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Improving, Exploring, Ensuring, Promoting

In Michael C. Jackson‘s rich and engrossing “Systems Thinking: Creative Holism For Managers“, Mr. Jackson describes 10 holistic systems thinking approaches designed to solve complex social managerial problems. As the tables below illustrate, Mr. Jackson allocates the approaches to four classes depending on the main purpose of the approach. For example, he asserts that Stafford Beer‘s “Team Syntegrity” approach is employed primarily to ensure fairness during the process of solving a complex social systems problem.

I really like Jackson’s book because of its breadth, vocabulary, and the way he covers each of the 10 systems approaches from its philosophical roots, to theory, to methods. He also supplies a real application example for each approach. In the final part of the book, Jackson integrates all of the approaches into a supra-holistic (?) approach that advocates mixing and matching elements of each approach and tailoring the “Creative Holism” meta-methodology  to the specific “mess” at hand.

The last book that I read twice in a row was the brilliant Quantum Enigma by Fred Kuttner and Bruce Rosenblum. I’m gonna do the same with this masterpiece.

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