What Is System Thinking?
“Systems Thinking” is a framework for:
Looking at something as a “system” and understanding how all the components of that system contribute to achieving whatever result it is supposed to accomplish.
For example, the process of washing clothes in a washing machine depends on:
- The type of detergent,
- The type of fabric softener,
- The need to operate the washing machine properly, and
- The need to clean the washing machine drum periodically, etc. to achieve the desired result of having fresh-smelling clothes.
Why Is Systems Thinking Important?
Here’s a dialog I had with my wife that illustrates this:
Wife: I will never buy another Brand X washing machine again!
Me: Why is that?
Wife: The clothes don’t smell fresh!
What’s wrong with that picture?
People often rush to judgment like that without fully analyzing a situation. Sometimes they make a hasty assessment based on personal bias that’s not very objective. Think about it – in this situation,
- There are many things that might cause the clothes to not smell fresh
- So, it’s probably premature to blame the washing machine and all models of washing machines built by Brand X so quickly
- But people do that all the time.
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