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Systems Thinking Alliance

Feedback Loops, Unravel Loosely and Tightly Coupled Systems

Issue # 2
6 Min Read

In This Issue

Two types of feedback loops play crucial roles in shaping the behaviour: Balancing and reinforcing feedback loops. A balancing feedback loop works to maintain stability. On the other hand, a reinforcing feedback loop amplifies change, leading to either exponential growth or decline.

🚀 Get Ready to Navigate the Universe of Systems Thinking!

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We are incredibly excited about this launch and can’t wait for you to experience it. We believe our new site will not only enrich your understanding of systems thinking but also inspire you to see the world through a different lens.

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Thank you for being part of our journey so far. We look forward to continuing to foster a global community committed to supporting people and organizations in applying systems thinking for sustainable solutions.

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Power of Loosely and Tightly Coupled Systems in Organizational Strategy and Design

In systems thinking, the concepts of “loosely coupled” and “tightly coupled” systems are used to describe the degree of interdependence between different parts of a system.

Tightly coupled systems are characterized by high levels of interdependence, where each component is closely connected and changes in one part can significantly impact the rest of the system. This type of system can be efficient and well-coordinated, but it can also be brittle and vulnerable to cascading failures.

On the other hand, loosely coupled systems have components that operate more independently. Changes in one part of the system have less immediate impact on other parts. These systems offer more flexibility and resilience, as they can adapt and respond to changes without the whole system being disrupted.

In management, understanding these concepts is crucial for decision-making, strategy, and organizational design. Tightly coupled organizations might benefit from strong alignment and consistency but can struggle with change and innovation. Loosely coupled organizations can be more adaptable and innovative, but may face challenges in coordination and alignment.

Choosing the right level of coupling depends on various factors such as the organization’s goals, the environment in which it operates, and the nature of the tasks it performs. Therefore, managers need to strike a balance between tight and loose coupling to optimize performance, adaptability, and resilience



Alexander Bogdanov coined the term “tektology” or “the science of structures” from the Greek word “tekton” which means “builder.”

Tektology is a universal science aimed at unifying all knowledge by studying the organizational principles behind systems. Bogdanov introduced Tektology in the early 20th century, envisioning it as a precursor to modern-day systems theory.

Tektology transcends the boundaries of mere organizational theory, extending to other fields such as biology, social sciences, and physical sciences. It proposes that every system—be it biological, social, or technological—shares common organizational patterns that can be studied and understood for better efficiency and innovation.


Profound Quote from Systems Thinker

Welcome to the latest edition of “The Wisdom Whisper”, our enlightening corner where we delve into inspiring quotes that resonate with Systems Thinking. This week, we’re turning our spotlight on a thought-provoking statement from the legendary inventor, futurist, and systems theorist, Richard Buckminster Fuller.

Fuller said, “If you want to teach people a new way of thinking, don’t bother trying to teach them. Instead, give them a tool, the use of which will lead to new ways of thinking.”

These words echo the very essence of Systems Thinking. As Fuller suggests, it’s not about spoon-feeding knowledge but rather providing the means to unlock a new perspective. By equipping individuals with the right tools – be it a new framework, model, or concept – we empower them to see the world through a different lens. It’s like gifting them a compass to navigate the complex landscape of interconnected systems and relationships.

In this edition of “The Wisdom Whisper”, let’s explore this profound quote further and unravel how it aligns with our mission at the Systems Thinking Alliance. We’ll discuss the tools that can catalyze a shift in mindset and foster a deeper understanding of the intricate webs of cause and effect. Because when we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change.


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