Systems are everywhere. There are natural systems such as the planet or the human body, there are mental systems such as mathematics or music theory, and there are mechanical systems such as a car or washing machine. The most complex are social systems such as a family, an organisation, a city or a nation. Systems thinking is not new, so there are excellent publicly available resources. These are all under six minutes.

1. Watch a video 2. THEN click on the text below it to flip the card. 3. Consider the main message from that video.

A true story that illustrates systems thinking at the macro level.

(3.09 mins)

Main message

Everything in a system is connected and interrelated. Ignoring this can lead to unintended consequences.

A system is not something you can touch. So when does something become a 'system'?

(4.35 mins)

Main message

Elements are arranged in a specific way in order to perform some collective function that becomes the system as a whole.

The opposite of systems thinking and why this can be a limitation.

(5.41 mins)

Main message

Separate elements are only important or explicable in terms of how they contribute to the whole.

No discipline ‘owns’ systems theory. So where did it come from?

(4.11 mins)

Main message

Systems theory is an abstract framework that can be applied to any domain to help make sense of the world around us.

One application of systems thinking without making a big deal of it.

(0.50 mins)

Main message

Nothing in an organisation happens in isolation and this is very evident in a workplace health and safety context.

Think of a organisation as a system. An oldie but a goodie.

(2.48 mins)

Main message

An organisation is a dynamic open system that can change in response to the environment.