Systems Thinking- When the going gets tough, go back to the basics

As many know, there is an abundance of e-commerce data ranging from web site visits through sales and abandoned carts etc.  The data is arrayed over many different timeframes and it can be overwhelming to make sense of it and use it to shape generative decisions for growth. Because of some client work, with regard to sales growth- and all the levers you might push or pull to accomplish that, my focus turned in greater detail  to systems thinking and systems dynamics modeling as a way to reduce clutter and focus on the decisions and items that count. In other words, get back to the basics.


I could not help but think that  systems thinking and systems dynamic modeling can add to our understanding about the progression of the Corona Virus and the impact it might have on us individually, our companies, the markets in which we compete etc.  As individuals we don’t have enough data to build a systems dynamic model, but thinking about what we read and hear with a systems thinking mindset, might help us make more sense of what is going on around us.

I first encountered these concepts when reading Peter Senge’s book The Fifth Discipline.  I was lucky enough to participate in programs with some of the leaders in this field.  Since then, I have always been on high alert for  recognizing systems, articulating their performance and trying to understand why things happened the way they did- and moreover, trying to understand what alternative outcomes could be achieved if the system was “tuned” differently.  But- I moved away from detailed documentation and modeling- and now I will invest time to enhance my learning and focus my understanding.

I have made a personal decision to turn as much of the downtime or extra time that has been freed up because of the pandemic into an investment, vs. just spending it on random things.  I am going to focus more effort to deepen my understanding of systems thinking over the next few weeks.

Also- the quiet time might also provide and opportunity to think through your life or business in this way, so that you are well prepared to “bounce back with authority” when the smoke clears.

We would love to hear about your personal investment and what you hope to achieve.

If this is of interest to you, particularly with the corona virus disease state,  I am listing some resources below:

MIT Systems Dynamics Introduction

Intro to systems dynamics modeling

Classic systems archetypes from Pegasus and Dan Kim

Introduction to a basic system systems dynamics modeling software product

Good luck.  Stay Safe.  Stay Well.

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