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WHAT IS SYSTEMS THINKING?
“Systems thinking is a management discipline that concerns an
understanding of a system by examining the linkages and
interactions between the components that comprise the entirety
of that defined system, as well as perceives that same system as
an interactive component of something bigger than itself.”
WHY IS THAT IMPORTANT?
Given the significant social, economic & environmental challenges in today’s world
of work, many systems - such health, housing, education, social care etc - are at
breaking point and in the process of significant transformation.
Given that many of these systems are connected and highly interdependent, it
helps if leaders and their teams understand the importance of systems thinking,
systemic responses & collaborative approaches that help many systems to
transform simultaneously without losing sight of the user experience.
It also helps for leaders to understand how our psychology & neurology affect our
ability to collaborate with others, and techniques to overcome these barriers.
LEARNING TO THINK BIG & ACT SMALL
Systems thinking helps leaders to think big, however at the same time it is
important to act small. The curse of a systems thinker who only considers the whole
and not the parts can seek to generalise and stereotype too much, leading to one-
size-fits-all solutions that do not connect with people’s lived experiences.
The key is to learn to think big, but act small. A helpful technique is to apply
boundary thinking and engage with those who you want to benefit from any
10 COMMON CHARACTERISTICS
OF A SYSTEMS THINKER
1. Insatiable Curiosity & Courageousness to prove themselves wrong
2. Happy to not know the answer
3. Intuitive Pattern/Trend Spotter
5. Working at the Edges (not the Centre)
6. Attracted to Ambiguity
7. Turn Uncertainty into Opportunities
8. Flow & Flexibility
10. Reluctance to Lead
Want to read more? Click “10 Common Characteristics of Systems Leaders”
IF YOU WANT TO LEARN MORE ...
Want to learn more about Systems Thinking, Collaboration and Innovation?
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