11 Laws of Systems

11 Laws of Systems



11 Laws of Systems

Read the 11 laws of systems spelled out in Lecture 1- 3 and the web article. Provide an example, from your personal or professional experience, that you feel demonstrates each one. There is no specific length requirement for this assignment. However, each law needs to be addressed.

This needs to be in APA format.


The Fifth Discipline, The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization, Peter Senge

The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook, Strategies and Tools for Building A Learning Organization Harmony Incorporated Interactive Learning Laboratories Inc.

The 11 laws of the Fifth Discipline have been reproduced here verbatim and were taken from The Fifth Discipline, by Peter Senge, pages 57-67.

Data Analytics

The amount of change that has been and is taking place in the health care system and the issues of cost, quality, and access, demand that we begin to think about how we meet the challenges of the healthcare needs of the population in new and different ways. One does not have to look far to realize that the healthcare delivery and financing systems are disorganized, fragmented, uncoordinated and leave a great deal to be desired. The world we have made as a result of the level of thinking we have done thus far, creates problems we cannot solve at the same level at which we created them.

Albert Einstein

In other words, we need to shift our focus and thinking to see the issues anew and to come up with new ways to address them. According to the world of politics, all politics are local. In healthcare, all health care is local. Practically speaking, that means the issues facing the delivery of health care can and need to be solved where services are provided. In some instances, local may mean at the national level, especially, if it is national health policy that is being debated and decided.

The evolution of Primary Medical Homes, Accountable Care Organizations, Population Health, Pay for Performance, Value-Based Care, Big Data, and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act are driving unprecedented change. To cope with this change and to move proactively into the future we need to change the way we look at things, so the things we look at change.

To that end, the healthcare leaders of today and tomorrow are going to need to understand and embrace design, innovation, systems thinking, and data analytics. This is a never-ending journey with no final destination. In many ways, the journey is the destination. That is not to say, that there will not be accomplishments and breakthroughs at all levels of the delivery system. There will be. However, it is to say, that meeting the healthcare needs of the population of the United States, and the planet, will bring forth challenges and opportunities that are not on anyone’s radar screen.

This is where the disciplines of design, innovation, systems thinking and data analytics, enter the picture. During the course, students will be introduced to these disciplines and be asked to begin applying them to real-world issues facing healthcare. Throughout the master’s program, we will build upon these disciplines, to help prepare students for the challenges of today and tomorrow.

Design and Innovative Thinking

We will explore and use the work from the d.school, Institute of Design at Stanford University, throughout the semester. This includes but is not limited to the following topics:

The Heart of Innovation

From Design Thinking to Creative Confidence

From Fear to Courage

From Blank Page to Insight

From Planning to Action

From Duty to Passion

Creatively Confident Groups

Creative Confidence to Go

Embrace Creative Confidence

Systems Thinking

The work of Peter Senge’s Fifth Discipline Preview the document will give us insights into Systems Thinking and help us begin to see circles of influence within life and organizations and not simply linear cause and effect relationships.

The following aspects of systems thinking will be explored over the next eight weeks.

Systems Thinking

Mental Models

Personal Mastery

Shared Vision

Team Learning

Systems Thinking

Systems thinking helps us see patterns and learn to reinforce or change them effectively. Unfortunately, we usually focus on isolated parts of a system instead and then wonder why our efforts at solving problems or perpetrating success fail. Systems thinking also fuses the other four disciplines into a coherent whole that keeps them from turning into fads or gimmicks, which is why it is the all-important “fifth” discipline.

Paradoxes crop up regularly in life and in organizational life. The time of your greatest growth is the best moment to plan for harder times. The greatest floods represent the time when you must be most careful about conserving water. The policies which gain the most from your position may ultimately drain your resources most quickly. The harder you strive for what you want, the more you may undermine your own chances of achieving it. System principles like these are meaningful not so much in themselves, but because they represent a more effective way of thinking and acting. Incorporating them into your behavior requires what David McCamus, former chairman and CEO of Xerox Canada, calls “peripheral vision”: the ability to pay attention to the world as if through a wide-angle, not a telephoto lens, so you can see how your actions interrelate with other areas of activity.

The 11 laws of systems are listed below. In-depth explanations for the laws of systems, can be found in Attachment

Preview the document.

Today’s problems come from yesterday’s solutions.

The harder you push, the harder the system pushes back.

Behavior grows better before it grows worse.

The easy way out usually leads back in.

The cure can be worse than the disease.

Faster is slower.

Cause and effect are not closely related in time and space.

Small changes can produce big results, but the areas of highest leverage are often the least obvious.

You can have your cake and eat it too, but not at once.

Dividing an elephant in half does not produce two small elephants.

There is no blame.

In summary, systems’ thinking is:

Seeing circles of influence, not just straight lines

Understanding how underlying structures reoccur again and again and are not just one-time events

Seeing the whole rather than the parts and that this whole is greater than the sum of the parts

Seeing people as empowered and active creators of their reality, rather than helpless and reactive victims

Seeing interrelationships and patterns instead of thinking in a linear cause and effect way

Seeing how actions reinforce and balance one another rather than seeing than just seeing events and details

Seeing that underlying structures influence individuals, teams and organizational performance

Knowing that a system develops to the extent that it supports and is in harmony with the larger system of which it is a part

Using leverage points for change which:

Result in qualitative self-reinforcing shift in performance

Are long-term

Are often contrary to existing mental models

Are not necessarily connected to the symptoms in space or time

Systems thinking helps us to understand why conventional solutions are failing and where higher leverage actions may be found.

Peter M. Senge

Mental Models

We understand the world and take action in it based on notions and assumptions that may reside deeply in the psyche. We may not be aware of the effect these models have on our perception and behavior, yet they have the power to hold us back or move us forward. Our mental models determine not only how we make sense of the world, but how we take action. Chris Argyris, who worked with mental models for forty years, put it this way: “Although people do not [always] behave congruently with their espoused theories [what they say], they do behave congruently with their theories-in-use [their mental models].

Mental models are the images, assumptions, and stories, which we carry in our minds of ourselves, other people, institutions, and every aspect of the world. A mental model is our view of the world-one which we create and confirm.

Like a pane of glass framing and subtly distorting our vision, mental models determine what we see. Our fundamental beliefs and values are mental models. Every day, we make decisions and behave according to our mental models, often without thinking consciously about it. Human beings cannot navigate through the complex environments of the world without cognitive “mental maps”; and all of these mental maps, by definition, are flawed in some way.

Mental models are usually tacit, existing below the level of awareness; they are often untested and unexamined.

They are generally invisible to us until we look for them.

As we create the healthcare system of the future, becoming aware of our mental models and how they influence our perceptions of what is possible, becomes increasingly important.

In summary, Mental Models

Deeply held internal images, pictures or dialogue about who I am and how the world works.

Usually incomplete, non-systemic and held as “truth”.

Simple generalizations about how people operate and their motivation.

Assumptions and complex theories about how the world works and why.

Beliefs that we hold dear that explain what we see, what we experience and what we think is truth.

What we see and how we evaluate what we see.

Determine how we take action in the world.

Thoughts that need to be surfaced and reframed.

A powerful impact on personal, team and organizational learning and development.

With increased awareness of our mental models we become increasingly aware of the ways in which we continually construct our views of the world. We see assumptions and practices that have gone unquestioned for years and perhaps begin to imagine alternatives.

Peter M. Senge

Data Analytics

Data Analytics is the key to Population Health Management. It brings together claims data and clinical data in new and meaningful ways. Health systems will never achieve population health management if they continue to use only claims data or clinical data to analyze patient populations. Neither type of data provides the necessary depth of information when used alone. The solution is to combine claims and clinical data. While this process will not be easy, it is necessary if providers and payers want to achieve the three goals of population health management: improved outcomes, increased patient safety, and decreased costs.