A discipline for seeing wholes. It is a framework for seeing interrelationships rather than things, patterns of changes rather than “static snapshots,” and the structures that underlie complex situations, as well as for discerning high from low leverage change.
A colleague likes to observe that, “Beneath complicated lies complicated . . . beneath simplicity lies complexity.” Systems thinking is the key to making this leap. Systems thinking is the basis for making seemingly complex subject matter simple. It is the basis for “connecting the dots.” It is the basis for discerning how apparent unrelated elements are actually quite interdependent. It is the basis for seeing how the parts add up to the whole, how individuals come together to form a team, how teams come together to form a work area, and how work areas come together to form an organization.
In brief, systems thinking is the basis for harnessing the full potential of the elements that comprise the organization