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    Learning

    Slime Molds Are Systems Thinkers Too...

    When you picture things that think, a slime mold probably wouldn't be the first organism to jump to mind. However, research has shown that you don't necessarily need a brain to think; in other words, non-neural organisms can think. Previously, we discussed how chemotaxis is an inherently DSRP-based process which allows bacteria and cells to make distinctions, build systems, recognize relationships, and take perspectives. As research has shown, slime molds can do DSRP too. 

    • Elena Cabrera
      Elena Cabrera
    DSRP

    DSRP in Non-Neural Life Forms and Nonliving Compounds

      Like a pack of wolves, tiny bacteria band together to hunt their evasive prey. In the soil underfoot, a nematode (“round worm”) avoids a deadly chemical. A cell runs toward oxygen to take part in photosynthesis and make the planet habitable by humans[1]. Brightly colored water droplets animate and chase each other across a glass landscape[2]. These are a few of the amazing microscopic dramas that occur just out of range of sight. Microbes and even non-living molecules use DSRP to sense and respond to their environment in a process called chemotaxis.

    • Derek Cabrera, PhD
      Derek Cabrera, PhD
    Teaching

    Teach Your Child to Think

    There are moments in life when we instinctively know that our life is changing and that a corollary transformation of ourselves is underway. I am sure that every parent remembers with great clarity the moment that the totality of becoming a parent hit them. Never is there such a crystallization of absolute joy and heart stopping fear. The enormity of the responsibility of parenthood weighs on us before a child arrives in our home. Yet, we embrace the joy, face that fear, and take the responsibility head on to do what our instincts tell us to do as biological beings raising our young.

    • Laura Cabrera, PhD
      Laura Cabrera, PhD
    Culture

    Core Tenets of Organizational Culture

    This post is an excerpt from Chapter 6 of Flock Not Clock. Members of your organization will share a large number of mental models, all of varying importance and centrality to the organization and its success. So what are the most important mental models—the pillars of your culture? Where do you focus first and foremost? Organizational success depends on sharing the right mental models, ones that are complexity-friendly and promote learning and adaptation.

    • Derek & Laura Cabrera
      Derek & Laura Cabrera
    Learning

    Learn by Example

    One of the specific and practical things you can do to build a culture of mental models is to get the entire leadership team to assume another as leaders of learning. The CEO must also serve as a Chief Learning Officer (CLO). This dual role is required not just of CEOs but of any leader across the organization. If managers make learning a priority, others will see it as a priority, too. Effective leaders are skilled “lead learners” adroit at inculcating culture (facilitating shared understanding of key mental models).

    • Derek & Laura Cabrera
      Derek & Laura Cabrera
    Emotional Intelligence

    Slider: Perfection Paralysis

    The term cognitive slider was coined by Derek Cabrera to communicate “a relatively small, nourishing or ‘meaty’ mental model” for use in increasing one’s prosocial or emotional intelligence. This blog is part of a set of blogs under the tag "sliders." Be sure to check out the tag to read them as a group and learn how sliders are at play and can help us in our everyday lives. Over the years, I’ve worked with many students and folks who are new to the workforce. I must say, working with a team of young, passionate professionals who still believe they can change the world for the better (and likely will) is one of the best parts of my job. 

    • Derek Cabrera, PhD
      Derek Cabrera, PhD

    Systems Thinking version 4.0

    Prominent scholars in the field accept that the history and development of systems thinking has occurred in "waves" as originated by Flood, Jackson, and Keyes[1][2] and built on by Midgley, et. al.[3][4][5] This metaphor was extended in the late '90s early '00s with Cabrera[6] [7] and Midgley [8] and the suggestion of a 4th Wave. The “waves” have proven to be a useful and powerful conceptual, historical, and pedagogical model (as long as we are aware of periodization bias and what’s-nextism bias). For a more in-depth review of the "waves" see Cabrera[6].

    • Derek Cabrera, PhD
      Derek Cabrera, PhD
    Logic

    Embrace And/Both Logic

    This post is an excerpt from Chapter 7 of Systems Thinking Made Simple.  A New Kind Of Logic There is always an underlying logic implicit in both informal and formal systems thinking methods. Making the logic explicit leads to clarity of thought and deeper understanding of concepts. Logic is any system of principles that guides one’s thinking. It need not be formalized or even conscious. All of us use logic every day without an awareness of what it is or where it came from. Systems thinking as a method also has an underlying logic.

    • Derek & Laura Cabrera
      Derek & Laura Cabrera
    Systems Engineering

    Leapfrog Leaders

    "Leapfrog Leaders" written by Drs. Derek Cabrera, Laura Cabrera and Hise Gibson applies existing knowledge about the elements of systems thinking to a widely used decision making framework called SOT. SOT stands for Strategic, Operational, and Tactical - which are are thought to be the three levels of problem solving. More specifically, this paper offers readers insight into the skills needed at each level of decision making; as well as how to develop them through an understanding and application of the basics of systems thinking and leadership.

    • Staff
      Staff
    DSRP Dynamics

    Jig: System Of Relationships

    In our jig series, we have explored many jigs such as a Barbell Jig, which combines the patterns R, D and S to create new molecular structures. In this post, we explore the "System of Relationships" jig or "S-of-R". A system of relationships is a part-whole system where the parts are relationships. Usually, (although not always) the relationships act together in some way to make up a meaningful system (as opposed to just being parts of a system of relationships without any dynamical properties or similarities). In other words, it is a jig where a set of relationships work together to form a system. 

    • Elena Cabrera
      Elena Cabrera
    DSRP Dynamics

    Jig: XY Graph

     Excerpt from the book: Systems Thinking Made Simple, Chapter 8  This blog is part of a set of blogs under the tag "cognitive jigs." Be sure to check out the tag to read them as a group and learn how cognitive jigs are at play in our everyday lives. Graphs are immensely useful in every discipline of knowledge. Understanding DSRP not only reveals the implicit structure of graphs but also allows us to 

    • Derek & Laura Cabrera
      Derek & Laura Cabrera