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 – http://scio.org.uk/sites/default/files/VSM_ph_db.pdf and http://www.scio.org.uk/resource/vsmg_3/screen.php?page=home
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 – https://drive.google.com/open?id=1zHUp52IRdoiQYoQTdsQDiqFH-xymURV3firstname.lastname@example.org&usp=drive_fs
All contributions on this specific topic welcome!
Articles I found:
Applying basic systems dynamics thinking: https://www.techinasia.com/talk/apply-systems-thinking-startup (another version of same https://www.jotform.com/blog/systems-thinking/)
And more: https://blog.teamweek.com/2019/09/5-advantages-of-systems-thinking/
Ackoff and Fifth Discipline-inspired ‘organic, social system’ (then Deming and H. Thomas Johnson) https://www.strategy-business.com/article/10210?gko=cf094
A little bit of modelling and organisation/environment fit (framed as ‘customer’) https://blog.leanstack.com/your-business-model-is-a-system-and-why-you-should-care-a9c3164c5d3a
Another one which says Lean Startup is insufficient, and gestures at ‘systems’ as holistic thinking: https://innov8rs.co/news/lets-get-real-lean-startup-not-right-everyone/
Simple opinion piece on non-linearity and looping thinking: https://nextconf.eu/2019/02/why-we-need-systems-thinking/#gref
Think about the ‘wider systems’ impact of your startup https://medium.com/maria-01/time-to-burst-techs-bubble-systems-thinking-in-tech-7e60855958a
Five recommended systems thinking books (a couple of nice surprises in there) https://hackernoon.com/5-books-that-ramp-up-your-systems-thinking-ability-74fa76f86dce