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1. What Is a System? And What Is Systems Thinking?

1. What Is a System? And What Is Systems Thinking?

Write 3 Pages in total (One page for each topics)

1. What Is a System? And What Is Systems Thinking?

Donella Meadows, the pioneer of Systems Thinking and author of Thinking in Systems: A Primer, defines a system as “an interconnected set of elements that is coherently organized in a way that achieves something. If you look at that definition closely for a minute, you can see that a system must consist of three kinds of things: elements, interconnections, and a function or purpose” (2008, p. 11). For this Discussion, using Meadows’s definition of a system, consider an organization you are familiar with and post the following:

Provide a brief description of the organization.
Provide two examples of a system within the organization, and describe the elements, interconnections, and purpose for each. (Remember, to be an actual system all three features must be present.)
Now that you have identified some examples of systems within an organization, consider your definition of what systems thinking may entail. Provide a 1-sentence definition.
2. Mental Models

One of a manager’s most important skills is to be able to identify solutions to operational problems and manage corrective actions (change) to improve performance. Many times, it is the latter (change) that becomes the most difficult to manage. This challenge stems from presence of mental models, which are deeply ingrained beliefs, assumptions, and generalizations of how something should work, perform, function, etc. Mental models can have a detrimental effect on implementing change. For this Discussion, consider an organization that you are familiar with and post the following:

Provide a brief description of the organization.
Describe a mental model that you have witnessed and that has interfered with or prevented an improvement process from being implemented.
Finally, give your thoughts about whether you think this mental model can be overcome.
3. Business Skills for Good: Personal Mastery

Becoming an effective leader and business professional requires you to develop a number of skills throughout your career. In this program, you will consider many different business skills—some tangible, and some intangible. And some of those intangible skills, when put into practice, can result in new opportunities for growth and development for yourself, for the organizations where you work, and for others within and outside of your personal and professional community. These Business Skills for Good will be highlighted in various Assessments throughout your MBA program, and in the Assessment for this Competency, you will discuss the role of personal mastery in your leadership development.

Consider how Senge defined personal vision as “the ability to focus on ultimate intrinsic desires, not only the secondary goals” (2006, p. 173). Simply put, personal vision goes far beyond traditional goals and objectives. With this definition in mind, respond to the following:

Define and present your own personal vision.
Briefly relate your personal vision to your ability to become an agent of change within your organization, your family, or your community.


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