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.
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.
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).
Over the years, different variables/symbols have been used for the same equation. In some cases for good reason, and in other cases solely because, like an English sentence, a mathematical sentence can be read and written in different ways toward the same effect. For example, take the following four equations:
If the right kind of Vision is so important, what explains companies that succeed with no [discernible] Vision? This is an important question we get asked a lot. Vision is a function of all organizations, whether formalized as companies, or informal groups of people such as protesters. Additionally, "good" Visions adhere to the vision-litmus-checks such that:
Dogs are our best friends, but we can't talk to them... we have no common language. But, what if you could use the simple rules of DSRP to teach your dog to communicate with you? This blog and the remarkable videos included illustrates how this is possible when we use the underlying stuctures of systems thinking.
Staff: I'm curious to hear more about the slider, "People As A Means Versus Ends." And when I look at how you've drawn it up (see the map here), it seems to me that this slider has to do with how a person interacts with other people. Can you explain a little bit more about what the basics of the slider?
This blog is part of a set of blogs under the tag "cognitive jigs." Be sure to checkout the tag to read them as a group and learn how cognitive jigs are at play in our everyday lives. Lists are everywhere from the beginning of our life. Simply put, lists are part-whole arrangements of the Systems rule as used in the DSRP Theory.
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.
I discovered Systems Thinking and Systems Mapping less than three months ago. Well, more precisely, I discovered cabreraresearch.org. Diving deep into Derek and Laura’s insightful tools and generous resources, I realized I had known about Systems Mapping for years. I just didn’t know what it was called. Let me explain.
“Systems Thinking” sounds like such a grandiose thing, requiring complicated tools designed to solve complicated problems. But what if there is more (or less) to it? What follows is a short blow-by-blow account of how I solved a small problem using DSRP (Distinctions, Systems, Relationships, Perspectives).
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 and built on by Midgley, et. al. This metaphor was extended in the late '90s early '00s with Cabrera  and Midgley  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.
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.
"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.
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.
This post is an excerpt from Flock Not Clock: Chapter 1. Flawed Mental Model 3: Control Next (in the traditional model), we need a control structure. We need processes because we need to make sure that we understand every single step of a process that has not happened yet and that will constantly be changing.
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