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Shifting the Burden Story Summary (Essay Sample)


Create Your Own “Shifting the Burden” Story


Objective: The purpose of this lesson is for you to describe a personal mental model

using the “shifting the burden” archetype.


1. Create a half-page “shifting the burden” story based upon one of your own

personal life experiences other than work. Your story must be told from the “I” or

“we” perspective. Do not use an organizational issue in your company or your coworkers.


2. Succinctly explain the issue you are addressing?

3. Explain the problem symptom?

4. Explain the symptomatic solution?

5. Explain the fundamental solution to the problem?

6. Explain the symptomatic solution “side effect”?

7. Create a companion “shifting the burden” causal loop diagram that clearly

illustrates the essence of your story.

8. Explain the cause and effect relationships between the key systemic variables

included in your causal loop diagram.

9. Construct a behavior-over-time graph that charts the movement of the key

variables relative to each other as a function of time (see page 109).


A5-STB: Shifting the burden
Shifting the burden story summary
Increasing bills left unpaid is a problem that people may face in their life, from student loans to utility bills, hospital bills and even business loans. In my case, I changed my lifestyle after moving to a bigger city and the increased burden of paying bills became a problem. To fix the issue I piled more credit card debt but this was only a temporary measure. I had to evaluate the situation and note that I was now living beyond my means. Since conspicuous consumption and advertisement may influence one’s spending habits there was a need to cut down on my expenditure as a more long-term solution.
2. Succinctly explain the issue you are addressing?
Since I was deep in debt, I needed to find a solution since it was becoming harder to pay my bills. Without a fundamental change in my spending habits it became difficult to improve my situation. As such, the quick fix solution was to add more debt in the hope of meting my immediate needs but this only put in a worsen situation.
3. Explain the problem symptom?
The problem symptom is the inability to pay bills, further straining my financial situation and this necessitated my search for a short-term and later on long-term solution.
4. Explain the symptomatic solution?
The quick fix solution was to borrow more and increase the credit card debt in order to meet the most pressing financial needs especially to pay the utility bills and rent. Typically, people shift the burden when dealing with the problem resulting i...
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