Connect the Dots to Find the WHOLE Answer
Published: 16th November 2015 06:00 AM |
Simon Goland, an academician and facilitator has worked with a diverse range of educational institutions, individuals and organisations including Andersen Consulting, Ausenco, Australian Institute of Management, Australian National University and Brunei Shell Petroleum. Simon, who was in Gurugaon last week as a visiting faculty for the Whole Systems Thinking course at the School of Inspired Leadership (SOIL) gives an overview of what ‘Whole Systems Thinking’ is all about
What is the essence of Whole Systems Thinking?
Systems Thinking is a management discipline that has a holistic approach towards the constituent parts of a systems, how they are inter-related and how they work within the context of a larger system It involves, habits, tools and concepts to develop an understanding of the components Systems thinking strategies fall under three categories: visual, listening & speaking, and kinesthetic
Whole Systems Thinking is a management discipline that encourages looking at an organisation as part of a complex network of integrated smaller systems that need to work together to function successfully.
Where can it be applied?
It can be applied anywhere, at work, personal relationships... Let’s say when you’re out for dinner, there are different factors related to the quality of your dinner like the cutlery, the person you’re with, the service and the ambience. Zoom out a bit and there are more factors that are directly related to your dinner experience, like if there was enough parking space, where the food comes from, etc. The idea that everything is connected applies everywhere.
Why is Whole Systems Thinking important?
The danger that we face today is that we try to solve problems in isolation. The truth on the other hand is that every problem has multiple factors. Unless we look at the bigger picture, we cannot truly solve any problem.
Why is it relevant in India?
The industries in India are booming.Companies need a proper structure and organisation to avoid or solve crisis. Take the example of the nuclear developments in India. On one hand, it supplies electricity to millions of people, on the other, thousands die due to the harmful effects of living near nuclear mines. Here too, we cannot have proper development without looking at the bigger picture.
What are the two basic principles of Whole Systems Thinking?
The first one is change. In this course, we teach students that nothing is constant. The rules and laws that we learn cannot be applied to all situations. It has to be adapted to the changing environment. The second principle is cause and effect, which indicates that no problem is directly linked to its cause. Instead, there are multiple factors.