Why systems thinking isn’t a fad – Systems thinking blog (UK government)

Source: https://systemsthinking.blog.gov.uk/2020/06/04/why-systems-thinking-isnt-a-fad/

Systems thinking

Why systems thinking isn’t a fad

Posted by:Adam Jones, Posted on:4 June 2020 – Categories:LearningPeople and culture

Systems thinkers from across government at an event held earlier this year.

I am often challenged that systems thinking is just another workplace fad. I thought I’d share my systems thinking journey, how it has benefitted me and my work and how it makes a lasting difference.

I first came across systems thinking when my line manager handed me a copy of Peter Senge’s book, The Fifth Discipline.  I wanted to understand how best to transform organisations and keep focussed on the outcomes we wanted. 

Alongside the book, which I found really inspiring, I was lucky enough to be surrounded by experienced Operational Researchers in my team who were very used to applying the principles.

I managed to pick things up from them. This enabled me to design workshops to bring stakeholders together, gather their thoughts and different perspectives on their system and start to design possible solutions to their challenges.

I quickly realised the power of systems thinking. It focuses on outcomes and it uncovers complexities. Complexity is something which we often interact with in government and achieving the best outcomes for the citizens we serve is the reason many people go into public service. 

The best policy decisions should be made with an understanding or proposal of how an intervention will impact the wider system. 

Without it, the risk of unintended consequences is high. 

I’m passionate about promoting systems thinking in the public sector because I really believe there is energy created in understanding the gap between where the current system is and where we want it to be. I believe it can help us to be more efficient and deliver better outcomes for citizens. 

I’m so passionate about it that I co-founded STIG, the Systems Thinking Interest Group, which I’ll talk about in this post.

Continues in source: https://systemsthinking.blog.gov.uk/2020/06/04/why-systems-thinking-isnt-a-fad/