Systems Thinking Offers Leaders Clarity, Confidence, and Solutions

Chicken and egg systems problem

What is systems thinking?

It’s about approaching a situation with the understanding that:

  • There are many interconnected parts and interdependent relationships
  • The events and patterns we’re seeing are symptoms of a deeper root issue
  • We can take steps to understand and improve the root

And in leadership, understanding and improving the root issues means understanding people.

With systems thinking, we learn to ask:

  • What are the patterns we are seeing here?
  • What structures and relationships are creating those patterns?

And most importantly

  • What mental models – assumptions, beliefs, and values are at the root of our issues?

Systems thinking can first feel overwhelming, but with time, it can offer clarity, confidence, and solutions to even our biggest challenges.

Image description: “Leadership Reality: the challenges we face are not simple or linear” with a picture of a chicken and egg on either side of two arrows forming a circle to show a cycle, and “and most leadership training does not teach systems thinking.”


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