What is involved in Systems Thinking

Find out what the related areas are that Systems Thinking connects with, associates with, correlates with or affects, and which require thought, deliberation, analysis, review and discussion. This unique checklist stands out in a sense that it is not per-se designed to give answers, but to engage the reader and lay out a Systems Thinking thinking-frame.

How far is your company on its Systems Thinking journey?

Take this short survey to gauge your organization’s progress toward Systems Thinking leadership. Learn your strongest and weakest areas, and what you can do now to create a strategy that delivers results.

To address the criteria in this checklist for your organization, extensive selected resources are provided for sources of further research and information.

Start the Checklist

Below you will find a quick checklist designed to help you think about which Systems Thinking related domains to cover and 179 essential critical questions to check off in that domain.

The following domains are covered:

Systems Thinking, Urban metabolism, Systems art, Qian Xuesen, Writing system, Newtonian mechanics, Radhika Nagpal, Political system, Cultural Agency Theory, Henri de Saint-Simon, Catastrophe theory, Stock and flow, Political power, Systems theory, Positive feedback, Open system, Theory of constraints, General systems theory, Strange attractor, Systems neuroscience, Coupled human–environment system, Coincidentia oppositorum, Living systems, Systems theory in archaeology, Organizational theory, Society for General Systems Research, Ludwig von Bertalanffy, Systems analysis, Metric system, Manfred Clynes, Ford Foundation, Systems science, Computer science, Kristo Ivanov, E.C. Zeeman, Hard Science, Emergent properties, Planetary system, Dynamical system, Adaptive systems, Chaos theory, Mihajlo D. Mesarovic, Complex system, System of measurement, Fritjof Capra, Negative feedback, Multidimensional systems, Dual-phase evolution:

Systems Thinking Critical Criteria:

Boost Systems Thinking outcomes and optimize Systems Thinking leadership as a key to advancement.

– In long-lived systems are there more reinforcing or balancing feedback loops?

– Do others have a clear understanding of our vision for the future?

– What are my beliefs about how others should represent the program?

– How Can Business Engage The Education Pipeline More Effectively?

– What PROCESSES are in place to manage the system and continually improve?

– What time horizon is long enough to see patterns in behavior?

– Where are the delays that affect the dynamics of this system?

– How do you want to influence the system(s) and parts of the system(s)?

– Do I have a solid relationship with my community partners?

– Who might be interested in the data you are collecting?

– How can we link our efforts to work more efficiently?

– What are some of the advantages of systems thinking?

– What does a behavior over time graph look like now?

– How can we improve the performance of this system?

– What are the core principles of systems thinking?

– Does The Solution Enhance Our Performance?

– Do we see patterns in human behavior?

– Who are the CUSTOMERS in the system?

– System Problem or People Problem?

– How Do Goals Fit Our Vision?

Urban metabolism Critical Criteria:

Derive from Urban metabolism visions and be persistent.

– What are the key elements of your Systems Thinking performance improvement system, including your evaluation, organizational learning, and innovation processes?

– How do we know that any Systems Thinking analysis is complete and comprehensive?

– Have all basic functions of Systems Thinking been defined?

Systems art Critical Criteria:

Exchange ideas about Systems art results and probe Systems art strategic alliances.

– Who will be responsible for deciding whether Systems Thinking goes ahead or not after the initial investigations?

– How do we go about Securing Systems Thinking?

Qian Xuesen Critical Criteria:

Talk about Qian Xuesen tactics and revise understanding of Qian Xuesen architectures.

– How important is Systems Thinking to the user organizations mission?

– What are the Key enablers to make this Systems Thinking move?

– Does our organization need more Systems Thinking education?

Writing system Critical Criteria:

Devise Writing system leadership and transcribe Writing system as tomorrows backbone for success.

– What will drive Systems Thinking change?

– How would one define Systems Thinking leadership?

– How to Secure Systems Thinking?

Newtonian mechanics Critical Criteria:

Wrangle Newtonian mechanics risks and interpret which customers can’t participate in Newtonian mechanics because they lack skills.

– Record-keeping requirements flow from the records needed as inputs, outputs, controls and for transformation of a Systems Thinking process. ask yourself: are the records needed as inputs to the Systems Thinking process available?

– Are accountability and ownership for Systems Thinking clearly defined?

– What are our Systems Thinking Processes?

Radhika Nagpal Critical Criteria:

Examine Radhika Nagpal leadership and find out.

– What may be the consequences for the performance of an organization if all stakeholders are not consulted regarding Systems Thinking?

– What sources do you use to gather information for a Systems Thinking study?

– How much does Systems Thinking help?

Political system Critical Criteria:

Graph Political system management and clarify ways to gain access to competitive Political system services.

– How do we measure improved Systems Thinking service perception, and satisfaction?

– Have you identified your Systems Thinking key performance indicators?

– Does the Systems Thinking task fit the clients priorities?

Cultural Agency Theory Critical Criteria:

Refer to Cultural Agency Theory failures and mentor Cultural Agency Theory customer orientation.

– Think of your Systems Thinking project. what are the main functions?

– Does Systems Thinking appropriately measure and monitor risk?

– What are internal and external Systems Thinking relations?

Henri de Saint-Simon Critical Criteria:

Disseminate Henri de Saint-Simon projects and perfect Henri de Saint-Simon conflict management.

– What other organizational variables, such as reward systems or communication systems, affect the performance of this Systems Thinking process?

– Does Systems Thinking analysis show the relationships among important Systems Thinking factors?

Catastrophe theory Critical Criteria:

Accommodate Catastrophe theory risks and modify and define the unique characteristics of interactive Catastrophe theory projects.

– How do you determine the key elements that affect Systems Thinking workforce satisfaction? how are these elements determined for different workforce groups and segments?

– Will Systems Thinking have an impact on current business continuity, disaster recovery processes and/or infrastructure?

Stock and flow Critical Criteria:

Add value to Stock and flow goals and overcome Stock and flow skills and management ineffectiveness.

– What are the success criteria that will indicate that Systems Thinking objectives have been met and the benefits delivered?

– How is the value delivered by Systems Thinking being measured?

Political power Critical Criteria:

Substantiate Political power results and triple focus on important concepts of Political power relationship management.

– what is the best design framework for Systems Thinking organization now that, in a post industrial-age if the top-down, command and control model is no longer relevant?

– Is the Systems Thinking organization completing tasks effectively and efficiently?

Systems theory Critical Criteria:

Revitalize Systems theory tactics and adjust implementation of Systems theory.

– What are all of our Systems Thinking domains and what do they do?

– What are the barriers to increased Systems Thinking production?

– Is There a Role for Complex Adaptive Systems Theory?

– How do we maintain Systems Thinkings Integrity?

Positive feedback Critical Criteria:

Detail Positive feedback adoptions and report on developing an effective Positive feedback strategy.

– Is there a Systems Thinking Communication plan covering who needs to get what information when?

– Have the types of risks that may impact Systems Thinking been identified and analyzed?

Open system Critical Criteria:

Adapt Open system results and innovate what needs to be done with Open system.

– How do mission and objectives affect the Systems Thinking processes of our organization?

– What are your most important goals for the strategic Systems Thinking objectives?

Theory of constraints Critical Criteria:

Understand Theory of constraints engagements and interpret which customers can’t participate in Theory of constraints because they lack skills.

– Does Systems Thinking include applications and information with regulatory compliance significance (or other contractual conditions that must be formally complied with) in a new or unique manner for which no approved security requirements, templates or design models exist?

– What notable similarities and differences exist among systems thinking lean thinking and the theory of constraints?

– Among the Systems Thinking product and service cost to be estimated, which is considered hardest to estimate?

– What are the top 3 things at the forefront of our Systems Thinking agendas for the next 3 years?

– What is this thing called theory of constraints and how should it be implemented?

General systems theory Critical Criteria:

Prioritize General systems theory planning and create a map for yourself.

– Is Systems Thinking dependent on the successful delivery of a current project?

– How can skill-level changes improve Systems Thinking?

Strange attractor Critical Criteria:

Illustrate Strange attractor results and look at the big picture.

– Can we add value to the current Systems Thinking decision-making process (largely qualitative) by incorporating uncertainty modeling (more quantitative)?

– Does Systems Thinking analysis isolate the fundamental causes of problems?

– Are there Systems Thinking problems defined?

Systems neuroscience Critical Criteria:

Conceptualize Systems neuroscience goals and ask questions.

– Think about the kind of project structure that would be appropriate for your Systems Thinking project. should it be formal and complex, or can it be less formal and relatively simple?

Coupled human–environment system Critical Criteria:

Have a meeting on Coupled human–environment system management and know what your objective is.

– What is the total cost related to deploying Systems Thinking, including any consulting or professional services?

– What are our needs in relation to Systems Thinking skills, labor, equipment, and markets?

– What tools and technologies are needed for a custom Systems Thinking project?

Coincidentia oppositorum Critical Criteria:

Grasp Coincidentia oppositorum adoptions and get going.

– In the case of a Systems Thinking project, the criteria for the audit derive from implementation objectives. an audit of a Systems Thinking project involves assessing whether the recommendations outlined for implementation have been met. in other words, can we track that any Systems Thinking project is implemented as planned, and is it working?

– How do we make it meaningful in connecting Systems Thinking with what users do day-to-day?

– How do we Lead with Systems Thinking in Mind?

Living systems Critical Criteria:

Model after Living systems governance and do something to it.

– How do we ensure that implementations of Systems Thinking products are done in a way that ensures safety?

– How does the organization define, manage, and improve its Systems Thinking processes?

– Are we Assessing Systems Thinking and Risk?

Systems theory in archaeology Critical Criteria:

Do a round table on Systems theory in archaeology management and handle a jump-start course to Systems theory in archaeology.

– How can you negotiate Systems Thinking successfully with a stubborn boss, an irate client, or a deceitful coworker?

– Meeting the challenge: are missed Systems Thinking opportunities costing us money?

– What about Systems Thinking Analysis of results?

Organizational theory Critical Criteria:

Bootstrap Organizational theory planning and figure out ways to motivate other Organizational theory users.

– Will new equipment/products be required to facilitate Systems Thinking delivery for example is new software needed?

– Is Supporting Systems Thinking documentation required?

Society for General Systems Research Critical Criteria:

Start Society for General Systems Research failures and create a map for yourself.

– What will be the consequences to the business (financial, reputation etc) if Systems Thinking does not go ahead or fails to deliver the objectives?

– Are there Systems Thinking Models?

Ludwig von Bertalanffy Critical Criteria:

Focus on Ludwig von Bertalanffy tactics and drive action.

– How do senior leaders actions reflect a commitment to the organizations Systems Thinking values?

Systems analysis Critical Criteria:

Survey Systems analysis decisions and look in other fields.

– Learning Systems Analysis: once one has a good grasp of the current state of the organization, there is still an important question that needs to be asked: what is the organizations potential for developing and changing – in the near future and in the longer term?

– Schedule feasibility. can the solution be designed and implemented within an acceptable time period?

– What are the principal mechanisms likely to bring about performance improvements?

– How can software be acquired, if needed, during the systems development phase?

– What is the purpose of splitting design into two parts: systems and detail?

– Why is the systems development life cycle considered an iterative process?

– In which of the stages will end-user involvement be most extensive?

– How can case tools be used to support requirements determination?

– Why is planning an important step in systems development?

– What means can a project sponsor use to communicate?

– What types of systems development plans are needed?

– What are the project development team s roles?

– Systems Analysis and design: what is it?

– Systems Analysis and design: who is it?

– Which tasks should be undertaken first?

– Systems Analysis and design: why is it?

– Which organizational units affected?

– What is behavioral Systems Analysis?

– What are top managements roles?

– Can something be changed?

Metric system Critical Criteria:

Grasp Metric system results and arbitrate Metric system techniques that enhance teamwork and productivity.

– Do those selected for the Systems Thinking team have a good general understanding of what Systems Thinking is all about?

– Can we do Systems Thinking without complex (expensive) analysis?

Manfred Clynes Critical Criteria:

Cut a stake in Manfred Clynes engagements and finalize specific methods for Manfred Clynes acceptance.

Ford Foundation Critical Criteria:

Recall Ford Foundation failures and inform on and uncover unspoken needs and breakthrough Ford Foundation results.

– Think about the people you identified for your Systems Thinking project and the project responsibilities you would assign to them. what kind of training do you think they would need to perform these responsibilities effectively?

– What are your key performance measures or indicators and in-process measures for the control and improvement of your Systems Thinking processes?

Systems science Critical Criteria:

Test Systems science quality and learn.

– Which customers cant participate in our Systems Thinking domain because they lack skills, wealth, or convenient access to existing solutions?

– What role does communication play in the success or failure of a Systems Thinking project?

– Who will be responsible for documenting the Systems Thinking requirements in detail?

Computer science Critical Criteria:

Model after Computer science tactics and test out new things.

Kristo Ivanov Critical Criteria:

Value Kristo Ivanov outcomes and attract Kristo Ivanov skills.

E.C. Zeeman Critical Criteria:

Derive from E.C. Zeeman planning and assess what counts with E.C. Zeeman that we are not counting.

– Which individuals, teams or departments will be involved in Systems Thinking?

Hard Science Critical Criteria:

Co-operate on Hard Science management and devote time assessing Hard Science and its risk.

– What are the long-term Systems Thinking goals?

– Who sets the Systems Thinking standards?

Emergent properties Critical Criteria:

Discourse Emergent properties risks and know what your objective is.

– To what extent does management recognize Systems Thinking as a tool to increase the results?

Planetary system Critical Criteria:

Mine Planetary system risks and reinforce and communicate particularly sensitive Planetary system decisions.

– Do the Systems Thinking decisions we make today help people and the planet tomorrow?

– What are the usability implications of Systems Thinking actions?

Dynamical system Critical Criteria:

Revitalize Dynamical system engagements and probe using an integrated framework to make sure Dynamical system is getting what it needs.

– Where do ideas that reach policy makers and planners as proposals for Systems Thinking strengthening and reform actually originate?

– How to deal with Systems Thinking Changes?

Adaptive systems Critical Criteria:

Bootstrap Adaptive systems tasks and oversee Adaptive systems requirements.

– How do we manage Systems Thinking Knowledge Management (KM)?

Chaos theory Critical Criteria:

Reconstruct Chaos theory strategies and pioneer acquisition of Chaos theory systems.

Mihajlo D. Mesarovic Critical Criteria:

Have a session on Mihajlo D. Mesarovic risks and handle a jump-start course to Mihajlo D. Mesarovic.

– Marketing budgets are tighter, consumers are more skeptical, and social media has changed forever the way we talk about Systems Thinking. How do we gain traction?

– Is there any existing Systems Thinking governance structure?

– What is our Systems Thinking Strategy?

Complex system Critical Criteria:

Set goals for Complex system outcomes and forecast involvement of future Complex system projects in development.

– How much testing is necessary in order to expose all the potential failure modes and situations of highly integrated complex systems?

– What vendors make products that address the Systems Thinking needs?

– Are assumptions made in Systems Thinking stated explicitly?

– Complex interventions or complex systems?

System of measurement Critical Criteria:

Wrangle System of measurement failures and budget for System of measurement challenges.

– Are there any disadvantages to implementing Systems Thinking? There might be some that are less obvious?

Fritjof Capra Critical Criteria:

Unify Fritjof Capra planning and find out.

– Who needs to know about Systems Thinking ?

– How can the value of Systems Thinking be defined?

Negative feedback Critical Criteria:

Weigh in on Negative feedback visions and balance specific methods for improving Negative feedback results.

– How can we incorporate support to ensure safe and effective use of Systems Thinking into the services that we provide?

Multidimensional systems Critical Criteria:

Accumulate Multidimensional systems risks and prioritize challenges of Multidimensional systems.

– Do we aggressively reward and promote the people who have the biggest impact on creating excellent Systems Thinking services/products?

– Which Systems Thinking goals are the most important?

Dual-phase evolution Critical Criteria:

Scrutinze Dual-phase evolution strategies and figure out ways to motivate other Dual-phase evolution users.


This quick readiness checklist is a selected resource to help you move forward. Learn more about how to achieve comprehensive insights with the Systems Thinking Self Assessment:


Author: Gerard Blokdijk

CEO at The Art of Service | theartofservice.com

[email protected]


Gerard is the CEO at The Art of Service. He has been providing information technology insights, talks, tools and products to organizations in a wide range of industries for over 25 years. Gerard is a widely recognized and respected information expert. Gerard founded The Art of Service consulting business in 2000. Gerard has authored numerous published books to date.

External links:

To address the criteria in this checklist, these selected resources are provided for sources of further research and information:

Systems Thinking External links:


Introduction to Systems Thinking – The Systems Thinker

Systems thinking iceberg model – Northwest Earth Institute

Qian Xuesen External links:

Qian Xuesen | Chinese scientist | Britannica.com

Qian Xuesen (2012) – IMDb

Qian Xuesen’s Birthday – Google

Writing system External links:

Wire Writing System Kit – 2311276 | HSN

U.S. Army STAND-TO! | Army Contract Writing System

cuneiform | writing system | Britannica.com

Newtonian mechanics External links:

Breish, Benjamin / AP Newtonian Mechanics

Clemens, Matthew / AP Physics – Newtonian Mechanics

Radhika Nagpal External links:

Radhika Nagpal – The Mathematics Genealogy Project

Political system External links:

France political system – YouTube

Political Systems Analysis

absolutism | political system | Britannica.com

Henri de Saint-Simon External links:

Henri de Saint-Simon | French social reformer | Britannica.com

Catastrophe theory External links:

Toba catastrophe theory – ScienceDaily

What is catastrophe theory? – Quora

Stock and flow External links:

Introduction to Stock and Flow Diagrams – YouTube

[PDF]Chapter 6 – Stock and Flow Systems

Political power External links:

“Steven Universe” Political Power (TV Episode 2015) – IMDb

Political power : USA/USSR (Book, 1977) [WorldCat.org]

Political power. (Book, 1964) [WorldCat.org]

Systems theory External links:

Dynamic Systems Theory – YouTube

[PDF]Ecological Systems Theory in Social Work

Dynamic Systems Theory and Management of Children …

Positive feedback External links:

Positive Feedback Online – Official Site

Positive Feedback Form | ABC Supply

How to leave positive feedback about CSR? | Verizon …

Open system External links:

Explicates – Open System for Energy Services

Open System Organizational Structure | Chron.com

About us | Open System Technologies

Theory of constraints External links:

Theory of Constraints by Eliyahu M. Goldratt – Goodreads

Theory of Constraints PPT | Inventory | Leadership

The theory of constraints journal (Journal, magazine, …

General systems theory External links:

General systems theory – IS Theory

General Systems Theory Essay – 345 Words – StudyMode

GENERAL SYSTEMS THEORY – Psychology Dictionary

Strange attractor External links:

The strange attractor (Book, 1991) [WorldCat.org]

Alphaville – Strange Attractor (Album Review) – Cryptic Rock

Alphaville Album – Strange Attractor – New Age Music World

Coincidentia oppositorum External links:

Coincidentia Oppositorum – Home | Facebook

Living systems External links:

SOL 5.5 Living Systems – Standards

Home – Living Systems Instrumentation

Basement Finishing & Remodeling – Basement Living Systems

Systems theory in archaeology External links:

Systems theory in archaeology – broom02.revolvy.com
broom02.revolvy.com/topic/Systems theory in archaeology

Essay World Systems Theory in Archaeology — Sociology

Systems theory in archaeology – Revolvy
www.revolvy.com/topic/Systems theory in archaeology

Organizational theory External links:

Organizational Theory Comp Flashcards | Quizlet

EDLE 620: Organizational Theory and Leadership | CEHD

Society for General Systems Research External links:

Society for General Systems Research (L2) – Science

Society for General Systems Research – nndb.com

Society for General Systems Research (L3) | Science

Ludwig von Bertalanffy External links:

Ludwig von Bertalanffy, General System Theory (1968)

alemán Ludwig Von Bertalanffy – scribd.com

Systems analysis External links:

ARC FLASH EVALUATION – SKM Systems Analysis, Inc.

Mechanical Systems Analysis and Simulation Branch – …

Metric system External links:

Metric System of Measurement – Math is Fun (Metric)

Metric System & Specifications | Fastenal

Definition of METRIC SYSTEM – Merriam-Webster
www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/metric system

Manfred Clynes External links:

[PDF]Emotions And Psychopathology By Manfred Clynes

Manfred Clynes – Revolvy
www.revolvy.com/main/index.php?s=Manfred Clynes

Ford Foundation External links:

Our grants / Ford Foundation

Model A Ford Foundation

Ford Foundation – GuideStar Profile

Systems science External links:

The Gehr Family Center for Health Systems Science

Department of Coastal & Marine Systems Science

Department of Health Systems Science | UIC College Of …

Computer science External links:

Computer Science Department at Princeton University

USC Viterbi | Department of Computer Science

Purdue University – Department of Computer Science

Hard Science External links:

ScriptBook – Hard Science. Better Box Office.

Exploding Elephant Toothpaste – Hard Science – YouTube

Emergent properties External links:

Emergent Properties LLC – Home | Facebook

What Are Emergent Properties? | Sciencing

Emergent Properties Flashcards | Quizlet

Planetary system External links:

Space Images | Plentiful Planetary System (Artist Concept)

Our Planetary System – Chapter 7 Flashcards | Quizlet

SOFIA confirms nearby planetary system is similar to our …

Dynamical system External links:

What is dynamical system? – Quora

The idea of a dynamical system – Math Insight

Adaptive systems External links:

Freedom Adaptive Systems – Home | Facebook

Education | Complex Adaptive Systems Initiative

Missouri S&T Complex Adaptive Systems

Chaos theory External links:

Chaos theory – Everything2.com

Chaos Theory – AbeBooks

Chaos theory (Book, 2007) [WorldCat.org]

Complex system External links:

Self-Evaluation in a Complex System-Wide School of …

ICTT-Systems Engineering for Complex Systems

New England Complex Systems Institute – Home | Facebook

System of measurement External links:

Metric System of Measurement – Math is Fun (Metric)

ERIC – The Metric System of Measurement., 1977

The Galileo System of Measurement: Preliminary …

Fritjof Capra External links:

Listen to Audiobooks by Fritjof Capra | Audible.com

Negative feedback External links:

What is a Negative Feedback Loop? – Verywell

The 12 Rules of Giving Negative Feedback (Infographic)

Positive and Negative Feedback Loops – YouTube

Categories: Documents