Systems thinking

Systems thinking approach

Systems thinking is an approach to creating real change by identifying the structures that most influence change in complex situations and understanding the connections and interactions of various factors. Rather than seeing the visible part of the problem from a short-sighted or superficial basis, we understand the whole picture as a connection of various elements, see the essential cause, and do the most to avoid adversely affecting other fields and the future, and think of ways to create effective solutions.

When working on a system, the system has its own purposes and rules, and even if you take measures without considering them, the system usually "resists" those measures. Systems thinking aims at anticipating this resistance, deal with it appropriately, and design solutions with an awareness of a widespread impact.

Also, when a problem occurs, it is easy to think that the cause is external, such as "the external environment is bad" or "that person caused it to happen". In reality, many organizations and people behave better in the same environment, and certain relationships are also the product of that interaction. So how do you become part of that system? It is important to recognize whether or not you would be able to explore connections with yourself, think about the impacts and efforts you have, and create the desired changes yourself.

By mastering systems thinking, you will be able to create true solutions and accelerate change. Systems thinking is very useful not only for thinking about what kind of element triggers the problem before you, but also for communications within and between departments, within and outside the company. In the world, companies of various sizes such as Mastercard, DuPont, GM, DEC, etc., are introducing systems approaches. These adopters can radically rethink their strategies, improve their operations continuously and discontinuously, and eliminate large wastes from partial optimization to the holistic development of the organization aligned with its mission.

Systems thinking provides new perspectives and useful tools in these situations.

  • Business strategy planning and execution in a complex business environment
  • Aiming for total optimization from a comprehensive perspective on organizational management by department and function
  • Practicing diversity in corporate social responsibility
  • Communication that builds a common understanding among diverse stakeholders

Iceberg model

Systems thinking process