Systemic Perspective/Network of Interactions
@ Gene- It seems to me that a reference to focusing questions could be inserted in the 4th video (Network of Interactions). It could be inserted most naturally in relation to the third bullet point which speaks of what is relevant and should be included and what should be ignored. The reason for this is that focusing questions not only help to select the variables to be included in a CLD/model, but also because they roughly help to nail down a time frame: variables only matter if they fall within a time frame that is relevant to the situation. Given that you probably want to keep the videos as concise as possible, I don't think very much would be gained in referring to focusing questions in any of the other sections. Posted by Hanns-Jürgen Hodann 11.11.16
- This video provides a basis for understanding the network of interactions associated with a situation and provides examples of the most often used representations.
- Reality is complex though is often just perceived as being complicated. We need to simplify things to help us understand.
- We create models to simplify reality and support learning. Note that a model is a simplification of reality, not a copy of reality. While everything is connected it does not mean that everything is relevant. We simplify because reality is too complex and complicated to fully understand. Don't turn the model into the same mess.
- This is why we develop a systemic perspective of a situation rather than a system. By considering a situation rather than a system it aids us in deciding what's relevant, and should be included, and what's not relevant, and should be left out.
- A model is simplification of reality intented to promote understanding. It doesn't matter whether it's a model you construct in your head, write down in words, or draw as a picture, all are simplifications. There's a quote from George Box that's most relevant; "All models are wrong, some models are useful." Whether the model you develop is a good model or not depends on the extent to which it promotes useful understanding.
- While there are numerous ways to represent models there are two general classes...
- Qualitative models are used to provide a visual representation of the interactions among relevant elements. The Causal Loop Diagram, of which there are several variants, is the type of diagram most often used for this purpose.
- Quantitative models are more explicit than qualitative models and are generally the foundation for investigating the dynamic nature of relationships via simulations. The Stock & Flow Diagram is the most often used type of diagram for this purpose.
- We often need to communicate what we're learning and it's important to keep this in mind when developing a model. If you develop the model with communication in mind from the beginning it turns out to be easier to communicate than if you try to build in the communication at the end.
- Causal Loop Diagrams are used to show the relationships among the elements relevant to the situation. The indications of the relations are completely qualitative as there are no values associated with any of the items.
- This causal loop diagram indicates that principal and interest interact to create interest, which adds to principal, which then figures into the creation of additional interest in the next cycle. The plus circle in the center indicates that this is a reinforcing, or growth, loop.
- This second causal loop diagram indicates that the current state of something interacts with the goal to provide the basis for action. The action then serves to move the current state in the direction of the goal, thereby decreasing the action in the next cycle. The negative loop in the center indicates this is a balancing, or goal seeking, loop. Don't worry about the details as there is a separate video that provides details for creating causal loop diagrams.
- Stock & Flow Diagrams are more explicit and rigorous than causal loop diagrams. They are generally used as the basis for developing dynamic simulations as each element of the model has associated values.
- This stock & flow diagram represents the growth causal loop diagram in the previous slide. What is explicitly different in this diagram is that a stock is only allowed to change via a flow that adds to or subtracts from the stock.
- This second stock & flow diagram represents the goal seeking causal loop diagram in the previous slide. What is explicitly different is that action is a flow which adds to the current state. There is a separate video that covers the details of Stock & Flow Diagrams.
- The causal loop diagram representation of the interactions within Magic Connections has three parts.
- Loop B1 indicates that support continues to hire & train resources to maintain desired support readiness.
- Loop B2 indicates that as Magic Connections continues to grow employees are needed throughout the organization.
- Loop B3 indicates that the rest of the organization fills part of its need by raiding resources from support. This is a good example of why it's important to develop a systemic perspective of a situation rather than a system. It allows one to focus on what's relevant rather than modeling the entire business/organizational system.
- Please continue with "Stakeholder Perspectives," the next video in this series.
Note: Is there an aspect of the context that's relevant?
- Causal Loop Diagrams
- Stock & Flow Diagrams
- Problems in Causal Loop Diagrams Revisited by George Richardson, 1998
- Magic Connections Raiding Resources Model in Insight Maker
Systems Thinking World Discussions
Systems Thinking World Q&A * Gene Bellinger