Are you seeing an ecosystem or and echo-system?

Are you seeing an ecosystem or an echo-system?

In systems thinking the purpose of modelling the world is to better understand the forces of influence, their linear and non-linear effect on each other, patterns of these relationships and how it all leads to the problem or behavior you want to investigate and/or influence.

You can do this by taking a step back and asking “what leads this to happen?”. E.g. If you are trying to understand the design of a car engine, then the cylinder head, piston or crankshaft might be less important. These are elements of the engine, they are the result of the engine having to solve something that is pushing at it from the outside. And you might find yourself looking more at things like the thermo dynamics of fuel, different demands based on if it’s a race car or a family car or local government regulations.

When trying to design a system to represent something like why you are selling more or less of your products. If you find the way you are organized, your revenue model, products or features as central components in your system you might be designing an echo-system of yourself rather than trying to understand the bigger ecosystem you are a part of.

You are usually not the center of the system, you are only one part of it (and sometimes you are not even a part of it). But, if your systems map is to narrow you might find it describes you more than the bigger picture (and I would advise to take a step back).

Powers of ten, Eames,



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