Monday, March 29, 2010
FROM THE SYSTEMS THINKING TOOLBOX: THE 'AND' METHOD, by Gene Bellinger
Writing in the Systems Thinker's eNewsletter, Volume 21, Number 1, Gene Bellinger offers an interesting & yet nifty tool.
A simple tool called “The AND Method” provides a way to identify problems that are likely to arise before they happen and take steps to avoid them.
One of the foundational realizations associated with systems thinking is that, because things are so interconnected, it is almost impossible for an action to have a single effect. This is where the magical “AND” comes into play.
For each variable in a causal loop diagram, ask, “AND what else does this variable affect?” and “AND what else affects this variable?”
By doing so, you’ll learn to anticipate unintended consequences before taking action.
[Guidelines for drawing causal loop diagrams, plus examples, can be found at this link.]