The 6 Sacred Cows of Systems Thinking
Derek Cabrera, PhD
Derek Cabrera (PhD, Cornell) is an internationally known systems scientist and serves on the faculty of Cornell University where he teaches systems thinking, systems leadership, and systems mapping and is Program Director for the Graduate Certification Program in Systems Thinking, Modeling, and Leadership (STML). He is a senior scientist at Cabrera Research Lab. He’s authored 8 books including, Systems Thinking Made Simple and Flock Not Clock.
More posts by Derek Cabrera, PhD
This isn't a blog post, but more of a blog-collection. 6 common things that systems thinkers like to say that are bupkis. We call them sacred cows of systems thinking because it is almost blasphemous to disagree with them, even though most have a much bigger bark than bite. Click on the links below (in the right column) to red the blogs on each sacred cow.
Table: 6 Sacred Cows of Systems Thinking
|Sacred Cow||True or False?||Replacement Cow (and BLOG)|
|1. The whole is more than the
sum of the parts (a.k.a.,
|False||The whole is always precisely
equal to its parts.
|2. All systems have a purpose.||False||The "purpose" of a system is
what it does.
3. Systems thinking is ____
|4. Systems thinking is holistic
(or alternatively, systems
thinking is anti-reductionism)
|5. Everything is connected.||False||Everything is connected, or
6. There is no system out