What is Human Systems Dynamics?
Human Systems Dynamics (HSD) is an emerging field of theory and practice that uses principles from complex adaptive systems to inform action in any social context. The study and application of the principles of HSD help build adaptive capacity in individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities as they look for ways to live and work together in sustainable ways. In HSD, we function according to a set of simple rules that guides our decision making and interactions.
- Teach and learn in every interaction.
- Give and get value for value.
- Seek the true and the useful.
- Attend to the whole, the part, and the greater whole.
- Share your HSD story.
- Engage in joyful practice.
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This site is organized to help you know what HSD is and what it has to offer you in your own journey to build and sustain healthy, resilient relationships at work, at home, and in your communities:
Human Systems Dynamics is a growing and emergent field of study that touches on a wide range of ways to see, understand, and influence patterns of interaction and decision making at all scales of human systems. At its core, however, are a very few, very powerful concepts that frame this new paradigm of thought an action. You can learn about the HSD core concepts and their applications in human systems. This section includes a glossary and links to other online resources that will help you learn about HSD, as well as the HSD Institute and all it has to offer.
Our clients face huge challenges as they navigate today’s turbulent landscapes. They are overwhelmed by the diversity of thought, culture, opportunities, barriers, and human potential that faces them everyday. They stand against forces from multiple sources inside and outside their organizations—even as their own decisions have impact in places and ways beyond that they think they can know and control. Finally they work in a constant stream of data, information, and feedback that contributes to their learning and to the complexity of the work they face every day. Based on our combined years of consulting and service in public and private sectors, we defined this list of challenges that emerge as our clients have struggled to build organizational capacity for dealing with their organizational and professional challenges. Check out the Challenges page to see a list of the basic challenges we work with clients to address. Each link then takes you to a page of specific information that explains how we see the challenge play itself out in human systems, a list of tasks for leaders who want to meet that challenge, a list of core capacities necessary for accomplishing those tasks, and a list of models and methods we associate more specifically with that particular challenge. As you move from one challenge to another, you will recognize the overlap in capacities and models and methods.
- Arenas of HSD Practice
One of the gifts HSD offers is its unique ability to explain underlying dynamics of human interaction. This has played itself out in two key ways as practitioners and professionals from around the world have come to use HSD in their work. HSD has contributed to highly effective practice in many different areas of personal and professional performance and academic study. HSD Professionals come from a variety of domains and sectors.
HSD helps us understand how a number of interventions and programs work, providing us with a more powerful path for inquiry and intervention. Associates who have been trained in HSD also use a number of useful and powerful interventions as tools for understanding and shaping patterns in systems.