Systems thinking

As a holistic approach, Systems Thinking is by definition a ‘big idea’, and therefore not one that we’ll explain in too much detail. In short, Systems Thinking helps us to understand that management actions have both direct consequences and indirect reactions. Usually management mask these reactions, as well as distracting us from our main goal – to delight our customers.

Systems Thinking offers an entirely different way of ‘seeing’ an organisation. It takes a ‘process’ focus rather than a ‘functional’ focus to work; and a collaborative rather than a competitive/commercial approach to suppliers and customers. The value in Systems Thinking is that when we take this view, very different opportunities present themselves.

Systems Thinkers suggest that by focusing attention on the things that customers truly value, and eliminating or at least reducing those which are not valued, we find that service improves, delays are reduced and costs fall.

What’s more, the people involved in service delivery rediscover joy in their work, as they are focused on delivering what the customer wants. And they spend less time being frustrated by activities that they know are a waste of time.

The idea of reducing costs through better service may feel counterintuitive. But thinking in this way allows us to benefit far more than we can with conventional thinking.

What characterises a Systems Thinking consulting intervention?

•    Outcome thinking and a focus on the customer(s)
•    Understanding demand
•    Service or process flow
•    Organisational capabilities in that flow
•    Enabling leadership
•    Empowered staff and flexible organisations
•    Continual learning

Key Performance is very experienced in delivering high performance Systems Thinking organisations.