Requisite Cognitive Skills for Decisions About Systems – Gary Chicoine

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AbstractThe organisational learning orientation to systems thinking requires managers to think together and share mental models using a variety of related techniques. It is generally recognised that this is no easy matter since the demand for new ways of thinking puts stress on old habits of mind. The purpose of this paper is to show how treating this difficulty as purely a technical problem falls short by overlooking the cognitive dimension of what new events have to happen in the brains of the managers. Cognitive biology gives a starting point to consider the way decision behaviour relates to implicit mental models. The consequences of mental models without feedback and systemic coherence are illustrated by an analysis of faulty thinking in privatisation. A classification of system and feedback types emphasises that, in managing organisations, uni-dimensional systems thinking is not adequate. The requisite multi-dimensional systems thinking requires holistic multi-factor thinking, multi-future thinking combined with causal feedback thinking. A crucial link between practical consulting, applied cognitive science and applied system science is the use of visual facilitation which increasingly makes use of the power of interactive visual representations of mental models behind decisions.

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Welcome to Metabridge Ltd