We are surrounded by systems. From schools to traffic to government agencies, systems are interconnected sets of people/things/ideas that are organized in a way that achieves something.

Some systems, such as a bathtub, are quite simple. Others, like the global financial system, are extremely complex. …


A system is an interconnected set of people/things/ideas that is organized in a way that achieves something. We are surrounded by systems: our digestive systems, our bodies overall, schools, our democracy, international trade, a forest ecosystem, global climate.

When systems stop working, there are a handful of predictable ways in…


Despite growing up in Richmond, Virginia, the former capital of the Confederacy, it took living in the San Francisco Bay Area to understand the deep-seated, systemic nature of racism in America’s housing system.

Housing isn’t the sexiest realm of public policy, but it is the cornerstone of countless other systems…


When we hear the word “addiction”, we often imagine drug or alcohol abuse. While substance abuse disorders are absolutely examples of addiction, addiction is also a systemic pattern that appears in many different contexts and settings. …


I’ve written dozens of articles about the power of systems thinking and its applicability to homelessness. To be clear, I am 100% committed to the idea that homelessness is a complex system, and it requires systemic solutions. And at the same time, while I know this to be true intellectually…


In Part 1 of this series, we learned about the basic features of every system — elements, interconnections, and goals. In Part 2, we saw how these features interact with each other through stocks, flows, and feedback loops. In Part 3, we learned that all of these different components tend…


Mark Twain once remarked that “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.” A few years ago I stumbled on an interesting book called The Fourth Turning, which lays out a theory that American history repeats itself in predictable, 80-year cycles of prosperity and catastrophe. …


I have worked on homelessness in the San Francisco Bay Area for almost 10 years. …


A system is an interconnected set of people / things / ideas that is organized in a way that achieves something. We are surrounded by systems — schools, democracy, international trade, forests, cities.

One of the best ways to understand how a system works is to simply draw it out…


It turns out that there are some fairly predictable ways in which the system components described in Part 1 and Part 2 of this series — goals, feedback loops, flows — like to configure themselves. …

Andrew Hening

UC Berkeley MBA and Harvard-recognized culture change leader sharing tools, strategies, and frameworks for untangling complex and messy challenges.

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