|The Flat Earth-An example of early Systems Thinking|
Systems thinking is a conception of the whole by understanding each of its parts. While we may understand these parts individually a person who has a systems thinking mentality can also see how the parts created something more. A "sum is more than its parts" mentality.
It is often seen as the ability to be in three different perceptions at once and apply systemological concepts in everyday life (Lobanove, 2009). The person can break down and put back together complex systems through appropriate analysis.
How does systems thinking apply in the workplace?
Think of the international supply chain and how each of the manufacturing components work together. From a systems thinking aspect people who can understand these complex chains are able to produce real value through management decisions that leads to better outcomes. (Seong-Am & Dong-Jin, 2005).
To be true masters of systems thinking we shouldn't just see and analyze components but also be able to think beyond these components to possibility. This isn't possible unless we have mastered the ability to "see" the systems from a "birds eye" view.
Improving on the system will require thinking shifts that allow for more flexibility (Pathak, 2005). We must see beyond the system to higher levels of performance and influence.
Systems thinking is about understanding complex global systems that will be needed to keep American businesses moving forward. Business professionals should be able to move beyond understanding and creating efficiency within the system to redesigning aspects of the system to achieve higher levels of performance. With consistent improvement our business managers can improve corporate global performance and reach.
Pathak, R. (2005). Thinking shift of organizational excellence. Global Journal of Flexible Systems Management, 6 (3/4).
Seong-AM, M. & Dong-Jin, K. (2005). Systems thinking ability for supply chain management. An International Journal, 10 (5).
Lobanove, A. (2009). Systems thinking manager. Scientific Technical Informtion Processing, 36 (3).
Permission to Reprint with appropriate attribution-Dr Murad Abel