The following seven books are my current recommendations for shifting your thinking into systems mode.
They are probably not what you expect. They are not the usual volumes on Systems Engineering, Systems Analysis or Systems Thinking, which can be easily found on the web. These are books that have changed my way of thinking.
I will eventually comment on the merits of each book, when I can find the time.
- John Maeda, "The Laws of Simplicity - Design, Technology, Business, Life", MIT Press, 2006
- Christopher Alexander (and others), "A Pattern Language - Towns, Buildings, Construction", Oxford University Press 1977
- John Gall, "Systemantics - How Systems Work and especially How They Fail, Wildwood House, London, 1975
- Jake Chapman, "System Failure - why governments must learn to think differently", Demos, 2002
- Henri Petroski, "To Engineer is Human - the role of failure in successful design", Vintage Books, 1992
- Herbert Simon, "The Sciences of the Artificial", MIT Press, 1984
- Robert Axelrod and Michael Cohen, "Harnessing Complexity - Organisational implications of a scientific frontier", The Free Press, 1999
I have restricted myself to these seven (of about 100 books on systems that I have collected), as a realistic reading list for someone with a modest amount of time to spare.