The Systems Thinker Blog

Are You a Systems Thinker?

Posted byRon Carroll

When I was a boy, my parents gave me a miniature see-through plastic V8 engine for Christmas. As my father and I assembled it, I was able to learn how an automobile engine works. When the battery-driven model was completed, you could turn it on and see all the moving parts in action; even the spark plugs fired with little red lights. It provided an illuminating and instructive view of an automobile engine, one of our most enduring "systems."

Transparent EngineSee Beneath the Surface

To a "Systems Thinker," the world is similarly transparent.

In business, a Systems Thinker can easily interpret what is going on—what's working and what's not working in their organization. They have a vividly clear view of the "nuts and bolts" of their operation, transcending the typical awareness of others.

The Systems Thinker has the following advantages when examining the people and processes that make up their organization.

  • They know that for every effect, outcome or result, there is a specific cause they can influence to make things better (law of cause and effect).

  • They see the interrelationships of moving parts, systems, and processes that work together to accomplish company goals.

  • They recognize that the root cause of business problems is usually found in faulty systems, not people. To make improvements, they find the weak-point of a system and fix it.

  • They understand that growing a successful and profitable company requires strict attention to process planning and measurement throughout the organization.

  • They know mature business systems and processes that produce consistently desirable results are their greatest asset. Effective systems will enable them to one day sell their company for top-dollar, replicate it in other markets, or hire someone to run it for them.

There is No Better Way

As you become a Systems Thinker, you are increasingly aware of the hum of systems and processes within your business operation—whether in the store, the factory or the office. You see all the moving parts of the "engine" as it works to power the organization's throughput of products and services.

As a Systems Thinker, problems become more apparent and solutions more obvious. Ideas flood your mind for elevating your business systems to create a remarkable organization. There is no other way!

Related Articles:
10 Values of a Systems Thinker!
Four Stages to Becoming a Systems Thinker
So, What Exactly is a Business System?


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