The book explains at length what is a system and the significance of systems thinking. Feedback is fundamental in the Systems. No feedback, no system. The book is divided into clear divisions viz. The concept of system explained at length, the feedback system, mental models, learning as a system, thinking as a system and finally drawing conclusions.
The book examines the Loops of Feedback– reinforcing and balancing, explaining and illustrating with examples. The book goes on to examine how the reinforcing feedback loops, or positive feedback loops, occur when an. initial change is reinvested to further that change in the future. The bigger the initial push, the bigger the consequential push.
They build momentum. Balancing feedback loops, or negative feedback loops, on the other hand are circles of cause and effect that counter a change with a push in the opposite direction. Balancing feedback loops bring stability or stubbornness to a system (depending on how it is perceived), so they are essential and pervasive. The basic structure of a balancing loop involves a gap between the goal (or desired level) and the actual level.
Balancing processes always try to bring conditions into equilibrium. The book explores the mental models and the factors that influence them. It refers to the mental models as floaters we see in our eyes. It was fascinating to read some of the examples listed out which the common man would have discarded as read several time. A must read, possess it and use it in academia