Systems Thinking

What is Systems Thinking?

Systems thinking is a process of discovery and diagnosis aimed at examining the underlying causes of problems being faced in business, government and society today.   With a focus on examining the whole system in which the problem occurs, systems thinking addresses issues related to the fact that local decision-making and individual autonomy may lead to management anarchy, unless managers can account for the interconnections and long-term side effects of these local decisions. It is not that autonomy and local decision-making are inherently "bad"; rather it is that in complex systems these decisions can have implications that are far removed from the immediate actions in space and time.   Identifying and understanding these ramifications are often critical in designing policies that work for us and not against us in the long-run.