The Art of Thinking In Systems: Summary and Notes

A new way of thinking- with system thinking, you can analyze things around you with the sole purpose of improving yourself.

Dan Silvestre
8 min readJan 1, 2021


“System thinking is being able to examine and analyze ourselves and things around us with the express purpose of being able to improve upon them”

Rating: 6/10

Related: Thinking in Systems: A Primer, The Great Mental Models: General Thinking Concepts, The Elements of Thinking in Systems

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The Art of Thinking In Systems Short Summary

The Art of Thinking In Systems by Steven Schuster is a book that introduces a new way of thinking called “system thinking”. Systems are physical and abstract things that react in relation to one another. With system thinking, you can analyze things around you with the sole purpose of improving yourself. The negative point is that it falls short of diving deeper into the topic of system thinking.

What Are Systems?

A system is anything that has interacting and interconnected parts.

The human body is an example of a system. It reacts to the environment and is composed of many interdependent parts such as the brain, digestive, and circulatory systems.

What Is System Thinking?

“Systems thinking is the art and science of making reliable inferences about behavior by developing an increasingly deep understanding of underlying structure.”

System thinking takes into account the interconnectedness of things as opposed to looking at things as being independent of each other. In other words, it puts a focus on the relationship between the different parts of the whole.

With system thinking, it’s easier to deal with complex problems because system thinking asks that you look at the bigger picture first.

Compared to traditional forms of thinking, system thinking represents a paradigm shift.

“It is impossible to know the behavior of a system just by knowing the parts that make up that system.”

The Elements of System Thinking



Dan Silvestre

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