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The Emerging Vision - What is HSD?

Human Systems Dynamics (HSD) is a collection of concepts and tools that help make sense of the patterns that emerge from chaos when people work and play together in groups, families, organizations, and communities.

HSD uses metaphors from the physical, mathematical, and computer sciences to help practitioners understand what is happening in the everyday dynamical interactions in organizations and groups. The concepts are grounded in science, but they continue to emerge as we explore the complex behaviors of human systems. In spite of their application to complex and challenging fields, these metaphors and applications are simple to understand and highly useful.

HSD helps you see and influence patterns in human relationships. When people interact at work or play, complex patterns emerge. HSD tools help you cope with those patterns when:

  • Resources are tight and demand is high
  • Your old tools and techniques fall short
  • Players are many, diverse, or constantly changing
  • Culture and/or organizational habits are obsolete
  • Too much or too little control makes people crazy
  • There are so many moving parts you don’t know where to start

No standard intervention works in every situation. HSD uses complexity science to open multiple options for action. It embraces the traditional approaches you know, offers new tools and techniques, and adds new insights into why some interventions are successful and others are not. With HSD, you view situations from a systemic level. You move beyond symptoms to address complex causal relationships for individuals, teams, organizations, and communities. You learn to use many different tools to see and influence patterns as they emerge.

Who can benefit from using HSD?

  • Professionals in organization development and human resources
  • Internal and external consultants, facilitators, coaches and trainers
  • Agents for change in any field that requires working well with people to achieve goals

We continue to explore the methods and models of HSD because it offers insights and opportunities for action to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of individuals and organizations in times of radical change.

The work of HSD is currently being applied in such diverse areas as organization development, peace making/conflict resolution, education, evaluation, performance management, leadership, and personal growth/development. Practitioners around the world are using the principles of HSD to enrich their work, teach clients and students, and expand the effectiveness of their individual fields of practice.

Read about becoming certified in HSD