Summary of Seeing Systems

Unlocking the Mysteries of Organizational Life

Berrett-Koehler, more...

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Seeing Systems book summary
This big-picture view of how organizations and nations work shows how people feel living within these systems.


8 Overall

9 Applicability

9 Innovation

7 Style


Educator, playwright and consultant Barry Oshry’s poetic, allegorical manifesto is unlike any other business book. Drawing from decades of observing and helping dysfunctional organizations, Oshry offers valuable insights and wisdom in this update of his 1995 book. His refreshing, illuminating insights will help leaders and followers shed any mutual antagonism. As you gain understanding from his text, you will see that many behaviors within organizations are automatic or “systemic” and rarely personal. This knowledge equips you to improve the natural dynamics of any group. getAbstract believes you will gain a more complete picture of why relationships work as they do and of how to change systems and yourself for the better.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why organizations and societies generate conflict,
  • How to recognize the diverse perspectives of people in various roles at work and in society, and
  • How to change the natural dynamics of groups to create better “systemic” outcomes.


“System Blindness”
Living in a complex society or working within a large organization often means that you have a limited perspective and an incomplete view of the entire system. People at the top, middle or bottom of an organization – or among its customers – will find that their “systemic...
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About the Author

Author, consultant, educator and playwright Barry Oshry runs Power + Systems Inc., a not-for-profit educational organization, with his wife, who is also his business partner.

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    Nicole Spencer 2 years ago
    Very good overview of how people see their place in society. Useful tips on how to identify and cooperate with people outside of your level.

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