in business to improve the way the world works, by creating Systems Thinking-based products that enable people to increase their capacity to think, learn, communicate, and act more systemically.
- Systems Thinking -
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The System Dynamics Society

The System Dynamics Society is an international, nonprofit organization devoted to encouraging the development and use of systems thinking and system dynamics around the world.
- Systems Thinking -

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