One of the major tools of systems analysis is systems thinking.
Basically, systems thinking is a way of helping a person to view systems from a broad perspective that includes seeing overall structures, patterns and cycles in systems, rather than seeing only specific events in the system.
Another way of looking at it: Systems thinking is a holistic approach that focuses on the way that a system’s constituent parts interrelate and how systems work over time and within the context of larger systems.
The systems thinking approach contrasts with traditional analysis, which studies systems by breaking them down into their separate elements. Systems thinking can be used in any area of research and has been applied to the study of medical, environmental, political, economic, human resources and educational systems, among many others.
This broad view is intended to help you to quickly identify the real causes of issues in organizations and know just where to work to address them.
Many believe that systems thinking requires a shift in mindset, away from linear to circular. The fundamental principle of this shift is that everything is interconnected – not in a spiritual way, but in a biological sciences way.
Essentially, everything is reliant upon something else for survival. Humans need food, air, and water to sustain our bodies, and trees need carbon dioxide and sunlight to thrive. Everything needs something else, often a complex array of other things, to survive.
A systems thinker uses this mindset to untangle and work within the complexity of life on Earth.
Systems thinking also has to do with synthesis, which is the dissection of complexity into manageable components. Synthesis is about understanding the whole and the parts at the same time, along with the relationships and the connections that make up the dynamics of the whole.
Want to learn more? Tonex offers Systems Thinking Training, a 2-day course that covers the theory, rational, tools, and techniques associated with systems thinking. Additionally, this course concentrates on determining the interconnections between the various components of a system and manufacturing them into a coherent perspective of the whole.
For more information, questions, comments, contact us.