What does systems thinking mean to you?

As I continue to explore and learn about systems thinking and how to apply it to the research and development work I do, I have started a short and self-taught course with the Open University on System Thinking in Practice.

I found quite interesting the question that is posed in the introduction of the course:

What does systems thinking mean to you?

As I am formulating my answer, I read the answers of some of the previous students which I have copied below. At the same time, if you have some minutes to spare, I am really interested to hear your answer to that question.

So, over to you now: what does systems thinking mean to you?

Let me know by answering using the Leave a Reply section below the post and thank you for taking the time to answer 🙂

Here are some of the answers posted on the OU course pages:

Frances: ‘Systems thinking is important for me because it helps extend my apparently natural way of thinking, providing tools for handling the complexity more adequately and helping deepen understanding; particularly regarding interactions – where once I would have known they were there but remained unsure of quite how some were operating and affecting the basic ‘central’ scenario. Also, by understanding more of the complexity I find this aspect helps me to retain an open mind on most topics, aids reducing prejudice and helps me work to what I feel may be a more balanced viewpoint.’

John: ‘It [systems thinking] allows me to tackle problems not only in a scientific way but in a holistic way which demonstrates a caring approach to all persons at all levels connected with the problem or system(s) involved.’

Sarah Smith: ‘Systems thinking is important for me because it has given me a new and better way to view complex situations, both in organisations and personally.’

Bob Saunders: ‘I recognise the need to take a holistic view of situations in my field of expertise – project management. So many projects fail because consideration of the human element is omitted, or badly covered by the project manager. “Systems” has helped me to grapple with the complexities.’

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

15 − 3 =