Systems and processes are an important part of any organisation. In fact part of the meaning of the word “organisation” is system. When we organise work, we create a system.
The problem with systems is that they often exist in isolation. Different departments have different systems and often none of them talk to each other. In the digital age, mosst organisations collect a mass of data and yet a lot of this information is untapped.
Partly because, as we have said, this information often exists, separated in silos and partly because noone really knows what to do with it.
However, if we look at our systems and the information therin, analyse them, connect them, we will undoubtedly start to see patterns emerge that we can use to improve our understanding.
Of the organisation, its people and its environment. Understand how it behaves, how it reacts and interacts with its environment and how it can be improved. This, of course, is getting us into te area of systems thinking.
Systems thinking is a way of looking at the bigger picture and discerning patterns that might be hidden in complex situations.
Peter Senge describes systems thinking as ‘…a framework for seeing interrelationships rather than things, for seeing patterns of change rather than static “snapshots”.
TechTarget desribes it thus: ‘Systems thinking is a holistic approach to analysis 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.’