Thursday, August 27, 2015

Are You a System Thinking Master

Systems Thinking is a holistic, balanced and often an abstract thinking to understand things profoundly.

People are all a bundle of assumptions, a collection of cause-and-effects, and a limited ability to put all this together to create the sense of reality. We use our sense of reality to try to understand our world and solve the problems it presents us with, making decisions as to how to interact with our environment. This is adequate to deal with our everyday lives but quite inadequate to fully deal with the complexity of much of the dynamic world that surrounds us. Many of our assumptions may be false, and some of our cause-and-effects are probably wrong. Therefore, Systems Thinking is emerged as a type of digital thinking to deal with such unprecedented complexity. The Systemizing Quotient (SQ) gives a score based on how interested you assess yourself to be in each of the following forms of systemizing. Systemizing is the drive to analyze and explore a system, to extract underlying rules that govern the behavior of a system; and the drive to construct systems. Systems thinking helps us understand such processes rather than be purely in the moment or in the flow.

Systems Thinking is the ability to navigate levels of abstraction or logic as an essential thinking skill for STers. You can readily observe massive differentials between individuals and communities in their ability to do this particular skill. We are only just beginning to recognize the need for that level of systemic sophistication. Most folks follow the conventional way of thinking, it is what they have always been taught and learned to do.  
-Systems Thinking needs to discover the interconnectivity and interdependence, therefore, you need to be looking for something “hidden,” which is not always obvious, you don't just accidently find it, you structure the thinking process to discover the patterns.
- You need to have an open mind where most don't, most traditional thinking minds are clouded by past experiences and conventional wisdom, Systems Thinkers desire to listen to the different viewpoint.
-Systems Thinking will always struggle until it is taught in mainstream educational systems.

Systems Thinking advocates the culture of inclusiveness. From a development point of view, it is interesting to think about the challenges that come with integrating systems thinking into individual behavior, and perhaps most importantly, the influence of social systems that value it or not. We humans are social beings, when we learn from others, we chose to learn mostly from those people who challenge our beliefs the least. Thus, we fall into groups of like-minded people. We tend to be hostile to those who most disturb our beliefs, and in the process preserve the beliefs of the groups with which we associate. As we attempt to preserve harmony within our own sense of reality, we create conflicts between our group and other groups that have their own senses of reality that conflict with ours. Thus, disagreements and antagonisms arise between groups. This may lead to our simply ignoring these other groups. Or it can cause us to rationalize our own sense of reality by disempowering. By pre-judging people motives without actually analyzing through questioning or research, we ourselves demonstrate at least non-systemic thinking. So as to avoid making repeated mistakes, we must then, if we understand there are different opinions or we are making a mistake; go deeper into Systems Thinking to ask why we make these mistakes, why there are differences, and realign or reorient our model. Systems Thinking helps discover the connectivity and common ground from the difference and dig into the paradoxical intelligence between seemly two separate views. And therefore, it advocates inclusiveness and embrace diverse PoVs.

Systems thinking is often equated with balanced thinking. Systems Thinking can also be defined as putting on the foreground relations and on the background the components of these relations. ST has to do with the ability to see the whole, and the relationships between parts within those wholes, and to grasp the complexity - deal with nonlinear questions that have the contingent and flexing answers as the conditions change. Systems Thinking engenders new actions as part of the process of creating cross-disciplined understanding. What is powerful about Systems Thinking is that it’s concerned with wholes changes of the scope, thereby engendering new action, Systems Thinking is part of the process of creating understanding and striking the right balance either making the strategy or problem-solving. ST is also a set of tools that you can use - success comes from knowing when to apply which tool and when not to.

Most people are uncomfortable with questions that don't have clear answers, and most of the people have been schooled to believe that they must know the answer and that there is an answer, even when faced with a wicked problem. Most people don't like to think at all and of the remainder, people want to cut the problem into pieces and deal with one at a time. Only about 5% of the population are System Thinking masters. Some thought System Thinkers are the slow decision maker, others thought Systems Thinking is the privilege of System Engineers or scientists. In essence, Systems Thinking is nothing more than the good combination of analytic and synthetic thinking, see the trees without missing the forest; quantify not just the hard data, but also the soft variables; go beyond the surface to dig through the root cause of problem arising, and take a scientific approach to explore the nature and universe. It is a holistic, balanced and often an abstract thinking to understand things profoundly.


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