When systems thinking is not a natural act

Ricardo Valerdi, William B. Rouse

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Competence in systems thinking is implicitly assumed among the population of engineers and managers - in fact, most technical people will self-identify as systems thinkers. But systems thinking competencies are not as prevalent as these assertions might lead one to assume. Controlled experiments show that systems thinking performance, even among highly educated people, is poor. This paper provides a set of systems thinking competencies and demonstrates how these are not as common as advertised. We also discuss how these competencies can be measured. Our main thesis is that systems thinking is not a natural act because evolution has favored mechanisms tuned to dealing with immediate surface features of problems. We discuss the implications of this philosophy and provide recommendations for closing the gap between the demand and supply of systems thinking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2010 IEEE International Systems Conference Proceedings, SysCon 2010
Pages184-189
Number of pages6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes
Event4th International Systems Conference, SysCon 2010 - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Apr 5 2010Apr 8 2010

Other

Other4th International Systems Conference, SysCon 2010
CountryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA
Period4/5/104/8/10

Fingerprint

Managers
Engineers
Experiments

Keywords

  • Systems engineering competencies
  • Systems thinking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Cite this

Valerdi, R., & Rouse, W. B. (2010). When systems thinking is not a natural act. In 2010 IEEE International Systems Conference Proceedings, SysCon 2010 (pp. 184-189). [5482446] https://doi.org/10.1109/SYSTEMS.2010.5482446

When systems thinking is not a natural act. / Valerdi, Ricardo; Rouse, William B.

2010 IEEE International Systems Conference Proceedings, SysCon 2010. 2010. p. 184-189 5482446.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Valerdi, R & Rouse, WB 2010, When systems thinking is not a natural act. in 2010 IEEE International Systems Conference Proceedings, SysCon 2010., 5482446, pp. 184-189, 4th International Systems Conference, SysCon 2010, San Diego, CA, United States, 4/5/10. https://doi.org/10.1109/SYSTEMS.2010.5482446
Valerdi R, Rouse WB. When systems thinking is not a natural act. In 2010 IEEE International Systems Conference Proceedings, SysCon 2010. 2010. p. 184-189. 5482446 https://doi.org/10.1109/SYSTEMS.2010.5482446
Valerdi, Ricardo ; Rouse, William B. / When systems thinking is not a natural act. 2010 IEEE International Systems Conference Proceedings, SysCon 2010. 2010. pp. 184-189
@inproceedings{587e864f515f4498a918cbad656cf43c,
title = "When systems thinking is not a natural act",
abstract = "Competence in systems thinking is implicitly assumed among the population of engineers and managers - in fact, most technical people will self-identify as systems thinkers. But systems thinking competencies are not as prevalent as these assertions might lead one to assume. Controlled experiments show that systems thinking performance, even among highly educated people, is poor. This paper provides a set of systems thinking competencies and demonstrates how these are not as common as advertised. We also discuss how these competencies can be measured. Our main thesis is that systems thinking is not a natural act because evolution has favored mechanisms tuned to dealing with immediate surface features of problems. We discuss the implications of this philosophy and provide recommendations for closing the gap between the demand and supply of systems thinking.",
keywords = "Systems engineering competencies, Systems thinking",
author = "Ricardo Valerdi and Rouse, {William B.}",
year = "2010",
doi = "10.1109/SYSTEMS.2010.5482446",
language = "English (US)",
isbn = "9781424458837",
pages = "184--189",
booktitle = "2010 IEEE International Systems Conference Proceedings, SysCon 2010",

}

TY - GEN

T1 - When systems thinking is not a natural act

AU - Valerdi, Ricardo

AU - Rouse, William B.

PY - 2010

Y1 - 2010

N2 - Competence in systems thinking is implicitly assumed among the population of engineers and managers - in fact, most technical people will self-identify as systems thinkers. But systems thinking competencies are not as prevalent as these assertions might lead one to assume. Controlled experiments show that systems thinking performance, even among highly educated people, is poor. This paper provides a set of systems thinking competencies and demonstrates how these are not as common as advertised. We also discuss how these competencies can be measured. Our main thesis is that systems thinking is not a natural act because evolution has favored mechanisms tuned to dealing with immediate surface features of problems. We discuss the implications of this philosophy and provide recommendations for closing the gap between the demand and supply of systems thinking.

AB - Competence in systems thinking is implicitly assumed among the population of engineers and managers - in fact, most technical people will self-identify as systems thinkers. But systems thinking competencies are not as prevalent as these assertions might lead one to assume. Controlled experiments show that systems thinking performance, even among highly educated people, is poor. This paper provides a set of systems thinking competencies and demonstrates how these are not as common as advertised. We also discuss how these competencies can be measured. Our main thesis is that systems thinking is not a natural act because evolution has favored mechanisms tuned to dealing with immediate surface features of problems. We discuss the implications of this philosophy and provide recommendations for closing the gap between the demand and supply of systems thinking.

KW - Systems engineering competencies

KW - Systems thinking

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=77954445613&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=77954445613&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1109/SYSTEMS.2010.5482446

DO - 10.1109/SYSTEMS.2010.5482446

M3 - Conference contribution

AN - SCOPUS:77954445613

SN - 9781424458837

SP - 184

EP - 189

BT - 2010 IEEE International Systems Conference Proceedings, SysCon 2010

ER -