Systems Thinking Problem Solving

One may see a problem but the others may not see the problem.

Equifinality and Multifinality It seems right to introduce two more tenets of Systems Thinking at this point in the discussion.

This dominant way of approaching the world is a product of industrialized educational norms – in one way or another, we have learned, through our 15 to 20 years of mainstream education, and/or through socialization, that the most effective way to solve a problem is to treat the symptoms, not the causes.

Yet, when we look at the world through a systems lens, we see everything is interconnected.

The status quo of how we are taught to think is linear and often reductionist.

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Sometimes, a perspective may stem only from ignorance.MIT Professor and author, Peter Senge, wrote a great book on Systems Thinking in the 1990s, called The Fifth Discipline.It’s actually focused on organizational change, but I forgive him for that as it’s a great book (and I know that the nerdy business world was the dominate space systems thinking hung out in when it first came to prominence).While I hope you will enjoy this journey through the perspectives of different individuals, I also leave you with another problem to solve.Consider a set of nine dots, in the layout as represented here.It is only now that I realize that this may produce more than the demand and make excessive inventories.The excessive inventories may be a problem for general managers but were surely not defined as a negative marker in the appraisal sheet of the manufacturing manager. If a purpose is different between managers, they see the identical situation in different ways.As a trainee of the department, it seemed perfectly logical.If I were to get my promotions on the number of hours that my line was running, I would maximize that output, what may.Linear thinking — the “A leads to B, results in C” perspective — is the byproduct of our industrialized education system and it is a key reason we have messy problems to start with.Paulo Freire refers to this as the ‘Banker-Style’ education system, designed to maintain the status quo.

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