HSD Theory of Change

Linear cause and effect are great when they work. Root causes and logical sequences explain change in mechanical systems. They can even work in some simple, highly constrained human systems. The problem is that they do not help you understand change in highly complex human systems dynamics.

Human systems dynamics brings together the practical foundations of social science methods and the theoretical insights from complex adaptive systems to create a theory of change that is both true and useful.

This resource lays out the theory of change and gives examples about how it is useful with:

  • Individual coaching and personal development
  • Team building and board development
  • Organizational design and development
  • Community coalitions and cross-sector activism

Related Resources

Adaptive Action is an iterative, deceptively simple planning process that allows you to move forward in uncertainty. When you feel like you cannot move forward because you don't know what to do, you can always use Adaptive Action to identify your next wise action.
Human systems dynamics is simple and practical. It also challenges fundamental assumptions about what we can know and how we can act with intention, even under conditions of radical uncertainty.
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