Whole Systems Thinking is a way to understand how elements are related, and how they influence one another.
Systems are made up of interconnected components that are grouped together as a whole to achieve a specific goal.
Here are some examples of Systems:
- Atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and geosphere
Or, a simpler System:
- Students, teachers, parents, administrators
Or, perhaps a more familiar System:
- Employer, team leader, team members
In Whole Systems Thinking, all Systems are made up of inter-connected parts. In these Systems, the behavior of one part affects another. And furthermore, a change in any part affects the whole System.
Whole Systems Thinking takes a cyclical approach, rather than linear one, to the idea of cause and effect.
In a workplace, this helps us to:
- Understand relationships between individuals
- See and understand patterns as cyclical rather than linear
- Discover how to shift patterns to achieve more effective outcomes
- Optimize your team’s performance as a whole
When we finally understand the components of a System and relationships between them, we can discover how to shift the System into better patterns to achieve better outcomes.
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