System Behaviour and Causal Loop Diagrams 1

Human beings are quick problem solvers. From an evolutionary standpoint, this makes sense—if a sabertooth tiger is bounding toward you, you need to quickly decide on a course of action, or you won’t be around for long. Thus, quick problem solvers were the ones who survived. We quickly determine a cause for any event that we think is a problem. Usually we conclude that the cause is another event.

This made me think of creativity. It’s obvious that creative thinking is the best way to solve business problems. The way this was paragraph written made me visually comprehend what that meant.  It really made me look at things in a different way. I started thinking about the causal loops we did last Friday in class. Firstly, I did it wrong and I managed to create a mega mind map instead (which might I point out, is a creative thinking tool) and I was supposed to be solving a problem rather, which was making the abstract tangible, or recognising the cobblestones to the solution.

So, I think the connection i’m trying to articulate here is that; Creativity seems to be recognising a cobblestone, using the imagination to come up with something, and systems thinking is recognising the pathways and seeing how the cobblestones are connected to each other.

Linear information, structured and heavily simplified.

Linear information, structured and heavily simplified.

Observing the surrounding components / cobblestones

Observing the surrounding components / cobblestones

Systems thinking is recognising the pathways and seeing how the cobblestones are connected to each other.

Systems thinking is recognising the pathways and seeing how the cobblestones are connected to each other.

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while.” ~ Steve Jobs 

I have posted a diagram above to try and illustrate this point further.

The methods of systems thinking provide us with tools for better understanding these difficult management problems. The methods have been used for over thirty years (Forrester 1961)

In particular, they require that we move away from looking at isolated events and their causes (usually assumed to be some other events), and start to look at the organization as a system made up of interacting parts.

A causal loop would be one of these beautiful tools or methods. Causal loops are a way to articulate complex systems and understand the causes and effects of a system. This allows you to view it from different perspectives so one can get down to the conditions of causes and solve issues from an internal system structure.

To start to consider system structure, you first generalize from the specific events associated with your problem to considering patterns of behaviour that characterize the situation.

I am really enjoying the way this paper is written. This passage made me think of emptiness. When emptiness is being explained they always start off by explaining consciousness on a gross level, which is similar to how one generalises as stated above. In Buddhism, once the gross level is experienced/actualised or observed, one moves deeper into the subtler levels of consciousness.

The systems approach gains much of its power as a problem solving method from the fact that similar patterns of behaviour show up in a variety of different situations, and the underlying system structures that cause these characteristic patterns are known. Thus, once you have identified a pattern of behaviour that is a problem, you can look for the system structure that is known to cause that pattern. By finding and modifying this system structure, you have the possibility of permanently eliminating the problem pattern of behaviour.

This is really beautiful. It is so similar to meditation of observation, where one observes the systems of the body, breaking each level down further and further until they understand the nature of something for what it is.

There are four main patterns of behaviour which show up individually in systems or in combinations. These are Exponential growth, Goal-seeking behaviour, s-shaped growth and oscillation.

I’ll continue examining this tutorial in the following blog post.

Systems dynamics, systems thinking and Soft OR By Jay W.Forrestor

Interest in system dynamics is spreading as people appreciate its unique ability to represent the real world. It can accept the complexity, nonlinearity, and feedback loop structures that are inherent in social and physical systems.

I find this really beautiful. People understand their world around them through recognising patterns, and understanding how these patterns  work. In my personal opinion, I have found that communication can reduce the wonder of something so easily, because of it’s liner structure. There can be so much abstract knowledge to a subject, which is lost in translation in so many ways. Systems dynamics sounds like a more natural way to uncover and understand our surroundings.

Understanding comes first, but the goal is improvement.

Entrepreneurship as in(ter)vention – reader 2

Entrepreneurship as in(ter)vention: Reconsidering the conceptual politics of method in entrepreneurship studies

This reader really inspired me and allowed me to clearly perceive how certain perceptions of polarities are connected.

Bengt showed us, by example, that it need not be that way, and that every presentation, every question, every comment, every handshake at a conference can have the feel of a memorable intervention, of a detailed and precise confrontation, of speaking out boldly and freely.

I recently attended a Vipassana 10 day silent meditation retreat. Here we were not allowed any reading or writing material. This was so that you can experience information on the experiential level, or on the actual level. When this happens one understands and perceives information beyond constructs and languages. For me, this made the information feel honest and truthful – it was raw information.  The way I looked at it, meditation was a way of embodying information. This made sense to me, for your mind is your whole body, not just your head.

Not only is there enactive research (as Johannisson practised it in a singular way), more importantly there is enacting research: research that enacts worlds.

This reader made me think of learning through actualising information, by embodying information on an experiential level. At this level, you can view information at multiple perspectives in order to innovate on it and connect it to other entities.

I want to emphasize two interwoven elements of such conceptual politics of method in the practice of in(ter)vention: a performative dimension and a participative dimension of in(ter)vention. I draw these aspects from Bengt’s experimentation as it anticipated the idea that (entrepreneurship) research is an aesthetic performance with a public orientation and broad relevance.

When Steyaert speaks of the aesthetic performance of research, it made me think of the delivery of information or the dialogue of information. It made me thing of speakers and teachers who I have really loved listening to, or people who can turn complex ideas into deliverable easily digestible ideas.  They have made that information a practise in their lives and can in turn look at different ways of living that information in their presence. It’s beautiful.

his presence affirmed that it was really an option to think and act differently

For me I have faced 4 parts of learning, which feel like they’re on similar lines.

1) Being exposed to information

2) Actualising / experiencing information

3) Practising information, digesting information

4) Sharing in depth understanding of information

I have recently observed this within myself, to be a successful way of digesting information, understanding where my personal view stands on the subject matter and using that to share the information.

Innovation’s Holy Grail – Reader one

Innovation’s Holy grail

This article brought up my original excitement for doing this masters course. I definitely believe there is great need to think differently, so many large corporations are even using this as their main goal, for example we are seeing it in brand campaigns more and more. Apple, would be the most obvious example to use here. This article did remind me of the desperate need for a new ways of thinking.

Affordability and sustain ability are replacing premium pricing and abundance as innovation’s drivers, but few executives know how to cope with the shift. Companies must make their offerings accessible to a greater number of people by selling them cheaply and must develop more products and services with fewer resources.

Westerners are struggling to tackle this challenge, but some enterprises in developing countries, particularly in

India, are showing the way by practicing three types of “Gandhian innovation”:

• disrupting business models

• modifying organizational capabilities

• creating or sourcing new capabilities

Companies anywhere in the world can follow suit by striving for inclusive growth, establishing a clear vision, setting stretch targets, exercising entrepreneurial creativity within constraints, and focusing on people, not just profits or shareholder wealth.

From my point of view, I have recently been noticing a great need for new thinking. Internally and externally, I feel that the only way to solve such complex issues is with a new way of life, thinking or differently ordered way of our current thought.

I think the best part about this reading was actually making the connection between business and creativity and seeing what a huge difference it makes. I had always seen creativity and lateral thinking only suited towards art and design, this article shows that they are connected, which is very inspiring to see.

We must learn to innovate even when faced with constraints. Gandhian innovators start by accepting that there are constraints that won’t go away.

This has been coming up more and more, especially in solving user interface problems in software development, it is all about innovating within a very narrow space.

I have understood that innovation is a practise and that you have to constantly work at it to evolve entities further and further. Innovation and creativity are two forces which one has to learn how to work with and apply to everyday tasks and thoughts.