The Systems Thinking Playbook

by Linda Booth Sweeney, Dennis L. Meadows

Fantastic definition of Systems Thinker


Our experience in studying and teaching systems thinking has led to the definition of a systems thinker as someone who:

  1. Sees the whole picture.
  2. Changes perspectives to see new leverage points in complex systems.
  3. Looks for interdependencies.
  4. Considers how mental models create our futures.
  5. Pays attention to and gives voice to the long-term.
  6. “Goes wide” (uses peripheral vision) to see complex cause and effect relationships.
  7. Finds where unanticipated consequences emerge.
  8. Focuses on structure, not on blame.
  9. Holds the tension of paradox and controversy without trying to resolve it quickly.
  10. Makes systems visible through causal maps and computer models
  11. Seeks out stocks or accumulations and the time delays and inertia they can create.
  12. Watches for “win/lose” mindsets, knowing they usually makes matters worse in situations of high interdependence
  13. Sees oneself as part of, not outside of, the system.
Follow me
Latest posts by Martin Burns (see all)

CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 Systems Thinker Characteristics by Martin Burns is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

%d bloggers like this: