Seeing Systems: Unlocking the Mysteries of Organizational Life

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Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2007 - Business & Economics - 272 pages
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Seeing Systems is the most accessible, penetrating book available on the dynamics of systems. In it, Barry Oshry explains why so many efforts at creating more satisfying and productive systems end in disappointment, and proposes an entirely new framework for dealing with human behavior. Oshry shows us how teams of top executives regularly fall into turf battles with one another; why organizational improvement efforts inevitably create tensions between the "good" cooperative workers and the "bad" resistant ones; how marriages seemingly "made in heaven" disintegrate. Oshry demonstrates how these breakdowns in organizations result from our blindness to the human systems of which we are a part. Finally, he shows how powerful, productive, and satisfying partnerships are created when we are able to recognize and stop these destructive "dances," and create new ones in which we understand and are respectful of one another and can work in productive partnership. Seeing Systems takes us to a whole new level of understanding ourselves as human beings.
 

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Contents

Preface to the Second Edition
xi
Overcoming System Blindness
xii
Act I Seeing the Big Picture
1
Act II Seeing Patterns of Relationship
61
Act III Seeing Patterns of Process
129
Act IV Seeing Uncertainty
217
The Next ActSeeing More
259
A Continuing Revolution
261
Notes
267
About the Author
271
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Barry Oshry is the founder of Power + Systems, Inc., developer of the Power Lab and the Organization Workshop on Creating Partnership, and the author of Leading Systems.

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