Systems thinking and startups – any ideas

Someone on twitter asked me about the application of systems thinking to startups, specifically:

any case study of applying systems thinking for developing a new product on a small scale within a short time frame
Or simply systems thinking applied by startups

It’s a fair question and setting out to look for some answers reminded me why people often castigate systems thinking as simplistic and limited – some half-regurgitated systems dynamics, Senge, vague links to Deming, ‘service design’, and Theory of Constraints, mentions of Ackoff and maybe a token ‘wilder’ systems thinker (in this case, funnily enough, John Gall) – it’s not that there isn’t value there – the links below often present some solid ideas, well. But I can’t find anything really neat and solid in this space.

What I would recommend is a good look at the core underlying dynamics of organisation, as presented by the VSM – and

And (explicitly covering some of the above as well as systems thinking, and only partially systems thinking, with a strong focus on public services), look for what is interesting in the RedQuadrant reading list –

All contributions on this specific topic welcome!

Articles I found:

Applying basic systems dynamics thinking: (another version of same

And more:

Ackoff and Fifth Discipline-inspired ‘organic, social system’ (then Deming and H. Thomas Johnson)

A little bit of modelling and organisation/environment fit (framed as ‘customer’)

Another one which says Lean Startup is insufficient, and gestures at ‘systems’ as holistic thinking:

Simple opinion piece on non-linearity and looping thinking:

Think about the ‘wider systems’ impact of your startup

Five recommended systems thinking books (a couple of nice surprises in there)