Systems thinking > Vanguard

I love John Seddon and what he stands for. I particularly like those videos of a cartoon Seddon having a good old moan about non-systemsy people. I think the Vanguard Method is a fabulous way for service organisations to focus on  transforming themselves to be better. 

When you ask many people who claim to be systems thinkers what they mean by systems thinking is Vanguard.  Now don’t get me wrong Vanguard is about systems and thinking and thinking about systems. However it is not the only systems thinking approach and neither is it my favourite (shock horror).  

In the big wide world of systems thinking there some fantastic approaches that have nothing to do with Vanguard but are brilliant for systems thinking and thinking systemically. I couldn’t possibly do them all justice in one short blog, so consider this just a name check. Go forth and Google them. Or better still go to a library and read about them in a book. Or even better still find a good university and study them.

So here goes, not a complete list, at all but some other approaches to systems thinking and some key systems thinkers in brackets worthy of further exploration:

  • Viable Systems Model (Stafford Beer)
  • Systems Dynamics (Donella Meadows)
  • Soft Systems Methodology (Peter Checkland)
  • Appreciative Systems (Geoffrey Vickers)
  • Social Learning Systems (Etienne Wenger)
  • Cybernetics
  • Systems Failure Method

The list goes on. This is just some of what I have had the pleasure to learn about. The list will continue to evolve and grow. Some of these approaches and people might not be as well known or as prevalent on social media but they deserve an occasional mention. So go on find out some more. Be curious…..

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