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Making Better Decisions Using Systems Thinking

How to stop firefighting, deal with root causes and deliver permanent solutions

  • Jaap Schaveling
  • Bill Bryan

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Jaap Schaveling, Bill Bryan
    Pages 1-3
  3. Jaap Schaveling, Bill Bryan
    Pages 5-11
  4. Jaap Schaveling, Bill Bryan
    Pages 13-18
  5. Jaap Schaveling, Bill Bryan
    Pages 19-25
  6. Jaap Schaveling, Bill Bryan
    Pages 27-35
  7. Jaap Schaveling, Bill Bryan
    Pages 37-43
  8. Jaap Schaveling, Bill Bryan
    Pages 45-50
  9. Jaap Schaveling, Bill Bryan
    Pages 51-57
  10. Jaap Schaveling, Bill Bryan
    Pages 59-63
  11. Jaap Schaveling, Bill Bryan
    Pages 65-73
  12. Jaap Schaveling, Bill Bryan
    Pages 75-79
  13. Jaap Schaveling, Bill Bryan
    Pages 93-102
  14. Jaap Schaveling, Bill Bryan
    Pages 103-112
  15. Jaap Schaveling, Bill Bryan
    Pages 113-123
  16. Jaap Schaveling, Bill Bryan
    Pages 141-149
  17. Back Matter
    Pages 161-173

About this book

Introduction

This book shows how to understand systems in order to make smarter decisions. It offers managers intervention techniques that enable them to solve the core problem instead of wasting time constantly fighting the symptoms.

The most obvious part of any problem is the pain it causes. The desire to end the pain and find a solution, any solution, which will make it go away now is usually so great that it blinds managers to the underlying systemic cause of the problem. The result is that we “solve” the problem today and then it comes back again tomorrow or next week, again and again. We are only addressing the symptoms but never understanding the cause – like picking the flower heads off weeds but not digging them out at the roots.

Schaveling and Bryan offer the insights and tools managers and leaders need to achieve a longer term and more effective approach by stepping back and analyzing the system as a whole. And at the heart of any system are human beings – notoriously short-term and pain-averse creatures who will behave in whatever way minimizes pain today even at the expense of pain tomorrow.

They show how to detect the behavior patterns that have become ingrained in the organisation and which underlie complex situations so that root causes of problems can be identified. Once the system responsible for the problem is understood smarter decisions can be made to devise interventions that solve the core problem instead of wasting energy fighting the symptoms.

Keywords

Pareto Diagrams System thinking Root causes Problem solving Decision making

Authors and affiliations

  • Jaap Schaveling
    • 1
  • Bill Bryan
    • 2
  1. 1.Nyenrode Business UniversityBreukelenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Cabrières d’AvignonFrance

Bibliographic information

  • DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-63880-5
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2018
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Business and Management
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-63879-9
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-63880-5
  • Buy this book on publisher's site