Most people approach complexity by breaking things down into fragments and studying the constituent parts. This is done in the belief that it makes complex tasks and subjects more manageable and, in some ways, it does. However, by studying and arranging the world in this way we pay a price. We lose the ability to see the intrinsic connections that exist and we lose the ability to see how these connections influence outcomes and consequences. In short, we lose the ability to see the whole.
Systems Thinking involves looking at the world more holistically. When we work with organisations to help them adopt a Systems approach wonderful things happen. They see how the many disparate parts of their operations interact and function as a whole. Seeing things in this way, usually for the first time, allows organisations to understand the incongruences and the inherent waste, inefficiency and failings in their systems. We then help clients to redesign their services to better achieve purpose. Invariably we find that this leads to dramatically improved results and increased efficiency. This seems almost too good to be true, but time and time again we see that a systems approach to organisational design creates better outcomes and reduced costs.