Laszlo and Krippner (1998) describe a system as “a complex of interacting components together with the relationships among them that permit the identification of a boundary-maintaining entity or process. (p. 2) Systems Theory is based on studying how individual parts of a system interact with each other to produce certain behaviors. System theory can be classified as identifying patterns and behaviors. The roots of system thinking have been in existence since the early 20th Century and have since been formally identified as such. The process of systems thinking is being able to pay attention to the whole while focusing on the complex interrelationships that make up a system to encourage the development of a more collaborative, unified system that encourages interconnectedness. Reinforcing processes, causal loops, and system archetypes are integral parts of system thinking that allow one to gain a unique perceptive on any system in order to encourage meaningful change.
Historical and Theoretical Roots of Systems Theory
During the first half of the 20th Century Ludwig von Bertalanffy identified a set of theories as General System Theory (GST). His theories comprised of the fact that although the current theory of evolution was that the living world appeared as a product of chance and human personality a coincidental product of nature and nurture, he proposed that the there was a new outlook for the world. One that was based on organization and systems; this was a whole new approach. (Laszlo and Krippner, 1998, p.4). By 1926 Bertalanffy, with Alfred North Whitehead, and Paul A.Weiss, had adopted these principals of organizations and the idea of systems theory was becoming widely known....
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...ty to adapt their mental models.” Using mental model tools such as advocacy/inquiry palette will assist organizations in the ability to think critically and perform tasks such as create reinforcing processes within their organization. The ability to adapt mental models will also encourage collaboration and understanding which helps participants move away from models of thinking such as the ladder of inference. Utilizing mental model tools such as the advocacy/inquiry palette to encourage systems thinking in conjunction with systems concepts such as reinforcing processes, causal loops, and system archetypes have proven to be helpful tools to assist one in becoming a successful system thinker. Cultivating these behaviors will lead to the identification of complex interrelationships and the development of collaboration that can be encouraged in any system.
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