Systems Thinking In Organizational Change
Systems thinking in organizational change. Systems thinking has found its way into the work of organization effectiveness analysis, design, change, and improvement. On the upside, it has helped people understand what’s going on with their work and their organizations and helped them to do the right things. On the downside, it has opened the floodgates of jargon and analytical overkill. The concepts and labels pulled from system thinking, however, can provide a very useful framework so people cooperating in organizational change can talk from the same page.
Systems Thinking formalizes the process and provides a method for gaining insight into underlying system dynamics. A Systems Approach sees the organization as a complete system in which even small activities, interventions, or changes in one section have an effect on other sections, and on the organization as a whole.
Here are seven amazing outcomes that you gain from applying systems thinking to personal and professional activities:
- Optimization: With a deeper understanding of the dynamics within a system, optimization is an emergent outcome of systems thinking. It allows organizations and individuals to take full advantage of any element within their system.
- Problem Loving: Rather than avoiding complexity, systems thinking helps individuals discover the exciting opportunities that problems offer for innovation and creative development. Employees become problem lovers, not problem avoiders.
- 3-Dimensional Perspective: A systems approach looks at the whole organism or ecosystem, not the individual parts. This means moving beyond the siloed ‘departments’ and developing a trans-disciplinary understanding of the macro and micro in an interconnected, dynamic way. The world is not flat – developing a wholistic systems view unlocks the power of creativity.
- From Linear to Circular: Human-produced systems are largely linear. We take things from nature, manufacture them into usable goods, and then dispose of them back into holes from where resources were extracted. This approach is reductive and inefficient. A systems approach allows for the circularizing of all products and services so that we design out waste and inefficiencies, plus create more value.
- Failure is Fun: Since there is no blame in a system and everything is interconnected, systems thinkers get excited about the discovery. This is especially true when it’s learned through ‘failure,’ as it helps gain new perspectives that build our creative capacity.
- Interconnectivity: Everything in nature is dynamically interconnected and interdependent, just as humans need each other for success. Creativity and productivity depend on interconnectivity, and systems thinking provides the tools to integrate this into everyday practices.
- Creativity: The more you develop a dynamic understanding of the world, the more creativity your brain starts to develop. Conformity kills creativity; to overcome this crisis, systems thinking activates new neurological development and enables dynamic, divergent thinking.
Follow these tips when it comes to systems thinking in organizational change.