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© 2018

Making Better Decisions Using Systems Thinking

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

Book

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

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

  1. 1.Nyenrode Business UniversityBreukelenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Cabrières d’AvignonFrance

About the authors

Dr. Jaap Schaveling (Dutch, 1956) is associate professor Leadership & Cooperation. He teaches Cooperation on team, organization and inter-organizational level, Social Psychology, Organizational Dynamics and Leadership. As a business coach he facilitates the management teams of various companies. His research work at this moment is about multiparty situations,  inter-team processes, innovative behavior and higher order skills. His mission is to co-create living teams and organizations i.e. to stimulate teams and organizations to develop into learning and sustainable bodies by strengthening certain disciplines, in particular personal mastery, social psychology, organizational dynamics and systems thinking.

Bill Bryan is a now-retired plant manager of large chemical plants. He studied chemistry at Leiden University and forged a career in the chemical industry with DSM. Starting in fundamental research and then moving onto big semi-industrial development projects, Bryan specialized in basic materials like solvents, melamine and caprolactam. From there he moved his career towards the production plants of ABS and PVC. Last years of career he spent as management consultant.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Making Better Decisions Using Systems Thinking
  • Book Subtitle How to stop firefighting, deal with root causes and deliver permanent solutions
  • Authors Jaap Schaveling
    Bill Bryan
  • 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 Business and Management (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-63879-9
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-319-87662-7
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-63880-5
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XV, 173
  • Number of Illustrations 72 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Operations Research/Decision Theory
    Knowledge Management
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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