What is System Dynamics?

Systemic work is concerned with ensuring the inclusion of all elements of a system as opposed to a focus on individual parts. How these parts interrelate when they operate together determines the particular dynamics in that system.  The recognition of these interrelating forces and understanding their power is central to systemic awareness and intelligence. How these forces function and how we engage with them can mean the difference between growth or stagnation, cohesion or separation, success or failure. 

What are Systems?

Patterns form within systems to ensure the continuation of the whole. They are a solution signal that someone or something has been excluded. They can bring continuity and predictability but they can also bring tension and stagnation. They represent the experiences in groups where people repeatedly take certain positions and members of a group seem to follow an invisible “rule”.  

System Dynamics is concerned with addressing these patterns and helping the system as a whole to flow more easily by raising awareness, unravelling entanglements and guiding growth beyond patterns that may be blocking and draining energy.  

When Systemic Work Is Most Helpful:
When the problem is long lasting
When the cause is not known or not clear
When the usual methods don't help
When energy is being drained out of the system

Systems are a number of elements in constant relationship with one another. Human systems are “living” so unlike more technical systems, a change in one element affects all other elements.  Human systems are groups of people who come together and form a particular way of operating.  A family, a class at school, a community of people, a department in an organization, a management team, a country or region are all systems.  A system is always a part of a larger system. For example a team is a part of a department that is a part of an organization that is a part of a region within a country. There are systems within systems; patterns affecting patterns.