How do you create performance-improvement initiatives capable of achieving their intended impacts?
Businesses must change to survive and grow. Why?
-- Once productive processes bow to new competition
-- New markets challenge current methods
-- Government regulation compliance adds work and costs
-- Labor market shifts inspire new employee recruitment and retention programs
Change implies risk. What if the change doesn't work? What if things get worse? If the pilot project fails, what do we try next?
Find out answers to these questions in An Introduction to Systems Thinking with iThink.
This book is a guide to learning systems thinking and to using the iThink software. It is published by isee systems, inc., in business for 26 years, dedicated to improving the way the world works by creating systems thinking-based products that enable people to increase their capacity to think, learn, communicate, and act more systemically. There are really two guides that teach an introduction to systems thinking. The iThink guide is geared more toward business and public policy. The other guide is An Introduction to Systems Thinking with STELLA, and that one is geared more toward education and research.
iThink offers a risk-free way to make decisions that drive business improvement. iThink guides you and your business team through the creation of models that simulate business processes and scenarios, pointing out the impacts of a new procedure or policy, and offering opportunity to fix undesirable outcomes. Based on systems thinking, iThink models serve as practice fields, showing you outcomes that could be painful, costly, or embarrassing if discovered in reality.
Going beyond spreadsheets and other linear approaches to business planning, iThink provides a whole system or big picture view of your entire operations. These views are based on dynamic modeling and systems thinking; all points of a system are included and can be examined or changed in any order. You avoid making decisions that have negative impacts on seemingly unrelated processes.
iThink is a powerful tool for communicating interdependencies between processes and problems. Your entire business team will understand the variables that impact your business. Shared insight enables teams to work together, further ensuring that decisions are fully implemented and mitigating risk.
This guide sets the stage by describing the language of systems thinking and applying it to the iThink modeling process. You ll be introduced to classic stock and flow infrastructures common to many businesses. Critical thinking skills that are necessary to evolve our thinking, learning, and communicating capacities are defined. You'll be learning good systems thinking skills so that you can apply them effectively to your modeling -- a must-read for successfully executing the principles of systems thinking and simulation.
Sample models in the areas of strategy, re-engineering, public policy and balanced scorecard are available on the isee systems website. There are also models that run in a browser available for download. These include Business Cycle Dynamics, Headcount Strategy, Tobacco Use Prevention Lab, Multiple Retailer Supply Chain, Resource Allocation, Startup, Inc., Shifting from Bricks to Clicks, Cash for Clunkers, Housing Supply and Demand, and Success to the Successful.