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Problem Solving Desperately Needs Systems Thinking

https://medium.com/disruptive-design/problem-solving-desperately-needs-systems-thinking-607d34e4fc80#

medium.com

Problem Solving Desperately Needs Systems Thinking
If we want to overcome the systemic issues behind today's problems, then we need to change the thinking that led to them to begin with. The status quo of how we are taught to think is linear and often reductionist. We learn to break the world down into manageable chunks and see issues in isolation of their systemic roots.

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Systems thinking

Is a way of seeing the world as a series of interconnected and interdependent systems rather than lots of independent parts. 

As a thinking tool, it seeks to oppose the reductionist view  (the idea that a system can be understood by the sum of its isolated parts ) and replace it with the view that everything is part of a larger whole and that the connections between all elements are critical.

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Systems

...are sets of related components that work together in a particular environment to perform whatever functions are required to achieve the system's objective.

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The 3 main systems at play

The 3 main systems at play
  • Social systems: rules and structures, created by humans, that keep society functioning.
  • Industrial systems: all manufactured material world, created to facilitate human needs.
  • The ecosystem: which provides all the natural services (clean air, food, fresh water, minerals and natural resources) needed for the other two systems to exist.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

First-principles thinking

Breaking down complicated problems into basic elements and then reassemble them from the ground up.

It’s one of the best ways to learn to think for yourself, unlock your creative poten...

A first principle

...is a foundational proposition or assumption that stands alone. We cannot deduce first principles from any other proposition or assumption.

Reasoning by first principles removes the impurity of assumptions and conventions. What remains is the essentials. 

Cutting through the dogma

If we never learn to take something apart, test the assumptions, and reconstruct it, we end up trapped in what other people tell us.

We remain trapped in the way things have always been done. When the environment changes, we just continue as if things were the same.

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Don't flow with the mainstream

Don't flow with the mainstream

Moving away from analogy = Removing iterative steps based on other or older experiences and biases and prejudices

Keeping Yourself Motivated

Determination. Do something that you have willingly chosen to do. Have a sense of autonomy and self-empowerment.

Bring on companions. Shared memories and experiences are far stronger motivating factors.

Be impatient. achieve your goals as quickly as you can.

Stay curious. Do not just dream, but see the benefits for yourself.

Avoidance. Make the most out of your time and win the final pay off.

Applying the First Principles Thinking

Identify the Problem

What is something that I want to change in my life?

Deconstruct the Problem

What are the causes of my problems? How does it affect my life?

Solve the Problem

Start creating your new framework. You could think of multiple ways to achieve your goals easily.

Unintended consequences

Because we mostly react instead of think, our actions are based on insufficient information. We grab for a solution without thinking deeply about the context of the problem: e.g: We try to che...

Tactical hell

You find yourself embroiled in several struggles or battles. You seem to get nowhere but you feel like you have invested so much time and energy already that it would be a waste to give up. You have actually  lost sight of your goals. Instead it has become a question of asserting your ego.

You need some detachment and perspective. Remind yourself that winning an argument or proving your point really gets you nowhere in the long run.

Ticker tape fever

Many of us have become addicted to the minute-by-minute news cycle, to “what’s trending". We feel like we are connected to the very flow of life itself, to events as they change in real time, and to other people who are following the same instant reports. Once we expect to have some bit of news quickly, we can never go back to the slower pace of just a year ago.  Our attention span decreases as well as our tolerance for any obstacles in our path.