System Thinking in the Enterprise

Why do things in business happen so much faster or slower than everybody thinks it will? And why you can be doing something that has always worked and then suddenly discover, to your great disappointment, that these actions no longer work?

Systems thinking offers a different perspective… allow me to elaborate: ever since the industrial revolution, Western society has benefited from science, logic, and reductionism over intuition and holism. Psychologically and politically we would much rather assume that the cause of a problem is ‘out there’ rather than ‘in here.’ It’s almost irresistible to blame something or someone else, to shift responsibility away from ourselves, and to look for the control knob, the product, the pill, the technical fix that will make the problem go away.

As businesses many will study and execute business rules and create incentives that help of hinder new technologies (the adoption of Social Business Software). Or we see ‘policy resistance’ as we combine decision-making power and the nature of relationships in your business community. In systems thinking we call these characteristics and behaviors ‘archetypes.’ In business these archetypes are responsible for some of the most intransigent and potentially dangerous business problems… but with understanding systems thinking you can transform to produce desirable behaviors in culture within your business over time.

If what I have written makes sense to you then consider what Social Business Software (SBS) can deliver to your organisation, your ecosystem. Imagine if you believe that your people are all different, and different in a good way, that allows them through the platform to ‘ask different kinds of questions?’ Your people, your teams, see things that you don’t see. You can create an environment where you come at the world in a different way…You need to believe that your people have different views and ‘lenses’ on things and this can be complimentary to your processes or innovations and therefore revealing.

The world is more messy, more crowded, more interconnected, more interdependent and more rapidly changing than ever before, the more ways of seeing, the better. The successful deployment of SBS will allow your organisation to see more things, in real time. This combined with systems thinking will allow your ecosystem to reclaim your abilities to understand the parts, their interconnectedness, asking the ‘what if’ questions about possible and future behaviors and finally to be courageous about system redesign.

Then and only then can we use these insights as leaders to use these insights to make a difference to your organizations, to yourselves and to our world.

Gys Kappers is the co-founder and CEO of WyseTalk Africa’s leading Social Business Platform


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