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Systems Thinking
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  • Systems Thinking is not a solution to a problem, it is an approach to maximising the probablility of doing the right thing in the right way.

    A major feature of the Systems Thinking approach is that it treats many of the characteristics of a system as emergent properties. These are properties that do not exist in the components of the system but exist because of teh structure and relationships between the components of the system.

    Systems Thinking promotes the development of a structured approach to tackling complex and wicked problems. There is no single structured approach. 

    Systems Thinking, without Systems Thinkers, will fail.
        It is not the process, it is the approach, that matters.
        You cannot train managers to be System Thinkers.
        There are no repeatable processes in System Thinking – every Complex and Wicked problem is different.
        At best there is a common approach - question everything, identify all assumptions and validate them.

    Systems Thinkers will probably succeed, with or without an overt Systems Thinking approach.

    Systems Thinking is only one of many different ways of solving a problem. The most fundamental issue is ensuring that the approach matches the problem. This, in itself is a problem.

    There are (at least) three approaches to Systems Thinking

    See Strategy, Problem Solving and Systems Thinking for more about the use of Systems Thinking in Strategy devlopment

    See Governance and Systems Thinking

    Systems Thinking is seen as a part of Systems Theory. Good old Wikipedia is a good place to start as it can be used as a portal to a wide range of material

    Bernard Robertson-Dunn,
    24 March 2011