In systems thinking, increases in understanding are believed to be obtainable by expanding the systems to be understood, not by reducing them to their elements. Understanding proceeds from the whole to its parts, not from the parts to the whole as knowledge does.
Russell L. Ackoff
Organizational life is a like a spider’s web and very complex. As a leader, it is virtually impossible to have one specific method to finding solutions for recurrent problems. When you are a part of an organization you may find that you have a challenge and eventually you find a solution to solve the challenge. Then suddenly you notice that the old successful patterns of thoughts that assisted you to solve the original challenge is no longer valid. What may have happened is that the old solution has now become a problem. This will require you to come up with a new strategy and a shift in paradigm in order to address the new challenge.
This is where systems thinking becomes an important asset to your ready set of mental tools. Systems thinking focusses on how the behaviour of both individuals and organizations can be influenced and change to face new challenges successfully. Systems Thinking will also focus on recognizing the inter-connectivity amongst the various parts of a system of operation and how these can be synthesized into a successful working system. By mastering the find art of Systems Thinking, leaders can ensure that the ‘whole will be greater than the sum of its parts” and assist in the process of strengthening collaboration. Leaders can use systems thinking to fully appreciate, model, and resolve complex business and human-based issues – without succumbing to unforeseen consequences that might rear its ugly head. When practising systems thinking, leaders will be able to look at challenging situation with a calm disposition and come up with workable solution that does not cause too much disruption to the current system.
The benefits and returns on investment of this seeing systems workshop is that the participants will be trained in a powerful and multidimensional thinking skill set that can help them to identify and remedy chronic, complex problems – by understanding not only the full extent of the nature of the problem, rather why it is happening. Leaders trained in Systems Thinking are better able to use the limited resources strategically for best results. This 2 day result-oriented intensive workshop introduces four distinctive phases of Systems Thinking:
- Learning to see things in systems and how it affects our thinking
- Using journey mapping to under how everything fits into a System
- Taking Action through Systems by strengthening collaboration
- Influencing Behaviour over time to adapt to the System
- Identifying and overcoming team blindness by addressing pain points