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Managing Complex Systems

Thinking Outside the Box

Managing Complex Systems by Howard Eisner
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Nine innovative methods to think outside the box and solve complexsystem problems

Managing Complex Systems provides specific tools and guidanceneeded to be a more creative and innovative thinker. Following theauthor's methodology, the reader will be better able to devise andimplement nontraditional solutions to seemingly intractable complexproblems. By challenging the reader to think in new and creativeways, the book offers a road map to success, whether measured interms of competitive advantage, greater market share, improvedproductivity, or higher profits, all based upon better solutions todifficult problems.

The first four chapters set the foundation for creative thinking byexploring the nature of large-scale systems and complexity,thinking inside and outside the box, and examples of how aninventive mind solves problems in both management and scientificdomains. Subsequent chapters address nine focused methods that theauthor has formulated to help the reader think outside thebox:
* Broaden and generalize
* Crossover
* Question conventional wisdom
* Back of the envelope
* Expanding the dimensions
* Obversity
* Remove constraints
* Thinking with pictures
* Systems approach

Real-life examples are provided for each method that demonstratehow the approach enhances problem solving and decision making insystem development and management. Following the discussion of thenine methods, the author examines group decision making as well asadditional creative thinking procedures devised by otherresearchers, including references that assist in exploring thesemethods in greater detail. The author ends with a wrap-up chapterthat includes a test to help readers practice their tendenciestoward creative thinking skills and action with respect to solvingreal-world problems.

The nine methods discussed in this book have broad applicabilityand can be used successfully by managers with a wide range ofresponsibilities in business and technology. For anyone who istired of the same old approach with the same old results, this bookis essential reading.
Wiley; November 2005
ISBN 9781118006696
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Title: Managing Complex Systems
Author: Howard Eisner
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